Idaho men’s club lacrosse to take on Palouse rival on Senior Day in the Dome
As if the rival game against Washington State wasn’t enough, a win against the Cougars would mark the Idaho men’s club lacrosse team’s first winning season in program history and would seal a bid for the playoffs.
The Vandals will try to send off their seniors with a win on Senior Day during Moms’ Weekend with the eight-mile rivalry game — the Battle of the Palouse. Idaho has taken five of the six meetings it has played against Washington State and will try to continue the streak at 11 a.m. Sunday in the Kibbie Dome.
The Cougars have yet to find a win this season, going 0-9 and sitting in last place in the division standings, while the Vandals sit at a 7-5 overall, looking for the magical number eight. Why is the number eight so important? In the 10 years Idaho has been sanctioned under the Men’s Collegiate Lacrosse Association, the Vandals have not once had a winning season.
“That was my goal when I came in here, was really a winning season,” Idaho coach Sammy Vogel-Seidenberg said. “The goal of course every year is to make playoffs, but more than anything for me it was get a winning season. You get a winning season then everything else comes with that.”
Even though the Vandals have had their number in the past and the Cougars still have yet to find a win this season, Idaho is not looking past this game.
“I mean, we always circle it on our schedule, it’s always going to be a tough game, it’s always physical,” senior captain Colton Raichl said. “We know they are gonna punch us in the mouth and we are gonna hit ‘em right back. It’s gonna be close, and they always fight and we always fight. It’s really whoever wants it more.”
The Vandals will bid farewell to seven seniors this year in Harrison Sawyer, Austin Volking, Deric Wilson, defensive captain Nolan Knuth, midfielder captain Patrick Tunison, attacking captain Colton Raichl and goaltender Craig Patrick.
Tunison and Raichl lead the team with a combined 81 points this season, while an improved defense was anchored down by Knuth and Volking. Patrick was a force in the net getting 171 saves on the season thus far and a save percentage of .553.
“It’s been a great ride, a great four years,” Tunison said. “It’s pretty cool that we get to end it up in the Dome, which is the staple of Vandal athletics, so it feels really great. Our first year we made playoffs, but definitely not anywhere near where we are this year … It’s huge to see how far this program has come and where it’s going to go in the future.”
Winning the game against WSU means Idaho would sit with a 4-2 division record. This would put the team tied with big-time rivals Boise State, who it would play the following weekend for the No. 3 spot in the playoffs.
Ryan Pavel can be reached at email@example.com