By: Garrett Osterode/GCU Staff
After a rather forgettable 2019, the Grand Canyon University Men’s Lacrosse team aims to return to glory and once again stand amongst the giants of the Mens Collegiate Lacrosse Association.
The Lopes team kicks off their 2019-20 campaign, on Saturday, February 22, when they travel to San Luis Obispo, California to take on the No. 18 Broncos of Santa Clara University. Though last year’s season wasn’t exactly a storybook ending, Lopes Head Coach Jeffrey Guy, who begins his second tour of duty at the helm of the program – has his sights set on returning to glory.
“Each year, we want to be competitive in the Southwest Lacrosse Conference,” said Guy. “We want to be competitive on a national level.”
The Lopes welcome back numerous starters from the 2019 team, as well as important newcomers who have already established themselves as difference makers for this year’s team.
Having spent the past five years as the Lopes defensive coordinator, Guy has emphasized the importance of the goaltender position and is comfortable where the depth lies in front of the net.
“Jamie [McKay] has come a long way in the past three years,” said Guy. “I’m confident in his ability to save the ball through the work that he’s put in. He is essentially the quarterback of our team.”
Effective goaltending needs a solid defensive front, and the Lopes return six defenders, including one of this year’s team captains, Aidan Ryan.
“Ryan contributed to our 2017 national championship team as a freshman,” said Guy. “He knows the defense better than anyone, and knows what it takes to win.”
On offense, Cameron Gilmore is the top returning scorer, scoring 17 goals in just 13 games as a freshman. GCU Junior, and team captain, Kyle Crews, also adds versatility to the offensive attack, raking up 12 goals and 11 assists a season ago.
“[Crews] has emerged himself as a guy who holds people accountable,” said Guy. “It’s evident to everybody that this guy is at the top of our lacrosse program hierarchy.”
A few others to keep an eye on are Spencer Tate and Cian Peterson, both coming off solid seasons and aiming for breakout senior campaigns.
Click here to see the entire GCU men’s lacrosse roster.
As the Lopes embark on their first season under Guy, they face one of the most demanding schedules in the country. Eight of their regular season opponents are currently ranked in the MCLA Poll and they will face two of those to open the season. The Lopes, home schedule includes MCLA powerhouse No. 3 Chapman (Mar. 27 at GCU Stadium), No. 9 Brigham Young University and No. 11 Concordia University Irvine, and No. 24, arch rival, Arizona State University.
The Lopes open up the 2020 season this Saturday, Feb. 22 against No. 18 Santa Clara then face No. 5 California Polytechnic State University. Both games will be held in San Luis Obispo.
Click here to see the entire Lopes 2020 schedule.
Interested in joining GCU Lacrosse? Contact the coach for the men’s ice hockey team to learn more!