BYU lacrosse faces three top teams in a three-day trip to California this week.
BYU’s last trip outside of the state resulted in the team’s first loss. Only a week since the team returned from Arizona, BYU heads to California to face the University of Oregon, the University of California-Berkeley and Stanford University. The tough week ends with a home game on Saturday against the University of Colorado.
“We have three games in three days,” BYU coach Matt Schneck said. “Then we come home for two days and play again. It is going to be a really tough trip. We have purposefully put together a schedule that is challenging so (the team) can be prepared for the tournament.”
The University of Oregon has a record of 7–3, with all three losses against teams BYU will be playing this week. The Ducks have a tough team that will challenge the Cougars.
The result of this game, whether a victory or loss, will be short lived as the Cougars face California the next day. California defeated Oregon 12–7 on Saturday and has a record of 6–3. The Golden Bears are led offensively by senior attackman Daniel Cohen who has scored 34 goals this season.
“We need to focus our energy on each moment,” senior captain Pat Matheson said. “We can’t catch ourselves thinking too far ahead. Focusing on the present opportunities is key for these trips.”
Thinking ahead is a real challenge when the team plays three games in a row. As soon as the Oregon game is over the focus shifts to California, and when the California game comes to a close the new focus is an undefeated Stanford. Stanford is 9–0 with a powerful attack led by freshman midfielder Peter Doyle who has racked up 31 goals. Stanford’s senior attackman Jack Farr and sophomore attackman Neil Hamamoto have each scored 24 goals.
“We have to know to stay healthy,” senior long stick midfielder Grayson Dahl said. “We have to make sure our mind is in the right place.”
Three games will be a true test for BYU as the season passes its halfway mark.
“In my game, it is mostly mental,” Matheson said. “If you can conquer that then you can conquer the physical.”
BYU plays its first game Monday at 1:00 p.m. against Oregon at Berkeley, Calif. On Tuesday, BYU faces the University of California-Berkeley at 1:00 p.m. BYU will end its trip in Stanford at noon on Wednesday.