The men’s lacrosse team secured their 13th win in a row at home against the Whittier College Poets (5–8) this weekend in a continued show of dominance that has the entire country on notice. Currently ranked 12th in the nation, the team will have the chance to move into the top ten once the rankings are updated.
Junior midfielder Tyler Borko spoke on the importance of such a great record.
“A 13–1 record is something that we as a program haven’t done in a while, so it’s definitely special,” Borko said. “It’s a great confidence booster for our team, and proves to ourselves and others that we can beat anyone in the country.”
This weekend’s game was a thriller for the home crowd, with an especially high-scoring first three quarters, as the score was 13–8 entering the final period.
Attackers Coby Petau , Robbie Stern, and Borko led the Tigers. Petau struck six times, and Stern and Borko put up three goals each. Not coincidentally, these are the three leading goal scorers for the team, with Petau leading the trio at 48 goals on the season, and Stern and Borko trail with 40 and 32, respectively.
The Tigers were strong from the beginning, scoring eight of the first 11 goals of the game. The game went into halftime with a score of 8–5.
“In the past few games, we haven’t been as proficient on offense as we normally are. This weekend we got back to playing offense the way we have been all season,” Borko said. “Also, we had some guys that haven’t seen the field as much this season, and they stepped up and did some great things for us.”
The offensive firepower was on display all afternoon, as the Tigers put up 52 shots during the game. The Poets just couldn’t match up, with only 27 shots by the end of the game. A significant part of the attack for the Tigers was their domination in faceoffs. Faceoff specialists senior Jackson Kaplan, junior Parker Woo, and sophomore Ben Schwaeber went 21 for 26 on the contest. Woo was the most impressive, though, winning all eight of his faceoffs.
Additionally,, the Tigers were more efficient with their extra-man opportunities, going 2–6, while the Poets were shut out on the power play, going 0–3. The Poets were able to stick with the Tigers in taking care of the ball, as each team turned it over 21 times.
The Tigers’ defensive effort also played an important role. First-year goalkeeper PJ Offner played the entire game and stopped seven shots. Borko made sure to make known the talent on this year’s team.
“We have a ton of talent on this team and as a whole are very poised,” Borko said. “There’s just some little things schematically and situationally that we need to fix as offense or defensive units, that if we focus on should have no problem correcting.”
The NCAA tournament bracket is released this Sunday, May 6, and the Tigers look forward to finding out their place as well as their possibility of a home game.
“I’m just very excited to see where we fall in the tournament bracket,” Borko said. “I’m confident we will be able to perform like we have been all season and hopefully a home tournament game is in our future.”
A confident Borko went on to speak about the team’s expectations.
“Our expectations for the tournament is to win a national championship,” Borko said. “There’s really no other way to go into it than with that goal in mind. I really believe we have the ability this year, especially over every other year that I’ve been here. To win it all, we just need to continue to play like we know how.”