Lacrosse has quickly moved from its unorthodox nature into a mainstream sport.
At CSB/SJU, both campuses have club lacrosse teams that are making a statement on the national stage.
Although both teams are considered club sports, both teams are proving they have the competitive ability of a varsity sport.
This past weekend, the Johnnies competed in their conference tournament and made it to Sunday’s championship game.
The No. 4 seeded Johnnies took home a come-back win in the second round on Saturday against No. 1 seeded University of Minnesota Duluth.
After trailing for most of the game, the Johnnies came back and pulled ahead in the fourth quarter to secure a 9-7 win and advance to the final round.
On Sunday, the Johnnies traveled back to the cities to take on rival St. Thomas.
SJU fell to St. Thomas 13-11 earlier in the year, but they were hoping to take down the higher-seeded Tommies.
Unfortunately, they couldn’t squeak out another win.
After falling behind by 6 in the first half, the Johnnies couldn’t fight back. The final score ended 16-12.
Although they didn’t win the conference title, the SJU lacrosse team still received a bid to the National Tournament.
“It feels great,” senior attack Brooks Armitage said via email. “Last year we were the first team in St. John’s history that didn’t go to Nationals. The seniors really came together and knew that wasn’t the legacy we wanted to leave behind. So we are thrilled to get the bid, but the work is just beginning.”
The Johnnies were disqualified last year due to a member of the team not taking enough credits.
This year, they aren’t letting anything get in their way.
“Obviously we would have wanted to get a higher seed to have an easier run,” Armitage said. “But I feel very confident in our players that we will do just fine. We just need to play our game.”
They begin their tournament appearance on May 8 in Irvine, California against California State Fullerton.
“Team goal is to win it all,” Armitage said. “This team has overcome a lot of adversity this season and I am very proud of how we have come together as a team instead of giving up. In the National tournament anything can happen.”
Across I-94, CSB lacrosse is making quite the noise as well.
The CSB lacrosse team has had a successful year, capping off the season with an overall record of 13-3.
In the seven-team playoff tournament, it was seeded second, just behind rival St. Thomas.
The team started off the tournament with a win against St. Olaf, following it up with a victory against Iowa State, landing them a spot in the championship game. Their opponent on Sunday was none other than the Tommies.
St. Ben’s held on for a nail-biting 8-7 win over the top seed, earning them an automatic bid to Nationals.
“As a senior, it feels amazing to be competing again at Nationals,” senior goalie Paige Maki said. “Especially since last year was heartbreaking that we didn’t make it. We really brought it this year, and have worked through all the hardest parts of the year as a team.”
The CSB lacrosse team has qualified for Nationals in three of the past four years, and they are ready to go again.
This year, the team is seeded No. 10 and they face tough competition in the first round robin play against No. 3 seeded Loyola University Maryland and No. 6 seeded University of Utah.
The team is equipped with new coaches this year and are hoping that the two CSB grads can help them pull off some upsets.
“We had to learn a whole new style of playing with new coaches,” Maki said. “Amanda Dvorak (’14) and Emily Gould (’15), both CSB grads, have done an amazing job to pull the team together and come out stronger than ever. They help us pick each other up when things get rough.”
The team is heading to Utah May 11-13, where they will take their game to the
“Without the whole team working together as a family, we could not have as much
success as we have,” Maki said. “We fully envelop our motto and cheer ‘As One’ which stands for working As One Unit, One team and One family. We do everything for more than just the individual; we do it for the family.”
Feature photo courtesy of MCLA