Four 15-minute quarters constitute a men’s lacrosse game for 60 minutes of play. That means 60 minutes of action, but sometimes there are bumps in the road. The University of Indianapolis men’s lacrosse team has at least 120 minutes of play left in its second season.
“Our goal is to play 60 minutes, and that’s sort of what we have struggled with as a team,” said Head Men’s Lacrosse Coach Greg Stocks. “I think we’ll do very well in all [two] of them, if we’re able to play from the opening whistle to the final horn.”
Heading into their 11th game of the season, the Hounds competed against Seton Hill University on Saturday, April 22. According to Stocks, the Griffins are a physically offensive team that has “some big boys that dodge pretty hard.”
Freshman attack Parker Johnson said that the team’s mentality became “there isn’t a team we can’t beat on our schedule,” and that all the Greyhounds needed to do was to put together a full 60 minutes of play. The turning point for the Hounds was against No. 5 Lindenwood University on April 1.
The men battled Seton Hill throughout the entire match, falling 11-9. UIndy took the first goal in the opening quarter, and back and forth scoring continued for the rest of the quarter before Seton Hill pulled out the last point of the half. In the second, the men fell down one more notch, allowing SHU to lead by two most of the quarter, ending the first half 7-5.
In the third quarter, the men allowed just one goal to their two to slim the lead. In the fourth, SHU expanded on their lead to eventually earn the win.
Sophomore attack Parker Kump led with four goals, followed by junior midfield Sam Horning with two. As of Sunday, April 23, sophomore goalie Jarod Kimble was ranked No. 2 in the nation. Jarod also holds a spot in the top five in goals-against average. He sits at the number two spot with an average of 6.34 goals allowed. Junior defense Max Groves is another ranked Greyhound, with an average 2.4 turnovers per game to sit at No. 5 in the nation.
Both Horning and Johnson are two of the top three scorers for the Greyhounds. Stocks has been impressed with their ability to have a large impact to the team despite their short time on the roster.
“Because of injuries they are new players to the program, but they’ve kind of been forced into roles and really excelled,” Stocks said. “They’ve been picking up our offensive schemes pretty quickly, they’re smart lacrosse players so they’ve been able to kind of slide right in without any hesitation or setbacks. We’re not a very deep team, so they’ve done a great job stepping in and filling the roles.”
In a close game between UIndy and No. 7 Mercyhurst University, the Greyhounds took a 12-10 loss, despite having the lead at halftime.
“I think we just let our foot off the gas there—our offense slowed down, [and] our defense slowed down. We gave up some easy opportunities to them,” Johnson said.
In the first quarter, three different Greyhounds found the back of the net for a total of five goals. Horning found the net three times, while Johnson and sophomore attack Tyler Johnston each tallied one a piece.
Before the end of the first half, sophomore midfield Kevin Spurlock recorded his first goal of the season on a man up situation. Kump added another goal to the books and currently leads the team in goals. After Kump’s goal to close out the first half, the Hounds scoring dwindled. Johnston scored his second goal of the game, and sophomore attack Shawn Kimble scored a goal in each of the remaining quarters. In return, Mercyhurst notched seven goals after halftime to take the win.
“I think we kind of lost our heads a little bit in the third quarter,” Stocks said, “[We] allowed them to get back into it with a few little mental errors that are easily fixed. But when you play good teams like that, they take full advantage of it.”
Despite the losses to top-ranked teams, Mercyhurst and Seton Hall, the Greyhounds have had an overall successful season according to Stocks, with a current record of 6-5.
“We’ve had some rough spots, and I think the guys know when they’re at their best they’re pretty good . Our goal is to continue to keep playing at our best for full games.”
After facing Seton Hill, UIndy has two games remaining before learning whether it has earned a bid into the NCAA tournament. UIndy’s men’s lacrosse program currently is not part of a conference and in turn will not have a conference championship to try for. At the Division II level, winning a conference tournament is not an automatic qualifier for the NCAA tournament. According to Stocks, the Hounds need to finish out with wins to better their chances.
“We’ve put ourselves in a position where we are walking a fine line,” he said. “But I think if we do win out it’ll look really good on our tournament resume…. Unfortunately, we dropped a couple of early ones that I don’t think we should have and have put ourselves in a tight spot right now…. I think the guys know, [that] when they’re at their best, they’re pretty good and our goal, is to continue to keep playing at our best for full games.”
For the Greyhounds’ next game, they will take on Alderson Broaddus on Saturday, April 29, at 1 p.m. This will close out the team’s play at Key Stadium for the season.