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Men’s lacrosse games could secure championship bracket

April 17, 2008

The UW-River Falls men’s lacrosse team will play its only home games of the season Saturday. The team has been working toward their goal of making it through the second or third round, if not the championship game, in the upcoming Great Lakes Lacrosse League (GLLL) Championship Playoffs.

Though the Falcon men’s lacrosse team is recognized as a campus organization, it is run more like a varsity sport. The team is self-coached and self-disciplined, with appointed captains running practices. The Falcons are currently 4-1 in the division and 4-1-1 overall. Team president Blake Ashley, attributes their success to organization, as they have scheduled practices Monday-Friday from 10-2 p.m.

The spring season is a short one for men’s lacrosse at UWRF. The players have only been competing since the last weekend in March, and they will play their last game at the GLLL conference tournament in Madison April 26-27. At the season’s end, the team will have played a total of eight regular season games. The shortness of the spring season somewhat limits the Falcons’ opportunities.

“I wish we had more home games,” Ashley said. “It’s unfair to other schools to make them host more than one.”

The Falcons have gained 12 new members for the team this year, nine of whom played on organized lacrosse teams in high school.

“They are a pretty young team, and can only get better from here,” Ashley said. “[They can only] improve from where we stand, and they’re already a dominating force in the competitive league.”

Ashley is the founder of the Falcon men’s lacrosse team. As a graduating senior this year, he will leave the team knowing he contributed to UWRF. However, he is a little regretful that his lacrosse experience as a Falcon is coming to an end, even though he realizes that he is leaving the team in good hands. He sees only good things for the team in the future.

“I would like to come back here in five years to see the team still operating to its capacity,” Ashley said.

The Falcons are currently tied for first place in their division. The divisions of the GLLL are based on state location with five divisions in total: northern, eastern, southern, western and central.

For the Falcons, the championship bracket for the conference tournament is resting on Saturday’s games. If UWRF wins both match-ups this weekend, they will have secured the championship bracket spot and will be given an advantage over the teams in the consolation bracket. There are a total of 28 teams in the conference. If the Falcons win Saturday, they will be named the Western Division Champions.

Ashley said he “would really like to see a lot of fan support this weekend.”

The Falcons will host UW-La Crosse at 11 a.m. and UW-Stout at 2 p.m. at the intramural fields Saturday.