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Falcon lacrosse plays matches at Xcel Energy Center

February 18, 2008

The Falcon men’s and women’s lacrosse teams previewed their upcoming seasons Feb. 10 with exhibition games played at the Xcel Energy Center.

The day started with a game between the Minnesota Swarm and the Portland LumberJax in which the Swarm won 14-13 in overtime, keeping them undefeated on the season with a 6-0 record.

  After the Swarm game was finished, the Falcons and UW-Stout took the field. All the lights in the arena were turned off except the ones lighting the field.  Much of the crowd cleared out, but the action on the field was just as intense.

  It is nice to get the opportunity to play where the Swarm play,” said men’s coach Nate Jacobsen. “Everyone is pretty jacked up.” It showed, as the Falcons beat UW-Stout by a score of 10-3.

  “It really gives us a sense of accomplishment to see our fans show up to the Xcel and play for them at a professional venue,” said team president Blake Ashley in a telephone interview. “It brings club sports to a whole new level.”

  Trask Reed and Corey Loesch both scored two goals and Jason Hinrichs scored one in the first half, giving the Falcons a 5-2 lead they would never relinquish. They continued to play well in the second half, scoring five more goals from Jake Johnson, Tyler Smith, Rich Grinstead, Ben Kinne and another from Loesch.

  “There is a definite rivalry [with Stout] because we finished ahead of them overall [last year] and going into our final game they won the division,” Ashley said. “[Beating them] made me proud and it set a standard for the team for the rest of the year.”

  The men’s team started out slow in 2006, their first year of competition in the Great Lakes Lacrosse League (GLLL), when they had a 2-8 overall record. They quickly improved last year, with a 9-2 overall record in the GLLL and a 4-1 record in the West Division.

  For the upcoming season, the Falcons lost some players to graduation but also got some new talent. “We’re very optimistic- we have a great goalie who is brand new this year, Matt Reschetz,” Ashley said. “He started proving himself [against Stout].”

  At the conclusion of the men’s game, the women’s team took the field against Hamline University.

  “It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” team president Maria Hockert said in an e-mail interview. “It was awesome to be the behind scenes and see where the Minnesota Wild and Minnesota Swarm players get ready to play.”

  The Falcons got off to a good start with senior Ashley Warren scoring two goals within the first few minutes.

The scoring continued with goals from sophomores Kristen George and Rachel Peterson and another from Warren.

“Everyone put up a good fight and ran hard,” Hockert said. “It was a great way to begin our season.” The game ended with a 6-2 Falcon victory.

  Regular seasons for the lacrosse teams do not begin until the end of March. The men’s first game is at UW-Platteville at 1:30 p.m. March 29 vs. Winona State, and the women’s is 7:30 p.m. at Hamline.