Lacrosse team looks to wrap up fall season in Vegas

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    By Brian Carlson

    Throughout the preseason, the BYU men”s lacrosse team has been learning both how to gel and to play good BYU-brand lacrosse.

    The team”s appearance in the Best of the West tournament Saturday, Oct. 27, in Las Vegas will be its last chance to define its character before it closes shop for the winter.

    “It”s a good test to see where we are as a team, and to see what we need to do to improve and get ready for the season,” said BYU attackman Jordan Archibald.

    BYU is ranked No. 1 in the Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Lacrosse League preseason poll.

    Teams joining the Cougars in the Vegas tournament are Sonoma State, ranked No. 1 in the Western Collegiate Lacrosse League preseason poll, Univ. of Arizona, Univ. of Colorado, Univ. of Utah and defending USLIA Champion Colorado State.

    “This is a big chance to play against some other teams who are pretty good,” Archibald said.

    Two years ago, the tournament”s competition got the better of the Cougars, as they lost to archrival Colorado State in the championship game.

    Last year, the Cougars couldn”t escape the same fate; they fell to the Rams by one point.

    In this year”s tournament, the Cougars will compete against four teams, finishing the day against the Sonoma State Cossacks and the Rams.

    Playing Colorado State in situations like this is something Archibald said he has gotten used to.

    “No matter where we want to go we know we have to go through them,” Archibald said.

    Last month the Cougars hoisted themselves over the Rams to take home the Fall Brawl title in Logan.

    BYU head coach Jason Lamb said the Rams take fall season very seriously and aren”t likely to forget what the Cougars did to them a month ago.

    “If we come out … with any amount of arrogance we”ll get killed,” Lamb said.

    The mental attitude, to avoid becoming complacent with success or vexed from adversity, is one of Lamb”s two main concerns going into this tournament, he said.

    “It”s a test of our team to be resilient,” Lamb said. “If we fail it will be due to internal issues. It won”t be because we don”t have the athletes.”

    Lamb said his other concern is team defense.

    Last week in the BYU vs. Utah game, the Cougars allowed the Utes to score nine goals.

    “Utah proved that two guys can penetrate us,” Lamb said. “That”s terrible. It”s just not the way it should be.”

    In practice this week, defensive assistant coach Chris Rader said the defense worked on breaking down individual responsibilities to show the team how to work with each other and gain greater confidence in one another.

    “Confidence is something they need to have,” Rader said.

    When you have a team playing team defense it”s so much harder for the opponent to score, he said.

    Despite Lamb”s concerns, he said he is pleased with the team”s overall performance.

    “This has been the funnest semester to coach,” Lamb said. “Players have been responsible, committed and willing to work hard.”

    Lamb said he wants his players to see how much potential they really have.

    “I think this team can do a lot of great things; if we play our brand of lacrosse we should be very successful,” Lamb said.

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