Vandal Lacrosse: Week 19


Editor’s note: The Idaho Vandals lacrosse team is competing in the Pacific Northwest Conference. Krieg Shaw, a senior midfielder, will be contributing photos on a weekly basis all season long. Check out all of the Vandal Shots photo blogs.

Another week in the books, thankfully it ended with us going 2-0 and getting our first regular season win over the University of Montana in our program’s history and another win over Gonzaga.

With 6-8 am practices being our only available slot to get practice in, we took advantage of the free hour on the turf before they shut off the lights to get a little extra 6 v. 6 in and work out any kinks and help make-up for some the guys who had to leave early for 8 am class.

Friday we departed Moscow to make the short four hour drive over the pass to Missoula. Our 5 pm departure turned into a 6:30 departure after realizing that one of the suburbans we rent from the University had a flat tire and they got some people to come out and replace it; wouldn’t be a road trip without a few speed bumps along the way.

After another lovely night in the La Quinta Inn (the official hotel of Vandal Lacrosse in Missoula, MT, we swear by it) we headed out to the field to get ready for our game against the Grizz.

Unfortunately, our resident photographer for Idaho wasn’t able to make the trip, so I was unable to find any pictures from our Montana game.

It was a great game though, I love playing Montana. We’ve always had a great relationship with them and they are a great bunch of guys, from the coaches all the way through the bench and in the past few years, Idaho has been able to build a great rivalry with Montana.

They are a pretty young team though, so we were able to take advantage of that and pulled out the victory after being down 7-4 at halftime. The second half was a great half for Vandal lacrosse, our defense stepped up, our offense was able to get solid possession time and score off quality plays. In the end, we were able to drive back to Moscow with a 10-8 victory. Thanks Montana for another great game.

Our first home game of the season brought out a great crowd to cheer us on.

Another reason I love playing at home is the knowledge that you don’t have to worry about hecklers and all the support from the fans will be in your favor. Vandal fans know how to get down.

A little halftime entertainment for the crowd… gotta take what you can get.

The field was painted, the nets were strung, and the team was amped and ready to play. Idaho jumped out to a 2-0 early in the game, but then Gonzaga answered back quickly and even take the lead later on in what would turn out to be a great game between our two teams.

Goal from Eric Fletcher set up by a great clear and feed from d-pole Ben Lavigne. No sweat for Fletch.

On a side note, whenever I watch D1 games on TV, I always comment about how much I love their celebrations. For the most part they keep to simple, classy fist pumps, chest bumps, and my favorite the group celebration. I’m not sure what it is, but the group celebration after a goal is just awesome.

A good start. Hopefully there will be more to come in the next few weeks.

Back to the game though, Gonzaga reminds me of Idaho in a lot of ways, other than our great taste in uni’s and our location far from any hotspots; Gonzaga has been a pretty young team in years past and continues to grow and get better just like us. While I feel we were a much better team than what we showed on Sunday, I have to give a lot of credit to Gonzaga for playing a great game and taking advantage of any weaknesses we showed.

A great game by middie Zack Porter being a one-man clear team when needed and keeping Gonzaga middies from getting to the cage.

Sunday had a lot of up’s and down’s for us offensively. There were moments where we shined and had awesome possessions, but then there were moments where we would rush the offense and make dumb plays. Thankfully though, we locked it up when it counted.

Junior attackmen Eric Fletcher with the goal.

A bright spot Sunday was that our EMO was working really well and took advantage of any GU penalties.

Sophomore attackmen John Kopke with the nice rip from up top.

But where the offense pulled it together on Sunday, the defense struggled a little bit (everyone has to trip up sometimes). There was little flow in Sunday’s game for either team. The constant flag throwing and arm waving made me feel like I was at a ribbon dancing competition. Despite that, our guys need to get used to having more tightly called games then we did in California.

Gonzaga was able to tie the game up at 10 with short time left on the clock in the fourth. Once we gained possession, we called a timeout and get ourselves ready to go out and win the game. After burning the next 48 seconds off the clock Fletcher drove from X, drew the slide and found freshman midfielder Andrew Fulcher on the crease ready to net the game winner with only 12 ticks left on the clock.

Dudes in the box, shame, shame.

One thing that really did stick out this weekend was the appearance of some new names on the score sheet. Against Montana, freshman Ben Kopke tallied his first goal on a nice finish from Eric Fletcher. Riley McNeal netted two on the weekend with one in each game. I love seeing the younger guys start to get comfortable in their game and step-up on the field.

Freshman midfielder Riley McNeal has been playing great on both sides of the ball lately, if he’d just get rid of those t-rex arms…

All in all a great weekend. Despite sloppy play in both games, a win is a win and we can still learn from both games and improve on them this week in practice to get ready for our game against UW this Saturday. We always seem to struggle against the Huskies in years past so hopefully we’ll be able to come out firing and give them a game.

Ask Mark Schlereth about this song, I bet he’d sing it for you. Go Vandies!

For full game stats and a short review by our Coach, check out our page on the MCLA website.

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