| 03.19.2018

Vandal lacrosse wins two, stays undefeated


Not even the rain and snow could cool off the University of Idaho club lacrosse team this weekend.Behind nine goals apiece from attackers Colton Raichl and Kyle Morse, and some timely saves from goalie Craig Patrick, the Vandals defeated both Gonzaga and Central Washington to move to 3-0 on the season.
Idaho opened the weekend with a 13-11 victory over Gonzaga, as the Vandals used a key 5-1 run midway through the second quarter to take control of what had been a back-and-forth affair.
“Well, we started off a little rocky and we figured it out about halfway through the first quarter and then really turned it on in the second quarter.  It was just a team effort today,” coach John Andrysiak said.
While the offense stole the show in the first half, it was the first-year starting goalkeeper Craig Patrick who made the critical saves down the stretch to seal the victory, stopping several point-blank shots from Gonzaga attackers.
“Craig has been a huge addition to this team. He just eats, breathes and lives lacrosse.  When he’s able to make stops like that, it’s just a morale boost for the rest of the guys,” Andrysiak said.
The Vandals had a little extra motivation against Gonzaga, Raichl said.
“It was a good win for us against a rival we’d lost to twice in the fall, so it felt good to come out and get the win,” Raichl said.
The second game against Central Washington saw another solid performance from Patrick as the Vandals dominated from start to finish in a 20-3 victory.
“I’m just grateful for my defense. They were playing awesome, and it’s easier to save shots when they are coming from the outside,” Patrick said.
Despite the strong showing, Andrysiak felt his team started off a little slower than he would have liked.
“I think they were riding the high from last night and it took a little bit to settle them down, but inevitably they played to their abilities,” he said.
Senior attacker Kyle Morse led all players with nine points on six goals and three assists.
Through three games, Morse, Raichl and sophomore midfielder Patrick Tunison lead the Pacific Northwest Collegiate Lacrosse League in points-per-game, respectively.  Morse and Raichl are tied for the most goals, with 13 each while Morse leads the overall point total with 19 points, compared to Raichl’s 17.
Andrysiak highlighted Idaho’s balanced scoring as a reason for the early season success.
“Our guys play with their eyes up all the time and no one is standing still,” he said. “It’s hard for a team to play you when you’ve got four, five, six guys scoring goals.  When you have threats all over the field, it’s a good thing.”
Raichl believes his success is a direct result of his teammates.
“I’m getting good looks from my teammates. None of my goals were unassisted,” Raichl said.
The Vandals return to action next weekend with two more home games against Oregon State Saturday and Portland State Sunday.
Thomas McGee can be reached at arg-sports@uidaho.edu

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