Season cut short, but heads remain high
New Coach. New System. Big steps forward.
The Grand Canyon University Men’s Lacrosse program finished their season much earlier than anticipated due to the coronavirus pandemic, but despite their 2-3 overall record, the Lopes showed immense improvement on and off the field.
“We took some important steps forward in order to get the program back on track to compete at a national level again,” said Lopes’ Head Coach Jeff Guy. “The guys are starting to understand the level of commitment, attitude, effort and skills that are needed to compete at the highest level.”
With a new man at the helm, the players had to adapt quickly to a new system on both the offensive and defensive ends. Due to excellent leadership on and off the field, the transition was seamless.
“Learning an entirely different offensive system is hard to do,” said Guy. “We changed our offensive transition, substitution and settled offensive schemes. It is a lot to process, but everyone was open, coachable and worked hard at learning the new system.”
During their abbreviated schedule, a few Lopes’ players stood out and made an impression on Guy and the rest of the GCU faithful. Lopes’ junior captain Kyle Crews had a strong showing, scoring seven goals and five assists with a team-high 44% shooting percentage. Sophomore midfielder Griffin Rodas also took a huge step forward, finishing the season second on the team in goals scored (11) and points (16).
“Crews really stepped up and became a vocal leader for us this past season,” said Guy. “He had a great start to the season, and I was looking forward to seeing how the rest of the year was going to play out for him.
“On the other hand, Rodas made the transition from being a short stick defensive midfielder in 2019 to our top scoring offensive midfielder in 2020.”
The Lopes ended their season on a high note with a 14-3 route of University of California, Los Angeles, giving them confidence that their return to national prominence is right around the corner.
“A lot of the concepts, terminology, and schemes were foreign to all of our players, but it was clicking,” said Guy. “I am looking forward to getting back to work with these guys this coming fall.”