The Portland State lacrosse club defeated cross-town rivals University of Portland 7-5 in a Men’s Collegiate Lacrosse Association match played at the Peter W. Stott Field Saturday. The MCLA Division I Vikings led the game 6-1 at halftime and managed to hold off a late rally by the Division II Portland.
With this result, the Vikings improve to 3-1 overall this season and maintain a perfect 3-0 home record. Their only defeat this year has come while playing away against Washington (8-7).
Team head coach Jon Ewertz felt his team could have won with a wider scoring margin on Saturday.
“I think we could have done some things differently execution wise,” Ewertz said. “We could have spread the score out a little more than it was. But we did the little things that it took to win a lacrosse game.”
Last year, Portland State defeated the Pilots with a 10-4 scoreline.
“This was not our best performance,” team captain Ryan Haider said. “We came out strong in the first half and firing on all cylinders and sputtered out in the second half.
“We are capable of playing a lot stronger and putting the game away. University of Portland played well and we have some things to work out this week during practice.”
Portland State came charging off the face off in the first quarter and took a 1-0 lead through club vice president Neal Bateman. By the end of the second quarter, the Vikings had hammered in six goals, including three from Haider. The pilots could only reply with one goal.
“I feel pretty confident,” said Bateman, who leads the team in offense. “I am getting better as the team progresses. It’s the team which makes me look good.”
Ewertz was happy with the team’s defense in the first half.
“There were some flashes of brilliance and there were some parts where we didn’t get where we needed to get on defense,” Ewetz said. “But for the most part, the defense played solid.”
In the third quarter, though, the Pilots came back with three unanswered goals and made the score 6-4. The Vikings scored one more goal late in the third quarter before conceding another in the last quarter.
“I am happy with my performance, but I wish could have done a little more in the second half,” hat-trick scorer Haider said. “We had a little trouble holding on to the ball. The next time, we are definitely going to play better in the second half.”
The Portland Pilots beat PSU soundly in ball possession in the second half, and Portland State’s goalkeeper Vinny Corse made an impressive 12 saves during the game.
“Our goalie had a great game,” Erwertz said. “He had some very nice saves.”
So far this season, the Vikings have defeated all their Division II opponents including Willamette and Whitman. This weekend, Portland State takes on Western Washington at home.
“The team’s goal for the season is to defeat all the Division II teams we play and hopefully as many Division I games as we can,” Ewertz added. “We have some young guys stepping up and we have to continue taking it one day at a time and execute the best we can.”