Brock men’s lacrosse is heading into the Canadian University Field Lacrosse Association (CUFLA) Baggataway Cup with confidence after a convincing 17-3 win over Laurier in their playoff game on Sunday afternoon. The Badgers will now advance to the semifinals of the year-end tournament.
For the third time this season, the Badgers came out on the right end of a lopsided victory against the Golden Hawks. After previous scores of 21-5 and 17-6, it seemed all but certain that the Badgers would have no problem taking care of Laurier in their first match of the CUFLA playoffs. As the only undefeated team remaining this season, the Badgers are favourites to win the championship.
The first step on their way to the championship was to take on Laurier at Alumni Field. Like most games this season, the Badgers scored early and often, building up a sizeable lead on their opponent.
It took Brock only two minutes to get on the board, with Connor Brown scoring his first of three in the game. Despite Brock’s dominance in possession and shots on goal, the Golden Hawks remained in the game through the first quarter, only being down 3-1. A large part of this close game had to do with the play of their goalie, Dylan Carr-Matthews. The third-year goalie finished the game with 24 saves made on 41 shots. If not for this strong play in net the score could have been much worse.
It was in the second quarter when the Badgers began to pull away from their opponent. Between Kurtis Woodland first and second goals of the quarter, Latrell Harris and Grayson Houghton added a goal each. With four goals in the second quarter, the Badgers increased the score to 7-1 by halftime.
Though the Badgers appeared to be on track to win the game, the adjustments they made at halftime were exactly what was needed to finish the game. Brock started the half by scoring five straight goals, the first coming just twelve seconds into the quarter. Nate Roberts scored for Laurier to put an end to the Badger’s run, but after Jake Nyhuus scored the Badgers carried a 13-2 lead through sixty minutes.
The final quarter played out exactly the same as the rest of the game. The Badgers peppered Carr-Matthews with shots from all over the field, and he could only hold this high-powered offense back for so long. The Badgers added four more goals in the quarter, while Chris Van Ooteghem added Laurier’s third and final goal of the game. Like many other games this season, it was over almost as soon as it started. Brock controlled the flow of the game by maintaining possession in their attacking end, while limiting the time and opportunities that Laurier had with the ball.
As per usual, Brandon Slade was the leading scorer for the Badgers on Sunday. Entering his final postseason run with the team, there’s no better time for Slade to get on a roll. In this game, he scored once while adding six assists for seven total points on the day. Other top scorers for the Badgers included Brown with four points, Woodland, Nyhuus, Tyrus Rehanek and Alex Pace with three points each. The Badgers played two goalies in this game, with Josh Wood playing the first three quarters and facing five shots before Luke McLeod came in for the fourth quarter and faced one shot.
With the win, the Badgers now advance to the semifinal where they will play the winner of the quarterfinal between Trent and Guelph. Brock played Guelph twice in regular season play, winning both meetings by scores of 16-4 and 8-7. As for Trent, they finished second place in the East Division with a 10-2 record. The last time Brock played against Trent was the semifinal last year, when Trent knocked off the Badgers 7-6 at home, ending their bid at a championship win on their home field.