Sticks up

What is lacrosse? A game where they use sticks, balls and goals? What sounded more like hockey with no ice, or soccer with weapons, is actually more like a combination of both.

What is lacrosse? A game where they use sticks, balls and goals? What sounded more like hockey with no ice, or soccer with weapons, is actually more like a combination of both.

Lacrosse players wear protective gear similar to hockey, but have positions like soccer. The ball is smaller than a hockey puck, the sticks have nets on them and although there was no ice anywhere in sight, Saturday night felt cold enough to produce some.

Once play started, the similarities continued. Hockey is known for body checking, fighting and a heightened sense of violent aggression. Lacrosse does not disappoint in this area. Throughout the game, sounds of sticks hitting anything in their path could be heard from one end of the Stott Field to the other.

Bodies would fly as a well-placed shoulder knocked someone sideways trying to knock the ball loose from a player’s stick. It was disappointing to not see teeth spit out on the sidelines, but then again, this is not hockey.

The Portland State Lacrosse Club finished their third game of the season against the University of Nevada-Reno with a 17–1 victory. The Vikings, so far undefeated this season, took an obvious control over their opponents with a halftime score of 7–1, but even that did not slow these players down.

In the huddle, the PSU squad highlighted ways to improve on their game and communicate on the field. They came back from halftime and more than doubled their score. Senior attacker Christopher Riedl scored impressive back-to-back goals late in the fourth quarter.

Riedl, with 3.67 goals per game, is high on the Pacific Northwest Collegiate Lacrosse League’s Division I stats books.

Though the sport is still considered new to Portland State, some players have been playing since they were in grade school. Freshman attacker Nikolaj Lund was introduced to the game when he was seven years old through a friend, and said he just never stopped playing.

Junior midfielder Jake Ostrow has been playing for seven years and, along with Lund, sees his days filled with lacrosse. When they’re not in class or playing for the Portland State club, Ostrow coaches lacrosse at Tigard High School and Lund works at Bigfoot Lacrosse on Beaverton-Hillsdale Hwy.

With seven games remaining in the spring season, the Portland State Lacrosse Club has several tests ahead. This Sunday, the Vikings host the club from the University of Idaho, and on March 6 the Boise State team will come to play on the Stott Field. On March 14, Portland State travels to Eugene to play the Ducks.

“Idaho is going to be our biggest challenge in our league games,” Ostrow said. “But University of Oregon is the best team we play.”

Currently, the majority of teams playing lacrosse at the NCAA level are in the eastern part of the country, but popularity is gaining here in the west. Despite not playing at a varsity level, the Portland State squad plays clubs from other universities around the region.

In addition to club participation and involvement, fan support is always welcome.

“We love having fans,” Lund said.

The game and the Portland State players are exciting, and their passion for their sport is obvious. More information on the club, as well as a complete schedule can be found at

Upcoming games

Sun, Feb. 28 – Idaho at PSU, 1 p.m. Stott Field
Sat, March 6 – Boise State at PSU, Noon, Stott Field