“The new guys really stepped up and provided a solid defensive effort against Santa Cruz – and our goalie played stellar to keep us in the game until the end.”
At their first-ever home tournament, The HSU Men’s Lacrosse Club won three games out of four in the Redwood Bowl Saturday and Sunday. The ‘Jacks walked away with 2nd place overall, just four points behind Santa Cruz for the championship title.
The ‘Jacks started undefeated Saturday against Portland State University, Southern Oregon University, and San Jose State. The team’s progress – three wins and zero losses – gave them an open spot to compete against Santa Cruz in Sunday’s championship game.
Midfielder Brooks Gibson was glad to see both seasoned players and new team members playing cohesively on the field.
“A lot of the new guys were very impressive,” Gibson said.
“It’s good that the new players have caught on so quick.”
Six players on the roster had no experience in Lacrosse prior to this year, but they trained for eight weeks in preparation for the tournament.
After the first day of competition, six of the ‘Jacks’ best shooters were sidelined with injuries.
On Sunday, Santa Cruz took the lead early in the faceoff and raised the score 3-1 by halftime. In the second half, both teams raced back and forth across the field to gain possession of the ball. After the ‘Jacks scored their second goal, tensions mounted on the field.
The HSU defense played aggressively, but it wasn’t enough to slow down their opponents. Santa Cruz scored three more times, while the ‘Jacks only put one more goal in the net before the clock ran out. The end score, 7-3, awarded Santa Cruz the championship.
Coach Silvaggio was impressed with his team’s overall performance. “The new guys really stepped up and provided a solid defensive effort against Santa Cruz – and our goalie played stellar to keep us in the game until the end.”
Despite losing to Santa Cruz, the players left the tournament in high spirits with more than one reason to celebrate.
In the past, the ‘Jacks struggled against the very same teams they conquered on Saturday’s winning streak.
Goalie Sam Seidenberg, a film junior, says for years they had trouble recruiting and committing the players to the sport. Before Coach Silvaggio came to organize the team in spring of this year, the ‘Jacks repeatedly lost against universities with larger lineups.
“It was tough because we’d go to tournaments with 10 or 11 players. It was hard to actually win games,” says Seidenberg.
“Before, we got blown out by Southern Oregon and San Jose state. They killed us. So coming out here and playing those teams again was really cool.”
The Lacrosse team will continue to train for the rest of the year in preparation for games in the Spring. After several away games, a match on the home field is slated for April 9 against Dominican University.
In addition to his team’s continued progress, Coach Silvaggio wants to raise awareness of the full range of this sport within the community. Also on the agenda is forming a Women’s Lacrosse Club. With two fully functioning lacrosse teams on campus, Coach Silvaggio says it will promote the sport.
“My hope for the future is that the team will help to create a culture of lacrosse on the Northcoast; something that presently does not exist,” he says.
“It’s the full development of the sport – not just competitively, but culturally.”