The University of Dallas men’s lacrosse team started their season Feb. 19, with a trip to Austin to play the Goucher Gophers, a ranked D-3 school from Maryland. Frank Sporleder had the inaugural goal of the season, and Chris Kerner also netted a goal by the end of the game. Despite losing 30-2 the Crusaders had a strong showing, especially against such a formidable opponent.
After regrouping, the Crusaders went head to head with another strong team, Fontbonne, for the season opener. The Crusaders were evenly matched in most aspects of the game, except for shots on goal (52 compared to 17). Sporleder continued to perform as a top player of the team by netting another goal. Lincoln O’Brien also had a goal which was assisted by Michael “Ghost” O’Connor.
Sporleder and Kerner led the team in groundballs. The Crusaders again lost by a larger spread than was indicative of their level of play, with the final score being 19-2 in Fontbonne’s favor.
The next day, the Crusaders took the field with the University of Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns. Although the game was a close contest, the Crusaders lost by two goals with a final score of 10-8 for the Cajuns The UD squad was led by Sporleder again in scoring with four goals, followed by Steven Joseph with two, and Chris Kerner and Cody Wooten with one a piece. Despite the close loss, the UD squad was ready to play the next day for the last of three consecutive games.
The Crusaders were fired up for their last game of the weekend, against Oklahoma State. Statistically their best game, Sporleder and O’Connor led the team with four goals a piece. Joseph notched a hat trick and Cody Wooten added on another two goals. Kerner, Lank and Kaiser each had a goal apiece. The game gave hope for greener pastures as the Crusaders won 16-4, while dominating face-offs and groundballs.
The team had a long rest until playing the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy on a cold, rainy day during spring break. The team looked to both Sporleder and Kerner for face-offs, at which the Crusaders were competitive. Sporleder set a school record for groundballs in a single game with 15. Kerner had two goals, and Sporleder and O’Brien also had one a piece. Although the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy won with a final score of 21-4, the Crusaders had a good showing against this strong East-Coast team.
This weekend the team travels to Colorado College to play their first conference game of the year.