Lacrosse hopes to net crucial victories

By By Natalie Dicou

By Natalie Dicou

The No. 13 U lacrosse club hopes to put a three-game skid behind it as the Utes head into another important weekend of play that could determine their postseason fate.

The rough stretch began with a loss to Colorado on April 5 and was followed by last weekend’s defeats at the hands of No. 3 Oregon and No. 18 Chapman University.

The Utes slipped below .500 at 5-6 but because of its difficult schedule, the team stayed firm at No. 13 despite recent outcomes.

“Basically our strength of schedule is helping us in our polls,” said coach Rich Levi. “Even though we’ve had losses against top-10 teams, we still have two wins over top-10 teams.”

This weekend’s slate of games against division-B foes UVSC and Westminster may seem like easy victories on paper, but Levi knows better.

“When you step on the field, it’s anybody’s game,” Levi said. “Certainly B-division teams can beat A-division teams; we’ve seen that happen.”

First up for the Utes, who play in the A division, is UVSC on Friday. The two teams met earlier in the year in a scrimmage.

“We’re fairly familiar with (UVSC),” Levi said. “We’ll tailor our game somewhat to play against them like we would against the No. 1 team in the A-division.”

On Saturday, the Utes will challenge another team they played in the preseason: cross-town rival Westminster.

“We just want to win in every aspect of the game,” Levi said, adding, “obviously, that’s not possible, but when you set your goals there, good things happen.”

The two games will set the stage for the Utes’ penultimate game of the year against No. 2 BYU on April 19. How the Utes play against the Cougars will go a long way in determining if the Utes will qualify for the 16-team championship tournament in Dallas in May.

On Friday, the Utes play at 4:30 p.m. at UVSC. The game against Westminster on Saturday is set to begin at 1 p.m. at Dumke Field at Westminster College.