The Seals Head to Playoffs After Loss to Buffalo

In the San Diego Seals‘ regular season finale against the Buffalo Bandits, the Seals lost 18-7, resulting in the Seals entering the playoffs as the #2 seed.

In the team’s regular season finale against the Buffalo Bandits, the San Diego Seals lost 18-7. A packed Pechanga Arena full of enthused lacrosse fans went home feeling down, but with the NLL playoffs beginning on Monday, May 6 there is room for optimism.

The Seals are set to play the Calgary Roughnecks in the western division semifinals game at 7:30 p.m on Monday at Pechanga. The Seals clinched the number two seed in the playoffs and home-field advantage on April 19.

Like the NBA, teams from the Eastern and Western conference make the postseason. Unlike the NBA, where eight teams from each conference make the playoffs, only four teams from each conference make the playoffs in box lacrosse.

On Saturday night, the Seals had an opportunity to clinch the number one seed out West. They had to beat the Bandits and the Colorado Mammoth had to beat the Saskatchewan Rush. Neither happened.

The season finale resulted in a dismal 11 point loss for the Seals. The team was held to a season low one goal in the first period and could not sustain any momentum.

San Diego cut the lead to 5-4 midway through the second quarter, but the Bandits quickly figured it out and expanded their lead 9-4 going into the break. The Seals were outshot 30 to 22 after two quarters.

Head Coach and general manager Patrick Merrill took note of his team’s lackluster play.

“In order to win games in this league you have to mentally prepare, you have to be motivated to play with a lot of heart and if you don’t these things happen.”

For the Bandits, Shawn Evans finished with six assists and two goals while his teammates Jordan Durston and Chase Fraser ended up each accomplishing the hat trick. Both finished with three goals.

San Diego found it difficult to get solid scoring opportunities in the game, turning the ball over and committing multiple shot clock violations. The Seals also committed five penalties and Buffalo took advantage of San Diego’s mistakes, going 3-3 on power plays.

Seals’ forward and captain Dan Dawson said this game will not linger on the team’s mind.

“We got to forget about this one. There was not one facet of the game where they didn’t control,” Dawson said. “When they control the game like that we can’t even compete with them.”

Dawson finished with 29 goals on the season he scored two and assisted on one against the Bandits on Saturday.

Even in a ruckus environment the Bandits found their offense early as Forwards Josh Byrne, Durston and Evans combined for five goals and four assists in the first half.

Merill has taken notice of the strong home crowd/fan base.

“It’s been a great ride so far [Playing in San Diego]” Merill said, “I wish we would’ve gave them a better game here tonight, but we plan to give them a better game next week [Against Calgary].”

The Seals are apart of the Nation Lacrosse League (NLL). The NLL has been around for 32 years and is the world’s only professional box lacrosse league. The Seals are an expansion team of the league, the NLL has 13 total teams.

The NLL ranks third in average attendance for professional indoor sports, behind the NHL and NBA.

The NLL rosters are made up of 21 players, six players including the goalie can be on the field during play. The game is made up of four 15 minute quarters, a 30 second shot clock, and a sudden death overtime. Body checks are allowed, but penalties are called for: high sticking, boarding, face masking, fighting, spearing, elbowing, holding, illegal cross-checking, slashing, and tripping.

Written by: Daniel Farr

SDSU Lacrosse Loses 7th Consecutive Game Against Utah Valley

The San Diego State Men’s Lacrosse team faced off against the 25th ranked Utah Valley on Saturday afternoon, losing 14-10.

The Aztecs came into the game with a 3-7 record, hoping to break a tough 6 game losing streak. Conversely, Utah Valley came in 7-1, fresh off a 23-9 loss to Arizona State. Unfortunately for the Aztecs, Utah Valley came out hot, taking a quick 5-1 lead. The Aztecs’ defense was unable to contain Utah’s fast moving offense. Pair that with bad turnovers and mental errors equaled a tough first quarter for the Aztecs.

The second quarter was more of the same for the Aztecs, as Utah valley was able to increase their lead to 8-3 going into the half. The Aztecs had a rough first half, recording merely 7 shots on net, and only being able to score 3 goals. Captain Pat Greene noticed the sluggish start for his team.

“We were not very good, we were slow and looked almost uninterested… We knew we had to get back into the game and keep fighting.”

Pat Greene

The Aztecs did just that in the third quarter. Greene was able to score 3 times in the third quarter to help cut the deficit. With good offense, the Aztecs also picked it up defensively in the third after a quick goalie switch at half. Goalie Steven O’Sullivan played lights out in the second half for the men’s lacrosse team. He was able to make 8 saves in the second half to keep the game close.

Although the Aztecs managed a quick goal at the start of the 4th, cutting the lead to just one for Utah Valley, the Aztecs soon regressed to their position at the start of the match, as Utah Valley scored 4 more goals, bringing the lead to 13-8 late in the fourth.

