Tag Archives: Montana
MCLA Lacrosse: Montana Men’s Lacrosse Finishes Fall Schedule With 16-7 Win Over Montana State On Oct 22
The Utes beat the Grizzlies 20–3 in Utah’s indoor football stadium on Saturday. A goal by captain Kent Davis tied the game at one apiece, but a well-prepared Utah squad pulled ahead, leading 7–1 after the first quarter. Griz goalie Stuart Dransfield stopped 10 of 30 shots during the contest.
That must have been what The University of Montana men’s lacrosse team said a year after winning the Men’s Collegiate Lacrosse Association Championship.
After winning the MCLA Division II title in 2007, the Grizzlies moved into the highest level. In 2008 the team went 10–3 before losing in the first round of the playoffs and before starting a downward spiral of losses and underperformance at the Division I level that continued last weekend in its opening games of the season.
After a few weeks of shoveling snow off the turf at Washington-Grizzly Stadium before practice, the Grizzlies traveled to the University of Utah last weekend for the second consecutive season. And for the second consecutive season, the Griz lost by double digits.
Head coach Tucker Sargent played for the Grizzlies when they still competed in Division II of the MCLA before he graduated and began coaching the team last season.
Despite the high number of goals against the Grizzlies during the last season, the defense has been a strong point for the team, said Sargent.
Growth Of Western Lacrosse: US Lacrosse “Montana Chapter” Established As “School-Level Lacrosse Has Expanded Dramatically”
“Montana lacrosse is growing rapidly,” said Bechtold. “We have had college teams at the University of Montana in Missoula and Montana State University in Bozeman for many years, but school-level lacrosse has expanded dramatically in the last two years.
US Lacrosse announced that the Montana chapter joined its network of regional chapters in January 2011. The Montana chapter will provide programs, services and leadership to the lacrosse community in the entire state of Montana. The chapter serves as a liaison between its community and US Lacrosse, the national governing body of the sport. The chapter is based in Missoula, Mont. and recognizes seven board members, including the inaugural chapter president, Tim Bechtold.
“Montana lacrosse is growing rapidly,” said Bechtold. “We have had college teams at the University of Montana in Missoula and Montana State University in Bozeman for many years, but school-level lacrosse has expanded dramatically in the last two years. We are growing from one high school team in 2010 to six high school teams in 2011, and several communities have started adult recreational leagues. This is an exciting time for lacrosse in Montana, and our new chapter status will help us keep pace with all US Lacrosse standards.”
“We hope to provide this developing lacrosse community with the proper resources to sustain and grow both the men’s and women’s game responsibly and effectively,” said Erin Sturgis, US Lacrosse director of chapter relations. “We are eager to see how this new sanctioned chapter will promote growth of the sport in the Northwest.”
Western College Men’s Lacrosse: Montana Men’s Lacrosse (1-6) Has Struggled In 2010 With An Inexperienced Roster
For a program that stood alone at the top of the mountain nearly three years ago, this spring has been a bitter pill for the Grizzly lacrosse team to swallow as it hopes to secure its second win of the season when Washington and Boise State visit Missoula this weekend.
“(This season) has been a tough hand to be dealt, but (the players) have been learning and I’ve been learning,” said UM graduate and lacrosse coach Tucker Sargent.
Most recently, Montana is coming off a 10–8 loss to Idaho, dropping their record to 1–6 this spring with three matches left.
At this point, the Griz would need to win all their final matches and have significant help in order to even get a sniff of the Pacific Northwest Collegiate Lacrosse League’s postseason tournament.
|2/20||at Oregon State||L, 11-10|
|2/21||at Oregon||L, 21-4|
|2/28||vs. UNLV||L, 14-12|
|3/12||at Utah||L, 25-8|
|3/13||at Brigham Young||L, 29-2|
|Coach: Tucker Sargent|
The top six teams from the league make the playoffs and Montana would have to leapfrog over Washington State, Boise State, Gonzaga and defending champions Simon Fraser just to sneak into the sixth and final spot.
However, that doesn’t mean that the Griz have lost hope for this season, despite the fact that this spring has been one unlike any other for the traditionally-successful program.
“There’s been some growing pains this season, but I don’t think by any means it’s been a wash of a season,” Sargent said.
Part of the reason for Montana’s struggles this season has been the youth and inexperience on much of the roster. However, Sargent sees the Grizzlies’ youth as an advantage when looking forward to the rest of the season and next year.
“They’re all very passionate and very skilled,” Sargent said. “(This season’s trials) have been a great experience for them. I’m hoping it inspires them to push themselves.”
While the players may not be puffing out their chests over their lone victory, a couple of big plays in close games could easily have the Griz at 4–3 instead of their current record of 1–6. This season, Montana lost to Oregon State, University of Nevada-Las Vegas and Idaho by a combined five goals.
And although Montana may have the luxury of playing their last three matches at home, that doesn’t make this weekend’s opponents any easier to go up against.
