While nearly the entire Brock Press Sports section was writing a midterm, the men’s lacrosse team defeated Guelph to take a place in the quarterfinals of the Baggataway cup.
Throughout the regular season, Brock has outplayed their opponents. They’re defensively sound, but their ability to generate offense is where they truly shine. It was a slow start to the third, with the first goal coming from Guelph nearly 10 minutes in.
“It was a great team effort. The offense, defence, faceoff guys and goaltending all did their job. Everyone contributed,” said Coach Tim Luey.
Two minutes in and the Badgers had the first point of the game from Connor Ham. Connor Brown followed suit with a goal of his own and Ham scored once again with 10 minutes left in the first. Guelph earned their first point with a minute left.
Guelph scored just a single goal in the second quarter, no competition to Brock’s six. Latrell Harris scored early. Followed by back to back goals from Davis Neal, another by Connor Ham, one from Grayson Houghton and Campbell Parker.
Guelph sought to make a comeback in the third, where they scored three of their six goals. From there the teams went back and forth on scoring. Guelph scored two more bringing their total to five, and Brock scored two bringing their total to 11. Badgers’ goals came from Kurtis Woodland and Connor Brown.
The fourth quarter only saw three goals scored. The first was from Guelph’s standout player, and seemingly, only hope against the Badgers, Alec Simmons who scored three goals this game. Goals from Mitch Gustavsen and Connor Brown cemented the Badgers’ victory, sending them to the quarterfinals.
Goaltender Josh Wood faced 21 shots. The final score was 13-6.
The Badgers will play Nipissing next weekend. Nipissing defeated Queens to move on to the Quarterfinals and finished the regular season with a 5-5 record. Brock finished 9-1.
In the likely scenario that Brock wins this matchup, they will move on to the semifinals where they will have to face Trent, who also finished the season 9-1.
Western have already secured themselves a place in the semi-finals where they will play either McGill (9-1) or Toronto (4-6), who were automatically granted a berth in the quarterfinals as the hosts.
The Brock team is made up of a solid mix of veteran, first year and sophomore players. For the veterans in particular, this game was vital. Not only was a playoff spot on the line, the wanted to cement their legacy with Brock Lacrosse, “The veterans were definitely focused right from the 1st whistle of the game. We had a bunch of players who played their last home game at Brock and they made sure it was a good one.
Goaltending has been a strength of Brock’s Josh Wood has been with the team for four years and has often bailed out his team, Luey said of his goalie, “Josh Wood might have played the best I’ve seen him play. He’s playing with more confidence than I’ve ever seen. I really like how far we’ve come as a complete team. We’ve had our highs and lows, but I feel like we’re hitting our stride at the right time.”
Western seeks to win the championship title for the third year in a row while Brock is looking to return to their once held spot as undisputed champions of the CUFLA.