| March 20, 2018

M. Lacrosse: Gem State Bragging Rights

April 25, 2016

The Vandals men’s club lacrosse team opened the season with a rain-filled showing against Gonzaga Feb. 13 and concluded the season in a downpour Saturday at Guy Wicks Field against Boise State.

Both teams battled for loose balls, utilized hard tackles and dealt with fatigue for four quarters. But an early scoring surge for Boise State proved too much to overcome for the Vandals.

After defeating Washington State 18-9 Friday, the Broncos handed Idaho a 17-7 loss on the team’s home field.

Vandal head coach James Courter said the team put forth a strong effort in the season finale.

“We gave it our all and Boise State had the early lead,” Courter said. “But we came out strong in the second half with our late game rally. I’m proud of each member of the team, especially the three seniors for the effort and energy they invested in the program this season.”

Idaho entered halftime trailing Boise State 9-2, after the Broncos scored consecutive goals in less than two minutes during the second quarter.

Sophomore midfielder Andrew Welch and freshman defender Andrew Spangler provided the two goals in the first half for Idaho.

The Vandals rebounded from the team’s first-half woes with five goals in the second half to stay competitive in the matchup.

Senior defender Scott Kozisek said the team has routinely produced a strong second half after consistently beginning games at a slow tempo.

“We’ve always been known to be a second half team,” Kozisek said. “Being low on numbers, we come out timid. But then in the second half, we gave it our all on the field.”

Idaho senior captain A.J. Gravel said several opposing programs have complimented the team’s ability to succeed with a small roster.

“Every matchup I’ve had, they always said how much of a battle it is playing Idaho,” Gravel said. “Also they say how unexpectedly hard our team’s been working with our limited numbers, and it definitely showed in the fourth quarter.”

The Vandals entered the fourth quarter trailing 14-5, but converted quick scores in the opening minutes to pull within 14-7.

Boise State responded with three consecutive goals of their own to put the game out of reach for Idaho.

The win improves Boise State’s record to 7-7 overall after the team dropped six straight road games. Idaho falls to 2-10 overall.
Senior defender Chris Moran said the Vandals earned respect from opposing teams, despite the team’s initial record.

“It’s always a fight till the end,” Moran said. “We’ve always played hard on every ground ball all the way to the end of the game.”
Courter said team remained positive throughout the ups and downs of the season.

“Saturday’s game was about having one last opportunity with this year’s team roster,” Courter said. “It’s a young program with a lot of youthful potential and it was one last chance to prove ourselves and show the Men’s Collegiate Lacrosse Association what we’re made of.”

Kozisek said the team is heading in the right direction for the fall.

“The program is going to go places in a few years,” Kozisek said. “We have a very solid freshman class and young guys that have the potential and work ethics. So be on the lookout for Vandal lacrosse in the upcoming years.”

Luis Torres can be reached at arg-sports@uidaho.edu or on Twitter @TheLTFiles

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