Men’s Lacrosse to finish season against rivals

Photo+courtesy+Calvin+SID

Photo courtesy Calvin SID

Calvin men’s lacrosse will look for their first conference win this weekend against longtime rival Hope College. A win would put the Knights in a three-way tie for fifth place alongside Hope and Trine.

With only four upperclassmen — two seniors and two juniors — the team is still in a growing phase.

“With this being a building year I knew there was a lot of work to do and that hard work by my brothers is what I’m most proud of,” first-year attacker Nate Ray reflected, “Whether we are up or down we give 100 percent for a full 60 minutes.”

One of the struggles of the year has been keeping players on the field. Ray mentioned that the team has a small roster which affects the play: “We have battled low numbers [of players] and injuries all year but we have never backed down.”

Going into Saturday’s game, sophomore attacker Chris Griffin leads the team with 25 points, also leading goals with 15 and assists with 10. First-year attacker Tyson Butler is second in all categories, racking up 22 points on 14 goals and 8 assists. Senior Jonathon VanderLaar rounds out the third position with 15 points on 12 goals and 3 assists.

Statistically, Hope has the advantage over Calvin in goals and shots, 40.7 per game to 20.6 per game respectively, which will keep the Knights busy. Percentage-wise the Knights are closely comparable to the Flying Dutchmen as the Knights make 23.2 percent of their shots to Hope’s 25.1 percent, and Calvin’s keepers save 45.3 percent of shots to Hope’s 51.5 percent.

A win would help move Calvin forward in the lacrosse standings but the confidence has already been instilled in the players.

“We all need to work hard in the off season,” said Ray. “But if we keep playing like we have these last couple games hustle and heart-wise and handle the little things, then success will come.”

Contributions by Mark Peless.