Check out BTB Lax’s Jesse Miller’s analysis of what was an exciting Championship Weekend in NCAA Division I Men’s Lacrosse […]
SALT LAKE CITY, UT — The No. 3 team in Division II lacrosse came into town Wednesday, as the Westminster Griffins men’s lacrosse team hosted the University of Tampa Spartans on what was a picturesque day in Salt Lake City.
Tampa got on the board first after a goal by Andrew Kew, assisted by Chris Cox. Tampa would go up 3-0 before Westminster answered with a goal of their own from Bridger Fisher, making the score 3-1. Tampa would then go on an eight-goal run to finish the quarter 11-1 in favor of the Spartans.
Westminster had a nice run 6-3 goal run in the fourth quarter, but Tampa was largely in control for the duration of the game.
Positives for Westminster included holding the Tampa man-up unit to zero goals on the day on three attempts, having a one-hundred percent clearing percentage, and only managing eight turnovers.
“I didn’t see any intimidation. In other times when we’ve gone up against teams that were really good, I think our kids didn’t play well because they were really nervous,” said Westminster head coach Mason Goodhand. “I didn’t think we were in awe of them.”
The difference in the game appeared to be at the faceoff-X, and in the ground ball game. Tampa went 23-30 on faceoffs and controlled 35 ground balls to Westminster’s 13.
“I thought our effort was fine. You leapfrog a level of play and you go to the very elite and its fast learning process,” said Goodhand. “It’s a little painful but it happens pretty quick. At least our guys have a pretty good idea of what it takes to be competitive in the post season.”
Goodhand was appreciative of Tampa head coach Rory Whipple taking his team out to Utah after Westminster travelled to Tampa last year.
“For him to bring his team out here was really great for western lacrosse,” Goodhand said.
Westminster will take on the Maryville Saints on Saturday, March 10 at 2:00 p.m. MT. Maryville is coming off of a 3-4 record thus far in the season.