Promising. If just one word could sum up the outlook for the Portland State lacrosse team, promising would be it. Competing in a new division for the first time, this season has been difficult and intimidating for the young squad who is playing its first official season together.
Promising. If just one word could sum up the outlook for the Portland State lacrosse team, promising would be it.
Competing in a new division for the first time, this season has been difficult and intimidating for the young squad who is playing its first official season together.
“We have been playing at the Division I level all year and we really feel like we can hold our own against any team that comes our way,” said sophomore defenseman Keegan Matsukado.
While the team existed last year as a club sport, this is the Vikings’ first season as a part of the Pacific Northwest College Lacrosse League, a competitive group of teams from Northwest colleges and universities.
In their fall season, the Vikings saw some promising results, particularly in wins over Portland, Pacific and Willamette.
“Those scrimmages were designed to make us more comfortable playing together as a team,” said freshman midfielder Zach Rolland. “They were good opportunities to feel out how we would do this season.”
Rolland is the Vikings’ second-leading goal scorer this season behind Christopher Riedl, a sophomore attacker for the team.
But playing in the difficult PNCLL against more established teams has proven to be a daunting task for the club. This past Saturday, the Vikings dropped a tough loss to visiting Gonzaga at Stott Field, 15-7.
“We were able to climb within 10-7 in the fourth quarter, and looked to be clicking on all cylinders, but we ended up struggling with consistency in the end,” Matsukado said. “We did look a lot more improved though and we are definitely ready to grab a win next weekend.”
Portland State will take on Humboldt State in a nonconference matchup this Saturday at 3 p.m. in its final match before the season finale, scheduled for April 26 against Boise State. Both matches will take place at the Stott Community Field.
“We should have a pretty good chance against a team like Boise State, who are also a relatively new program. It will all depend on our will to win though,” Rolland said.
A glance at the conference standings and one would question whether the team has had a very successful season. The squad is 0-7 in its division and 0-8 overall with just the two games remaining on the schedule.
But the team believes that with hard work and continued development of the young talent on the roster, it could be a force to be reckoned with in the PNCLL.
“This season has kind of been trial and error for us. We are going up against teams who have played together for three to four years,” Rolland said. “We still haven’t even completed our first full season yet. But I expect us to be a lot more competitive next season for sure.”