Ultimately the Aztecs were unable to complete the comeback and fell to Utah Valley 14-10 as their losing streak now stands at 7 in a row and are 3-8 overall. Captain Owen Schnur says this will not deter SDSU.

“It has been tough on all of us, but it is not over yet if we can win our next two conference games we can still make the playoffs. So we are going to work hard and focus on those two very important games.”

Owen Schnur

The Aztecs will take on the USC Trojans (6-5) on Saturday March 30th in a very crucial conference game.

Written by: Anthony Romano

SDSU Lacrosse Falls 13-9 to Arizona

Aztec men’s lacrosse

The San Diego State men’s lacrosse team went up against one of their rivals on Saturday, losing 13-9 against the University of Arizona.

The Aztecs men’s lacrosse team welcomed Arizona’s Wildcats over at the Mesa in what was a very anticipated game. Arizona came into the game with a 2-2 record and the Aztecs came in to the day at 3-2.

SDSU came out firing quickly taking a 4-0 lead just 4 minutes into the first quarter. Junior Pat Greene scored three of the goals and assisted on the fourth. Arizona was able to adjust to the Aztec offense and eventually go on a 4 goal run of their own ending the first quarter at a 4-4 tie.

Arizona took a 7-4 lead into the second half.

The offense continued to look flat starting the second half as bad turnovers and missed shots began to pile up for the Aztecs. They were finally able to break through towards the end of the third quarter but Arizona answered with two quick goals making it 9-5 heading to the fourth quarter.

The Aztecs offense finally started to click after Arizona was given a 3 minute non releasable penalty early in the fourth. SDSU scored 3 goals on the man up advantage cutting the deficit to just one. A few minutes later Junior Ben Borglin ripped a shot beating the Arizona evening the score at 9.

After they tied the game the Aztecs started to play undisciplined, leading to bad penalties and Arizona was able to capitalize scoring 4 unanswered goals of their own. Arizona would hold on to this lead and ultimately beat the Aztecs by a final of 13-9. After the game Junior captain Pat Greene had this to say about the loss.

“It was a tough loss, we had a chance to come back and win but we just lost our composure a little at the end,” Greene said. “We have to make sure not to let our emotions get the better of us in these close games.”

The Aztecs are now 3-3 on the season and will be on the road for two critical conference games this weekend. The Aztecs will take on Claremont on Saturday and Concordia Irvine on Sunday. Concordia Irvine is led by former Aztec Coach Jesse Foss and are currently ranked 5th in the MCLA with a 5-0 record.

Written by: Anthony Romano

SDSU Lacrosse Doubleheader Results Against UCLA and Georgia Tech

Aztec men’s lacrosse

The Aztec men’s lacrosse team (3-2) split two games on the road this weekend, beating UCLA on Friday 13-12 and losing to Georgia Tech 18-5 on Saturday.

vs. UCLA

The Aztec men’s lacrosse team played their first conference game of the season against UCLA. The Bruins went into half time leading 7-4 after a late run in the second quarter. Junior goalie Steven O’Sullivan credited the second half defensive success to the halftime adjustments.

“We knew we could play much better, they caught us slipping a few times leading to goals,” O’Sullivan said. “We just needed to refocus and come out with more energy and better communication which we did.”

In the second half the Aztecs came out with a fire lit underneath them. The offensive attack, led by junior attackmen Patrick Greene, tallied 4 goals and 3 assists in the second half. The defense shined in the second half for the Aztecs which seems to be the pattern early this season, allowing just 5 goals in the second half.

The game picked up intensity in the fourth quarter with big hits and aggressive play by both sides and the game came down to the final seconds. The defense was able to lock down UCLA and run out the clock on a 13-12 victory. When asked how the first conference win felt captain Patrick Greene said it’s a great start.

“It always feels good to win within the conference as these games are the ones we need to win,” Greene said. “Hopefully we can keep this energy up for the rest of the season and keep winning these big games.”

vs. Georgia Tech

Saturday was a tough day for the Aztecs as they headed to Mater Dei High School to take on the #8 team in the MCLA, Georgia Tech. Georgia Tech came into the game after beating the 4th ranked team Chapman 13-12 on Friday.

Tired legs seemed to plague the Aztecs, as they started off the game sloppy with unforced turnovers leading to easy goals for Georgia Tech. After one quarter Georgia Tech held a 7-0 lead and it did not get any better as Georgia Tech took a 15-1 lead into the half.

The Aztecs were able to salvage some pride in the second half as they held Georgia Tech to only 3 goals while adding in 4 of their own. Freshman goalie Graham Knapp had a very strong game as he replaced Steen O’Sullivan in the 2nd quarter. Knapp was able to make 12 saves in his first collegiate appearance. When asked about the tough loss junior Gage Webb says the team will move on from the defeat. “It was a tough loss, we know we are much better than what we showed. We are just going to regroup and fix what we did wrong and we will be good to go.”

The Aztecs resume game action on Saturday as they take on the Arizona Wildcats (2-2) at home with the game scheduled to start at 12pm.

Written by: Anthony Romano
Photo by: Anthony Romano