By David Carter/GCU Club Sports Web Marketing Intern (Photo Courtesy of Gillian Rea)
“We went up there and did what we had to do to win. Now we are waiting to see who we will play next week.”
Suddenly facing a ‘must-win’ situation to earn a playoff spot, the GCU Men’s Lacrosse team built an early lead and maintained it throughout en route to a 13-9 victory Thursday night over the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV). The win capped off the regular season schedule and snapped the Lopes’ three-game losing skid. The victory also clinches the Lopes a spot in the Southwestern Lacrosse Conference (SLC) Playoffs next weekend against an undetermined foe.
Lopes’ faceoff specialist Jesse Guilbault was huge in helping the Lopes get the road victory, giving the Lopes’ possession of the ball by winning 22 of the 23 faceoffs he competed in. Along with Guilbault, Lopes’ midfielder Ayden Garwood and attackman Spencer Tate each scored three goals for the Lopes, while fellow attacker Cam Gilmore put two in the net. Tate and Gilmore each added a pair of assists.
This win against UNLV was also a milestone for GCU, since it was the 90th victory in program history. Since Manny Rapkin has been the head coach, the Lopes have averaged 11 wins per season, and have a 75% winning percentage.
Now the Lopes – who were ranked No. 21 in the latest Men’s Collegiate Lacrosse Association Poll – will play the waiting game after clinching the #3 seed in the SLC Division 1-South Playoffs last night. The Lopes will face the loser of this Saturday’s matchup between No. 4 Arizona State University and No. 12 University of Arizona in Glendale. The first round of the SLC Playoffs will be played April 20 in either Glendale (at the ASU West Campus if ASU wins) or Tucson.
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