The halfway point of the 2016 season has arrived. With it comes the cancellation of a game with the Colorado School of Mines due to snow in late March. Such is the life in the Rocky Mountain Lacrosse Conference. With a 2-3 record, Fort Lax finds itself just outside the top 25 in the MCLA, with losses only to teams in the top 20 coming as little consolation. The Skyhawks know that their most important games are yet to come, and how they finish in playoffs is all that really matters in the end.
First, the Fort has to qualify for the playoffs. In order to do so, they have to win home games against Regis on Sunday, April 3rd, and Johnson & Wales on Saturday, April 9th. Take care of business, and a rematch with Montana State looms large. Failure would find the Fort watching from home at the end of April.
Along with those important games, the Fort also plays host to strong club teams from Colorado Mesa (Friday, April 1st), and CU-Denver (Sunday, April 10th). While these games won’t affect the team’s MCLA record, they should serve as a litmus test to show how the Fort stacks up in the Colorado lacrosse ranks.
Senior Max Segal leads the team with 20 points after 5 games. This leaves him 32 points short of the Skyhawks all-time record, which is held by Erik Johnson (2006-2010). Since the club games don’t count for MCLA stats, Segal will need 8 points/game to reach the mark during the regular season. With 5 very competitive games played so far, it is encouraging to see a balanced attack for the Fort as 11 different Skyhawks have points on the year.
Undoubtedly several players would have contributed more if not for the injury bug. Of the 20 players to suit up for Fort Lewis this year, 8 have missed significant time due to injury or illness. Several players, such as Fr. Scott Dimmit (8g, 6A) have taken advantage of the increased opportunities. Too often, chances have been left on the table for the Fort. Faceoff struggles, extra-man failures, and turnovers have resulted in losses in close games against Cal State Fullerton and Montana State. Quite literally, the perfect storm kept the Fort from finding their form against Metro State. A change in venue due to snowy weather caused a difficult field situation that the Skyhawks just couldn’t adjust to in time.
The trials of the first half of the season now give way to the comforts of home sweet Fort Lewis. Durango will be the stage for Fort Lax to show what it it made of and to earn a shot at redemption. Hopefully health and weather stay pleasant for the Skyhawks. This is without a doubt one of the most talented Fort Lewis teams in a decade, but it is up to them to prove they can be consistent and elite.