On Saturday, the Griz will take on Washington, which is 6–5 on the year. The Huskies have shown flashes of brilliance as well as large swaths of futility this season, as demonstrated in their 7-goal average margin of victory and their 7.2-goal average margin of defeat.
With them the Huskies bring two of the top 10 scorers in the PNCLL. Senior Sean Forsyth is fourth, averaging 3.18 points per game and junior Joe Cramer is ninth with an average of 2.82 points per game.
In fact, Cramer and freshman Josh Redchair are both tied for third in the league with 21 goals this season.
If the Griz defense doesn’t find a way to slow down the explosive Husky offense, it could be a long afternoon for Montana.
“We’ve been working a lot on our defense,” Sargent said. “Our defense is looking very strong right now. We just got to get our offense going.”
The Griz will look to apply pressure on the Huskies by using two different zone defenses and a pressure man-to-man defense, Sargent said.
“We’re trying to stick with (Washington) for four quarters,” said junior Kent Davis. “If we’re not on defense the whole time, we’ll be fine.”
On Sunday against Boise State (1–8), the Griz will look to lock down the Broncos on defense and generate some offense against one of the top goaltenders in the PNCLL.
Boise State junior goaltender Kevin Kaup has given up the third-fewest goals in the league this season, allowing a paltry 49 scores to sneak past his watchful eye.
Despite its struggles on the offensive end this season, Montana will look to attack Kaup from a multitude of angles and not allow him to get comfortable in net.
“We need to get a variety of shots in,” Davis said. “We need more than one or two kids going to the hole. We added a couple new offensive formations this week that should give some different looks.”
Regardless of the outcomes this weekend, Sargent is still pleased with the perseverance and hard work his team has shown throughout this difficult season.
“If you put up a good fight all the way to the end, it commands a lot of respect from your opponent,” Sargent said. “We just want to go out on a high note.”
Western College Men’s Lacrosse: Montana Men’s Lacrosse Begins 2010 Schedule With Tough Road Schedule In Oregon And Utah
The team won a national championship three years ago in the Men’s Collegiate Lacrosse Association Division B, and over the last two years has successfully transitioned into the higher level of Division A.
But as Montana prepares for this weekend’s two game road trip west to face conference rivals Oregon State and University of Oregon, the Griz face something that they aren’t used to: inexperience.
The core of the team that led Montana to its national championship has come and gone, and this season the Griz field a team that has upwards of 25 new players.
Former Griz standout Tucker Sargent played a pivotal role in the success of the team in years past, and this season he takes on the position of head coach.
Sargent said going into this weekend’s matchups he’s looking to see how his young team will respond to collegiate play.
|2/20||at Oregon State||1:00||pm|
|3/13||at Brigham Young||7:00||pm|
|Coach: Tucker Sargent|
“Most of the kids have never played at this level before,” Sargent said. “All of our new kids need to find their place and I think this first weekend will be a test. I think we have a lot of potential, but this will be a wakeup call for some of them.”
Despite playing on the team for the past two seasons, junior Geoff McEvers is one of many players who will see the field for substantial amounts of time this weekend.
A mid-fielder from Portland, Ore., McEvers said he is looking forward to seeing playing time, along with finding out what type of team the Griz have.
“It should be interesting seeing what all the new players have got,” McEvers said. “We’ll be leaning a lot on returners on offense and defense, but a lot of us haven’t been tested yet.”
Looking to lead the crop of new recruits is a handful of returning veterans. Sargent said he looks to experienced players such as captains Henry Sulzbacher and Jeremy Brown to show leadership throughout the weekend.
Also in the spotlight for the weekend is goaltender Ty Hall.
Last season Hall served time as the backup goalie, but this year he finds himself as the last line of defense for the Griz.
“Our goaltending is awesome, and I completely trust it,” Sargent said. “Hall’s got it.”
While Hall may provide the Griz with a strong backbone, Sargent said lacrosse isn’t a sport such as hockey where a goalie alone can change the course of the game.
“Ty can definitely be a game changer,” Sargent said. “But Lacrosse is typically a high-scoring sport. He can keep us in it. But, for us to compete, we’ll have to score some goals.”
This doesn’t mean having a stud in net hinders the rest of the team.
“Having someone back there like Ty really helps the confidence of the rest of the team,” McEvers said. “With him we feel more confident in going for a check or slide because we know he’s there to back us up.”
Montana has had their way with Oregon State in the past. Sargent said he doesn’t recall the Griz ever losing to the Beavers.
But, the Ducks are a different case. Last season Oregon beat the Griz 11–6 at Washington Grizzly Stadium, and that came against a veteran Montana team.
As for the matchup this weekend, Sargent fears there might be a little learning for the Griz to do.
“Oregon State is a team we can play. We’ve beaten them every time and we’re hoping to continue that,” Sargent said. “But Oregon is a team that I’m a little concerned might put on a clinic.”
Obviously, the coach hopes to come out of the weekend with a 2–0 record, but Sargent said he would be happy with a split and some well earned experience for all of the new players.
“The numbers are good this year and the team will grow together over the season,” Sargent said. “I expect nothing but good things, but there will be some growing pains early on.”