Sneaking a peek at the lacrosse season

This February on Stott Field, a group of men will get together in Vikings uniforms with raised adrenaline and sticks in search of victory.

This February on Stott Field, a group of men will get together in Vikings uniforms with raised adrenaline and sticks in search of victory.

The men of the Portland State Lacrosse Club will start their first game of the season on Saturday, Feb. 5, against Western Washington University. Recently, club founder and captain James Taylor had a few moments to talk about the upcoming season.

In its fourth year at PSU, the Lacrosse Club has come a long way. The first two years were a bit shaky, according to Taylor, but the addition of head coach Jon Ewertz has definitely changed the team for the better.

Ewertz, who is originally from Baltimore, played NCAA Division III lacrosse for Franklin & Marshall. This change in leadership “turned the program around,” said Taylor. “He brought class and a great value for education.” Since his arrival, the team has had more wins than losses and made it into the playoffs last season.

Founded in 2007, the club is only getting better with each season it puts under its belt. They are members of the Men’s Collegiate Lacrosse Association in the Division I Pacific Northwest Collegiate Lacrosse League, and are ranked fifth in their division at the start the new season.

The club’s ascension in rank is being noticed not only by the school that supports it, but by the division heads as well.

“Portland State getting the fifth place vote is surprising because it’s only their third year [in the league],” said PNCLL President Jason Stockton in an interview on collegelax.com. “It’s going to be an interesting season.”

The team’s success is largely a result of the players’ skill on the field, but it is also a result of their unity as a team to face any challenge off the field. The team acts as a family, and is a support system for the new players. Within their first week, new players are taken on a campus tour and shown where the tutoring centers are. “We want to make sure they are comfortable here,” Taylor said.

Recruiting has also increased with their success, and they’ve acquired a few new faces for the upcoming season. Among them is junior Spencer Smith, a transfer student from Herkimer County Community College in Herkimer, N.Y..

“He is a natural leader,” Taylor said. “He pushes everyone to give 100 percent and lifts everyone around him.”

Unfortunately, to make room for the new players, the club had to say goodbye to someone. Senior Christopher Riedl graduated at the end of last season and left a big hole on their team. “Losing him and filling his shoes has been difficult,” Taylor said.

Riedl scored the most goals last season and had the highest goals per game on the team. The team is always recruiting, and students interested in joining can send e-mails to [email protected]

The Lacrosse Club’s preseason has been very successful with two shutout games and a 6-1 record. The only loss came to the University of Oregon, who is ranked No. 9 in the country.

Portland State lacrosse is on track for a very successful season, and with their enthusiastic fan base and free games, a student couldn’t find a more affordable and exciting Saturday-night event. ?