The BYU men’s lacrosse team is going into the national tournament with a lot of momentum after winning the RMLC tournament.
“That momentum is something very special to bring into the tournament with you,” said BYU head coach Matt Schneck. “Because it increases confidence with the players and gives them something to build off of as they move forward.”
BYU beat Colorado University 12-8 on April 30 to win the RMLC tournament. The Cougars were fueled by the play-making and scoring of RMLC Freshman of the Year Award winner Chris Severson and from the stifling defense of junior Max Neser.
BYU will head into the national tournament as the No. 5 seed. They will face the No. 12 seed Oregon State.
The Cougars are unified and positive going into the game against the Beavers.
“We’re really unified as a team. I feel like we have high energy and we’re working hard,” Neser said. “After coming off our championship win in the RMLC’s we just have a lot of confidence.”
Severson believes that “the most important thing is practice” and added that the Cougars will “go hard” each day to prepare.
But along with being physically prepared for the national tournament, Schneck feels that his team needs to continue working on the things they’ve practiced all season.
“Everything that we’ve been working on has been a culmination of things that we’ve been doing throughout the season,” Schneck said.
Going playing for a national title is nothing new for the men’s lacrosse team or for coach Schneck.
The Cougars have four men’s lacrosse national championships. Their most recent came in 2011 under Schneck.
While BYU has been successful in the past, they are also haunted by some early exits.
“We’re watching a lot of film on the teams that we might play, but specifically Oregon State,” said Neser. “Because in past years we’ve lost the first round, so we’re really focused on winning the first round and then focusing on the rest of the week.”
To avoid those early-round disappointments the Cougars are staying close knit and unified.
“I think what makes this team unique versus teams in the past, is that this has had to be a team effort all year long to have the success that we’ve had,” said Schneck. “It’s not individual efforts; it’s not one person that’s doing it all. Even though we’ve had some great recognition to some of our players like Chris and Max, the overall team effort that’s come from this team is what we’ve relied on.”
BYU will play Oregon State on May 9 at 8:00 p.m. MDT. All tournament games will be streamed live via mcla.us.