The Montana State University club lacrosse team fell short in their sudden death comeback attempt against the University of Montana (UM) Grizzlies this weekend, March 28-29. Competing for the Copper Cup against UM and the University of Great Falls (UGF) Argonauts, the Bobcats couldn’t quite complete the sweep they needed to claim the title.
The Bobcats handily defeated the UGF Argos 21-6 on March 28. Junior attack Preston Knight had a dominant performance, scoring four goals and assisting on another three. UGF kept it close for the first quarter, but thanks to a pair of quarters in which the Cats outscored the Argos 12-2, the game was sealed before the start of the final period. Leading the way for UGF was freshman midfield Dakota Norman, who put away two goals and assisted on another two.
The story was much different on Sunday when the Cats and the archrival Grizzlies faced off inside the home confines of Bobcat Stadium. The two squads traded punches in the first quarter, ending with a 3-2 MSU lead, but the Griz exploded in the second quarter, scoring six goals while holding the Cats to none. Undaunted, the Bobcats spent the second half battling their way back into the game, eventually tying the game at 12 apiece and holding out for overtime. Unfortunately for the MSU faithful, the Grizzlies scored the decisive overtime goal and claimed the victory along with the Copper Cup.
Senior midfield Connor Dack led the Cats with four goals and an assist and freshman midfield Louis Richman assisted on nearly half the teams goals with five assists. Sophomore Eric Larson scored five goals for the Grizzlies, bringing him to 28 goals on the season. Larson also had two assists.
“While losing another overtime game to the Griz was tough, it’s important for us to know that it’s just one game,” said junior MSU co-captain Jack Lundin after the weekend games. “We still have conference games and playoffs ahead of us to think about, so we’re now focused on beating Wyoming this Friday.”
The home split brings Montana State to 3-5 record, but are 2-1 in divisional play. The Cats have three games left in the regular season, and all three on home turf. They will face off against the University of Wyoming Cowboys this Friday, April 3 at 4 p.m. and then against Northern Colorado and Gonzaga the following weekend. The Bobcats will then look to defend their title as RMLC champions in the postseason.
“Obviously we want to win out going into the playoffs,” Lundin continued, “but more specifically we want to work on making better decisions offensively and being more disciplined on defense. If we improve in these areas, we’re going to be a tough team to beat in the postseason.”