By David Carter/GCU Club Sports Web Marketing Intern (Photo Courtesy of Gillian Rea)
“The boys are fired up. No one wants this to be our last week.”
The fire mentioned by GCU Men’s Lacrosse long-stick middie Aidan Ryan has burned inside the team ever since their win at UNLV to close out the regular season. To keep their 2019 campaign going, the Lopes will need to carry that fire down Interstate 10 to Tucson for Saturday’s matchup against No. 13 University of Arizona in the first round of the Southwestern Lacrosse Conference Playoffs.
No. 21 GCU (4-7) will look to avenge their 10-3 loss to U of A March 29 at GCU Stadium. The Lopes shot the ball 42 times, but only found the net three times – something GCU Men’s Lacrosse Head Coach Manny Rapkin is looking to reverse.
“We have to shoot the ball better,” said Rapkin. “We had lots of good looks against their defense. They played zone against us and we just did not convert.”
“It is about us finishing shots,” emphasized Ryan. “We have to continue to get those good looks, take advantage of those opportunities and bury those shots.”
Although the Lopes’ focus is improving the offense, their defense held the Wildcats to ten goals, which is something the Lopes can work with.
“Giving up anything under ten is when we feel like we can win games,” said Rapkin. “If we can hold them under ten, we will be in good shape.”
Faceoff for the Lopes and Wildcats is scheduled for 1 pm this Saturday, April 20 at David Sitton Memorial Field on U of A’s campus in Tucson. If the Lopes win, they will travel to Carlsbad, California to face No. 5 Chapman University (13-2) in the semifinals of the 2019 SLC Championship Tournament on Friday, April 26.
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