Sunday, March 11, 2012

0-4: Men’s lacrosse team revamps itself after All-American goalie graduates, confronts early season struggles

By Sam Horn, Sports Reporter

Pacific Lutheran men’s lacrosse team are still looking for their first win.

Men’s Lacrosse currently sits at 0-4.

After dropping their first game to the University of Portland 0-19, the Lutes have only scored 21 goals compared to their opponents’ overall goal tally of 75.

The team is bringing in young talent with four first-years.

Led by captain senior Chad Peterson, a Pacific Northwest College Lacrosse League Honorable Mention and All-Conference Defensive player.

“This year will be a rebuilding year after losing five seniors last year to graduation,” Peterson said.

Last year, the Lutes finished in third place out of five teams in their conference. Lacrosse, unlike other club sports at PLU, plays in a league shared with other Division II schools.

Whitman, PLU and the University of Puget Sound are the only teams from the Northwest Conference in this league, known as the Pacific Northwest Collegiate Lacrosse League. Gonzaga University, Western Washington University and Central Washington University are other schools.

“I think we have the ability to obtain third place in our league once our season is over,” head coach Gregory Gutherless said.

Lacrosse and ultimate Frisbee are two PLU sports that are more open to players who do not have previous experience.

With sports such as football and basketball, experience is important, but as a club sport, lacrosse functions differently.

Many players learn about and get interested in the sport from friends. It doesn’t matter if they’ve never played on an organized team in their life - lacrosse is open to all types of players.

Junior Randal Johnson had never played lacrosse before coming to PLU and now plays goalie for the Lutes.

Johnson joined the team and picked up the position of goalie after talking about it with his friends.

“I think playing the position is a balance of craziness and stupidity,” Johnson said.

Johnson, playing in his first year of lacrosse, has 60 saves after replacing All-American goalie Greg Fredlund.

The Lutes’ final home game is against Western Washington University at Franklin Pierce High School at 7 p.m. Saturday.

After the game against Western Washington University, the Lutes hit the road for the final four games of the season.