By David Carter/GCU Club Sports Web Marketing Intern
Leading most of the way, the GCU Men’s Lacrosse team found the No. 25 California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly) Mustangs too much to handle in the 4th quarter and lost, 15-10, Sunday afternoon at Prescott Field on the GCU campus. The loss dropped the Lopes to a record of 1-2 on the season.
GCU – who are ranked No. 11 in the latest Men’s Collegiate Lacrosse Association (MCLA) Poll – led 9-8 heading into the fourth quarter, but Cal Poly displayed a strong offensive and defensive effort, outscoring the Lopes, 7-1 in the final quarter to win the game.
“We were terrible,” said GCU Men’s Lacrosse Head Coach Manny Rapkin after the game. “We did not execute. We were good on offense in the first quarter, but after that, we had too many [offensive and defensive] breakdowns.”
The Lopes quickly jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the game’s opening four minutes – courtesy of goals from midfielder Kyle Crews and attackmen Ryan McDonald and Cam Wengreniuk.
Leading 4-2 after one, the 2nd quarter opened similarly to the 1st for the Lopes, getting another pair of goals from midfielders Cody Clark and Crews.
This four-goal lead truly was brief, since the Mustangs swung the momentum in their favor just 16 seconds later. Cal Poly scored three goals within about a minute of each other to close the Lopes’ lead to 6-5 heading into halftime.
The third quarter saw each team score three times, as Clark and Wengreniuk tallied their second goal each and attackman Cameron Gilmore scored his first.
Then the 4th quarter began.
The Mustangs reclaimed the lead, scoring twice to take a 10-9 lead before Wengreniuk scored what would be the last GCU goal of the game.
It was all Cal Poly from then on.
“Everybody has to do their job,” said Rapkin. “Nobody did their job today.”
One area that proved costly for the Lopes? Face-offs. Compared to Saturday’s victory against University of California, Santa Barbara, in which GCU won 23 of 29 face-offs, Sunday was a different story, since the Lopes won just 11 of 28. This proved especially advantageous for the Mustangs late, who secured seven of nine face-offs in the 4th quarter to open up extra scoring opportunities.
Although the Lopes were defeated by Cal Poly Sunday afternoon, Rapkin remains optimistic for the Lopes’ remaining opponents, including their upcoming game against the No. 9 University of Colorado.
“We’ve got to get our act together,” said Rapkin. “We have a young team that is capable of doing some great things. We just have to focus on the details and execute.”
The Lopes will be in for a tough test against the Buffaloes, since CU has won their last two games, and have outscored their opponents, 30-11, this season.
GCU and Colorado will clash on Thursday, February 28 at 7:00 p.m. at GCU Stadium. Admission is FREE.
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