By David Carter/GCU Club Sports Web Marketing Intern
“You cannot win this game scoring six goals.”
Despite seeing his young defense show drastic improvement, Grand Canyon University Men’s Lacrosse Head Coach Manny Rapkin still saw his offense struggle in the 2nd half to fall to No. 12 Brigham Young University, 10-6, at GCU’s Prescott Field Saturday afternoon. The loss – which was a rematch of last year’s first-round game at the MCLA National Championships – dropped the Lopes to 2-4 on the season.
“We had opportunities and we had a plan,” said Rapkin. “We just could not get the ball to the spot we wanted to enough. When we did, we were successful.”
GCU fired 38 shots on goal, but only found the net six times. The Lopes are 0-4 this season when they score ten goals or less in a game.
Not all was lost for Rapkin Saturday.
“Our defense was outstanding and put together a whole game today,” Rapkin said. “If the defense keeps playing like this, we are going to be in a position to win games. Now we just have to score some goals.”
The ten goals allowed was the second-lowest number the Lopes’ defense have let in all season, behind the nine they gave up in their victory against Colorado State University last Saturday.
The Cougars led the whole game, scoring the lone two goals of the first period. The Lopes fought within one twice in the second quarter – thanks to attackman Cam Wengreniuk’s team-leading 16th & 17th goals of the year, but the Lopes couldn’t tie it. BYU rallied at the end of the quarter to score twice late to a 5-2 halftime edge.
In the 3rd quarter, the Lopes again found their way back into the game as Wengreniuk netted his third goal of the day, and freshman midfielder Ayden Garwood scored on an assist from fellow middie Kyle Crews to narrow the lead to 5-4. Once again, the Cougars answered with two more to push the lead to three before Wengreniuk found the net for a 4th time to cut the Lopes’ deficit to 7-5 at the end of the period.
That’s when GCU’s offensive drought took hold as BYU scored three in succession to put the game away. Lopes’ midfielder Cody Clark scored the last goal to end the scoring.
With their six-game homestand now concluded, even with facing nothing but nationally ranked teams so far, the Lopes’ schedule might just get more difficult.
Next up for the Lopes is their first game in Southwestern Lacrosse Conference play, as they will play against No. 6 ranked (and undefeated) Concordia University Irvine (CUI) in Irvine, California, next Saturday.
“Every game the rest of the way is a must-win,” said Rapkin. “We have to have a great week of practice, and get better at practice. We have a big challenge on the road.”
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