On Saturday February 7, the Portland State lacrosse team kicked off their season with a scrimmage against University of Oregon. Players didn’t make it home until late Saturday night after the day’s travels from Portland to Eugene and back again. As any other sport, it is a timely commitment.
Head coach Jared Corcotran has his team practicing four days a week, rain or shine. For those that are unfamiliar with the sport, it is similar to hockey played on a field, with a ball being passed between players by crosses—sticks with nets on the end. Ten players take the field at a time, but with only 13 on the PSU team total, that doesn’t leave a lot of wiggle room for injury, let alone substitution, when game time rolls around.
At the college level, the game is split into four 15-minute quarters. The players are equipped from head to toe with gear to protect them when they step onto turf: cleats, chest guards, elbow guards, gloves, helmets and mouth guards are all required to play; failure to do so will result in a penalty in which the player at fault is to sit out for a designated amount of time. These penalties also happen when players act outside of what the rules of the game permits.
Having played all four years of high school, it’s no surprise that freshman midfielder Ryan Leuty chose to pursue lacrosse here at PSU. PSU made it easy for him as there are no tryouts held in order to play lacrosse. It’s a “sign up and play” kind of thing, as Leuty plainly puts it.
Leuty attended Galena High School in his hometown of Reno, Nevada. He moved up to the varsity level his sophomore year, where he stayed for the duration of high school, achieving the rank of team captain, the award of MVP, and making first team all-league his senior year.
After trying multiple sports throughout his childhood, Leuty found lacrosse and fell in love. He states, “[I] finally found something I really liked.” So much so that at age 16 he got a tattoo dedicated to the sport on his left calf.
The lacrosse team takes the field again in a week and a half, on Saturday, February 21 here at home.