Lacrosse, originally a Canadian French phrase jeu de la crosse or “game of the hooked stick” was started by early American Indians in the 17th century. Now in the 21st century the game has hooked students and spectators alike to UVU’s nationally ranked men’s lacrosse team.
Ranked 11th in the nation, Utah Valley lacrosse looks for more national attention as they compete in the Rocky Mountain Lacrosse Conference against Fort Lewis and Western State in Colorado. Captains Claudio Pacchiega and Tony Bickmore lead UVU.
“We have the best team in our conference,” said Pacchiega. “If we show up there is no team that can run with us. Our chances to win are really good. We should dominate whatever team we go up against.”
Earlier in the season, Utah Valley beat eighth ranked Westminster, an impressive win in front of 500 fans. Chad Frost stepped up for UVU and scored a career-high seven goals. Also, goalie Dustin Thompson made 22 saves to stop the Westminster offense with the final 21-17.
“Basically, (Westminster) came out really strong and scored eight points in the first quarter,” said Pacchiega. “We only had five points in the first. But we are a running team so we kept running and got them tired. Then we just outscored and outhustled them in the second half.”
There are two bids available in the Rocky Mountain Lacrosse Conference to go to nationals, the winner and the runner-up. Utah Valley hopes to take the conference, but has its hardest matchup with Western State in Colorado.
This year the Wolverines have had a winning 5-2 record, a remarkable accomplishment considering out of its 26 players there is only one senior, two juniors, and the rest are sophomores and freshman.
Head coach Kevin Perkins has his credentials, coaching UVU to be a top team ever since he began coaching at the institution. Perkins led the 2005 lacrosse team, helping them finish second in the nation. Perkins also played for BYU and for UVU as attacker.