By: Natalie Van Dyke/ GCU Staff
Playing its third annual season debut scrimmage against Arizona State University, the Grand Canyon University Ultimate team came away with a hard-fought, come-from-behind 10-9 victory over the Sun Devils Tuesday night at Prescott Field on the GCU campus. Coming off a long weekend and a summer apart from one another, the Lopes had a slower start than they had hoped for, but battled neck-and-neck all night with the Sun Devils.
In a game that featured seven ties and never saw a lead larger than two, GCU scored the first point of the game, but fell behind, 6-4, at halftime, and trailed ASU for most of the night.
“We started off a little slow, which makes sense coming out of summer break,” said Lopes’ captain Aaron Nunn. “We battled through the tough times at the start and fought back. There were a couple of problems on defense, but we just stayed with it.”
The Lopes came out with a burst of energy to start the second half, scoring in the first minute to narrow the Sun Devil lead to just one point. A defensive focus kept the Lopes alive, with GCU’s Corbin Laird leading the way with three defensive stops on the night. That helped the Lopes hold ASU to three scores after halftime.
GCU took its first second-half lead with a defensive stop that they turned into an ensuing score, giving the Lopes an 8-7 advantage with just under 15 minutes left in the game. ASU tied the score two more times, including knotting things up at 9-9 with three minutes left, but would go no further. Grant Goodman scored the go-ahead goal for the Lopes with 90 seconds left to secure the win.
Beating their archrivals is always sweet, but there is more to Tuesday’s story for GCU Ultimate than just a win.
“It’s a mile marker for where we are at, and a chance to generate as much interest as we can in the team,” said GCU senior Micah Gross. “Our goal has never been just the current year. We want to be a building block to grow the program in the future and set the tone for success now and for years to come.”
Even though they’ve taken the field once already this season, the team is still looking for new members for this season. Those interested in finding out more about GCU Ultimate can attend their informational meeting this Thursday night, Sept. 5 at 6 pm in Building 1, Room 101.