In the RMLC playoffs, excitement is the name of the game, and Fort Lewis Lacrosse lived up to the billing the past two days in Grand Junction. Now, the team prepares for a rematch with rival Westminster College who dealt the Skyhawks a 8-15 loss less than a month ago. The game is set for 2:00 pm Saturday and will decide the automatic qualifier berth for the MCLA Championships.
After a quick trip north from Durango on Thursday afternoon, the Skyhawks took on the Metro State Roadrunners in the first round and found themselves in a dogfight against a hungry RMLC East opponent. Fort Lax was able to salvage an 18-15 victory thanks to a 6 goal outburst in the 3rd quarter. The game was tied 5-5 at the end of the first, and 8-8 at halftime. Metro State’s aggressive attack managed to tally 4 goals in the fourth quarter, but the Skyhawk offense, led by Paul Larson’s 7 goals and Grant Arthurs’ masterful faceoff work (and 3 goals, 3 assists), proved too much for the Roadrunners in the end.
Friday’s 1:00 pm afternoon game saw temperatures of around 100 degrees on the turf field. Luckily, the Fort came out just as hot, with 6 goals in the first frame and some stellar goalie play by Cody Viereck (15 saves) to hold the potent Montana State Bobcat offense to just one tally. Living up to their 11-3 record and #1 seed from the RMLC East, the Bobcats clawed back to bring the score to 9-5 at halftime. Fort Lewis managed barely a minute of possession time in the third quarter as a vicious Montana St. ride helped contributed to 4 goals to only one for the Fort in the third quarter. Once again, the veteran attack duo of Paul Larson (5G, 3A), and Kevin Harkey (3G, 2A), and some key defensive plays by the Fort Lax defense set the tone in the fourth quarter. The 14-11 victory by the Skyhawks was all the more impressive with Montana St. winning every faceoff in the final quarter. The hard fought win by the Skyhawks leaves the door open for an at large berth to Nationals, but it will take a very strong showing against a good Westminster Griffin team to make it happen.
Complete game stats at http://mcla.us