Men’s lacrosse fights hard against Alma

Senior defender Jacob Tom, shown above, controls the ball and looks to pass upfield to a fellow Crusader. University of Dallas Photo .

On Saturday, Feb. 25 the University of Dallas men’s lacrosse team faced Alma College.

Alma lacrosse has one of the best programs Dallas has faced, but the Crusaders approached the game with confidence.

“I was very optimistic,” sophomore attacker/midfielder Peter Early said.

“We came off of a tough weekend,” freshman Tyler Smith said. “Coach told us to keep our heads up and give the biggest fight we could.”

Despite this instruction, the Crusaders started off slowly and struggled to get shots off the entire game.

The Scots, on the other hand, were strong through the half, at one point scoring three goals in just over a minute.

They continued to fire shots until Early, who played both attack and midfield on Saturday, due to a teammate’s injury, broke the streak by scoring UD’s first goal late in the third quarter.

Early, Smith and sophomore attacker Ben Blessard scored: Early with three goals, Smith with two and Blessard with one.

“[Blessard and I] call ourselves the 14-15 combo,” Early said, referring to their respective jersey numbers.

Early was not the only player who played multiple positions that game.

Freshman long-stick midfielder (LSM) Bogar Trout III played defense and midfield to help cover for injuries as well.

“I am officially [an] LSM, but I am one of those utility players that can go wherever I am needed,” Trout said. “Coach has put me in those situations during practice so I am used to it; I just have not picked up a short stick in a couple of weeks.”

After the third quarter, the Crusaders were a little more put together with Blessard, Early and Smith scoring in the fourth quarter.

“[Defense] started off a little slow, but as [the]game went on we [got] a lot better, started talking more, communicating. That is the best I have ever seen us play in my four years on defense,” senior defender Nicholas Baeza said.

Dallas also took advantage of the man-up goals for three of their six goals.

Alma took a 6-12 win in the end, but the Crusaders did not seem at a loss.

There was no heroic comeback, not even many notable plays for the books, but something about that game seemed to lift up the Crusaders’ spirits.

“We played a heck of a game, easily the best game I have ever seen from this program,” Smith said.

“We came out slow in the first, but we definitely picked stuff up and gave them a run for their money in the second half,” Trout said.

Men’s lacrosse came from one tough weekend to another challenging team and played one of the best games they have played in a long time.

“We can do this,” Early said excitedly. “We can prove to the country that we are no longer a losing team and that we are going to bounce back and be a competitor in the next few years.”

Through this loss, the team found inspiration.

They may have injuries and a losing record, but, most importantly, they have a winning attitude.

The Crusaders will be back on the home field against SUNY Oneonta on Monday, March 6 at 3 p.m.



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