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Vandal Shots Week 21: Have The Last Word

9 - Published April 15, 2010 by in College, MCLA

Editor’s note: The Idaho Vandals are an MCLA D1 team, 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.
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It’s the week of a possible playoff berth. But even more so than that, it’s a rivalry week. This week I decided to go back and visit the history of the BSU vs. UI rivalry.   I’ll be honest, until recently, this was never much of a rivalry at all, it was more of just an easy dub for BSU to pad their stats with and a shellacking for Idaho.

The great Mike Band and possibly a high hit.

In the past few years though, this has become a very competitive rivalry between the two schools, with home field advantage being a great help to both teams. Another help, in my mind, being the 5-6 hour drive back across the state you get to celebrate, or as both teams have used it for lately, to lick your wounds.

In 2006, Boise State traveled up to Moscow and handed the Vandals a 14-7 loss. I couldn’t find any scores for the years before, but I feel it is safe to assume that they were similar to the ’06 score.

The next year though, in 2007, the Vandals traveled down to Boise for the match-up, while they were handed a decisive 18-10 loss, this was where the Vandals would start to turn things around.

First and foremost, this was the Vandals’ first year with a head coach. This head coach would help to discipline and train our guys to focus on becoming better athletes and begin working towards the program’s first victory a year later. This is also when we started becoming closer with our school and we would work to gain more and more support from them.

2007 was a rainy game. #11 Jake Christensen for BSU takes a shot past #2 Ben Lavigne

Ben Lavigne playing defense on his soon to be teammate

In the fall of 2007, Idaho traveled back down to Boise for the annual Gem State Tournament. Idaho and BSU met for the last game of the day and despite being a fall ball game, it ended up being quite a thriller, with BSU taking it 4-3 in overtime.  Spring of 2008 would turn out to be just as good a game as the fall when the Broncos would travel up north to play the Vandals in Moscow.

The game would be an epic game in the Kibbie Dome with the Vandals coming out strong and after an initial deficit, never trailing again for the entirety of the game. The Vandals would get the last laugh in that game and held on to beat the Broncos for the very first time, 12-11.

Here is a good article on that game that ran in the Argonaut (the University’s paper).

Sr. Mike Band would have the last laugh this year and helped us to win with a great day of face-offs.

Going out on a good note that year.

Last year would be a different story, with Gem State falling on the same weekend as functions of several of our frats, Idaho wasn’t able to travel down to Gem State. So instead, we were left to wait until the spring to see them in Boise.

Spring 2009 would be just the opposite.

While being a tight game through the scoreboard (5-4 at half, 9-8 after the third), BSU had the momentum on their side the entire game and it showed. BSU took this one 12-9 and let us take the 6 hour car ride north to think about the game.

Sr. Jake Ballard led the team with 3 goals, but it wasn’t enough to hold off the Broncos

BSU was determined and they came out strong and never let up.

The summer was enough to get any Vandal involved in this game fired up. While not being able to take my stick up with me to my job in AK, I trained as much as I could to keep in good shape.

As soon as school started and the team hit the field, we hit it hard, not wanting to be disappointed like we were the year before. The older guys on the team really anchored us this year with organizing shooting sessions, early morning footwork and even things as small as getting some of the guys together outside of practice to just hang out as bros.

This past fall we were able to travel back down to Boise for the Gem State with a Vandal squad that wasn’t about to be looked over by anyone. Our first game of the tournament? Boise State, and we weren’t at all phased by it.

We came out and after being down by one at half, we answered back, holding Boise State scoreless in the second half of the game and winning 10-5. Fall ball is fall ball, but it was still a statement and it was a nice to have a win after what happened the previous spring.

Dugan McDermott working the ball up the field

A strong defensive stand in the second half is what really made this victory.

When it comes down to it though, as each game has shown, past games don’t matter too much, if we don’t win this weekend, winning the game in the fall will not be a proving point at all. The only game that matters right now is the one this weekend.

If you are in the Moscow area this weekend, please come on out and watch the Vandals take on the Broncos at 6 pm on the Sprinturf.   Our coach is a wordsmith, which doesn’t come as a surprise since he is also a lawyer.

But he put it best:

Six days from today, our Cold War with Boise State turns hot. A rivalry game, of course, has its own innate significance. But make no mistake: this will be the single biggest game in the 6-year history of this program.

A win guarantees Vandal Lacrosse its first trip to the playoffs. A win extends our season, the careers of three Vandal seniors, and the tenure of Coach Grant, Assistant Coach Jake, and me, by at least one more game.

A loss by more than two goals takes us out of the driver’s seat and forces us to watch from the sidelines and hope that Gonzaga is able to beat Boise State the next day.

Broncos vs. Vandals for a shot at the playoffs. This is it.  This game also holds very personal significance for those of us on our way out. This is our very last game against Boise State as Vandals.

This is our chance to have the last word.

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