The Bulldogs go 4-0 on their Spring Break road trip through the South. They won all four games, scoring a combined total of 69 goals, while giving up just 17. The Bulldogs focus is now on #6 Sierra Nevada, and #8 Cal State Fullerton, which they will face in just two weeks when they travel to beautiful Southern California.
The UMD Bulldogs sure had much to smile about on their lengthy trek back to Duluth from Nashville, TN. They won all four games, scoring a combined total of 69 goals, while giving up just 17.
The trip started Monday, with a bus ride down to Lindenwood University near St. Louis, where the Dogs were hosted for an evening practice by Duluth Lacrosse alum and current Lindenwood lacrosse coach Scott Stark. Coach Alex McNamara said “We really appreciate our alumni, and love to see them invested in our success, having people like Coach Stark go the extra mile for us proves the permanence of the Dulax family”.
In the morning the Dogs made their way to Springfield, MO, to play #16 Missouri State as the highest ranked opponent to ever play the Bears at home. The offense got rolling right away, gaining a 5-1 lead after the first quarter. After that, the Dogs kept the pressure on with Ethan Peterson, Jake Pitts, and Scott McNamara scoring three goals each. Goalie Kyle Katterman and the defense did their job, holding the Bears to just three goals for a 15-3 final.
Wednesday was a travel day as the Dogs made their way to Nashville for the Music City Judgement Weekend at Vanderbilt University.
Duluth met #11 Florida Gulf Coast University on Thursday. FGCU has become a familiar opponent for UMD, as the Bulldogs came out with a close win last season in Knoxville, TN and another win in the first round of Nationals in Irvine, CA. The Dogs expected a tough fight against Dulax alum, coach Mike Dubbelde and his Eagles. The first quarter was a grind, with the Bulldogs coming out on top 3-2 and after that there was no turning back. The offense clicked, and goalie Blake Nastrom, with his lockdown defense did not allow another point, making it a decisive 21-2 victory for the Dogs.
On Friday evening the Bulldogs geared up for a battle with #9 Kennesaw State. After a hard fought OT win against the Owls last season, UMD expected a Kennesaw team looking for redemption. That is exactly what they got with the ball going back and forth through the first three quarters while the Dogs held a close three-goal lead. The offense pulled away in the fourth quarter making it a 17-9, team win for the Bulldogs.
UMD had a quick turnaround Saturday morning, waking up to play the Columbus State Cougars from Columbus, GA. The Dogs controlled the game from start to finish, defeating CSU 16-3 for their final game in Nashville.
The Bulldogs are feeling good about their performance this week, but know it’s still just the beginning of a long journey. Coach Ben Blaeser said “It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon, and we know we still have lots of great competition coming our way this season”, when asked about the outlook after this week’s success.
The Bulldogs focus is now on #6 Sierra Nevada, and #8 Cal State Fullerton, which they will face in just two weeks when they travel to beautiful Southern California.
-Noah Myers #8