GCU men’s lacrosse wanted to work on its offense after taking its first defeat of the season.
Oh, did it ever.
The Lopes thumped Utah State, 24-2, at home Friday night, scoring 12 goals in the game’s first 20 minutes at Prescott Field. GCU, ranked third in the nation, even flirted with a rare shutout into the fourth quarter.
The Lopes scored the game’s first 18 goals before allowing Utah State’s first goal with 12:19 remaining.
“It definitely was a good little reboot from last week,” said GCU freshman midfielder Cooper Snowbarger, who scored a team-high five goals Friday night. “It was a good night to get some kinks out in the offense for the next teams coming up. We could’ve come out against Utah State and just iso’d every time and tried to get a goal like that but working as a team for the offense was definitely the best thing for us.”
GCU sophomore attacker Cam Wengreniuk scored four of the goals that helped build a 12-0 Lopes leadless than five minutes into the second quarter, when sophomore midfielder Anthony Hughes capped the scoring binge.
GCU (4-1) opened the season with two victories against top-10 opponents but the players were anxious to return to action after a 13-7 setback to second-ranked Brigham Young on March 10.
“Our practices are high intensity but it’s a lot different when you’re playing somebody with a different uniform on so this win was a good learning experience for our guys,” GCU coach Manny Rapkin said.
Rapkin used each player on his 35-man roster in Friday night’s rout. Fifteen of them made collegiate debuts. Thirteen Lopes scored goals and three goalkeepers rotated into action.
“Our guys have to earn playing time in every game,” Rapkin said. “Our twos and threes (second- and third-teamers) got valuable experience and they got it because they work hard in practice every week and they earn the right to come out here and play in these situation. You don’t get everything for free here.
“They played well. I’m happy with what they did from the start to the finish.”
The Lopes next play March 21 at Nevada-Las Vegas before heading back out for March 24-24 road games at Sonoma State and Stanford.