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Men’s Lacrosse Perseveres Through a Tough Season

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Men’s Lacrosse Perseveres Through a Tough Season


On April 6, the men’s lacrosse team dialed in to play their senior game against their long-time program opponent: Colorado College (7-4). SU  ultimately lost (11-17). Despite the tougher season the boys have faced (2-12) the team continued to show up and play heartily in their black-and-white uniforms..

The Megaphone spoke with Coach Bowman about the men’s lacrosse season prior to their last match of the season on April 6. In 2023, the SU men went 9-9 and placed second overall in the conference; so this year’s stats were kind of shocking. Coach Bowman revealed that the team was battling injuries all year long, and this year was largely spent rebuilding.

“We have three seniors this year, and so some of our younger players got opportunities to play,” Bowman confided. “Moving forward, we’ll be improving.” 

Despite facing a challenging but great quality team, and facing tough loss streaks, the team won two of their home games. 

Trey Pena attempts to win the faceoff, photo by Carolyn Bray

Over spring break, while the majority of the students went home to relax, rewind, and reboot for the last stretch of the semester, the lacrosse team stayed at SU practicing and playing in two home games. They started off their break with a win against Boston Mass. (18-17). “This season was by far the toughest in terms of competition, but I was proud of how the team handled adversity and exceeded expectations when everyone was against us,” Senior and Attacker #24, Matthew Caldwell said. Their win was not the only close match they had this past season. Many of their games were hard-fought and closely won: Southern Virginia (16-17) and Farmingdale State (14-17). “Obviously, each game is different,” Coach Bowman explained “Despite having younger players with different backgrounds, we learned and improved as the season went on, sometimes, it helped us win those close matches.

Coach Bowman reflected on the season’s plays. “[O]ne of the things that was costing us matches were the 10 man rides, a strategy where the other team pressures our clearing attempts and forces a turnover. It was something we hadn’t seen in the past and it took us a while to adjust to it.” 

Junior Attacker #4 Cade McDonald, felt the same about their close wins. “Our close wins speaks immensely about our resilience and determination that characterizes our team. Our two key factors to our wins were the deep trust we have among each other to do their roles effectively and our unwavering commitment to our shared goal of winning,” said McDonald. 

Gabe Morgan follows his opponent’s every move, defending him, photo by Carolyn Bray

The men’s lacrosse program is the only program in the state of Texas that plays at the NCAA level. This means that the team either has to travel out of state or have teams come in  to play matches. 

Coach Bowman informed me that “there’s a lot of schools that play lacrosse but it’s at a collegiate club level. With that being said, a lot of bus rides and plane rides were taken this season “When we travel as much as we do, it brings our guys closer together,” said Coach Bowman.

 McDonald spoke to this extensive bonding time.

“Throughout the season, the team was adaptive and supportive, top to bottom. We had nearly ten matches within the last month and that meant countless hours together, whether that was on campus or 10+ hours traveling. Despite the lack of seniors, younger players have stepped up and embraced the dynamic and culture that has been cultivated over the years, a testament to the cohesive and supportive environment that we’ve worked hard to establish.”

Although the men’s lacrosse team unfortunately lost to Colorado College (11-17). They might have lost, but there was still much to celebrate and honor for the senior game. Matthew Caldwell, Andrew Morson, and Gus Thomposn walked down the field with their family and hugged their coaches as their teammates clapped for them. “I feel like I’ve grown exponentially as a player. Thanks to Coach Bowman and Coach Markland, they’ve helped me become more confident and comfortable in scoring,” said Caldwell. 

Grant Campbell throws the ball to his teammate before falling, photo by Carolyn Bray

Although he is graduating, Caldwell gives a word of advice to the team “Find the positive in everything and remember why you play the game.” The men’s lacrosse team fought through a hard season and played their best. Though continual losses may have been discouraging, the coaches and players upheld consistent attitudes of belief. As Caldwell expressed, it is the love of lacrosse that drives players to keep fighting even when a tangible benefit feels invisible. 

As of April 7, the lacrosse team is looking at eighteen players coming to play for Southwestern, all from various states. Great things are up ahead for SU’s men’s lacrosse team.

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