The BYU lacrosse team opens up its fall season in Grand Junction, Colo., this weekend with exhibition matches against Adams State and Colorado Mesa University.
The team feels confident heading into its first matches, as the team has continued to progress since winning a national championship in the spring.
“The team is looking better now at the first part of practice than it has any of the years I’ve been here,” midfielder Patrick Matheson said. “There is a general confidence on the team just because of what we did last season.”
- BYU midfielder Patrick Matheson, center, shoots during a scrimmage earlier this season.
One of the reasons for this new found confidence is the returning class of seniors on the team. Coach Matt Schneck said this is the largest class of returning seniors BYU has ever had. After winning a national championship while much of the team was juniors, the team expects to keep winning heading into the fall.
“The maturity of the team is a lot higher than it has been in years past,” goalkeeper Wes Goar said. “We’re starting this season at a lot higher point because of all the returners we have on the team.”
As BYU plays its first game against Adams State, it will see a familiar face on the opposing sideline. Former BYU coach Jason Lamb is now the head coach for Adams State.
Lamb led the Cougars from 1995-2009. He compiled a 213-69 record and won three national titles. He was also named the MCLA National Coach of the Year in 2006.
Many of the current players on BYU’s team started their college careers under Lamb and said they hope to beat their former coach.
In the second game of the team’s trip to Grand Junction, the Cougars will face the Colorado Mesa Mavericks. The Mavericks finished last season 6-8 but finished the season strong, winning five of their final seven games.
Even though the Cougars will use these weekend exhibition games to gauge where the team is at and attempt to develop team chemistry, the team expects to win.
“No matter who we put out there on the field we expect them to go out there and know what they’re doing,” team c0-captain Drew Shumway said. “We want to win whatever game we play, whether it’s the fall, spring or whenever.”