MINNEAPOLIS, Minn.–The Minnesota men’s lacrosse team improved its overall record to 4-0 and won its first CCLA game this past weekend. This is the third consecutive year that the Gophers have started their season 4-0. Minnesota outscored its opponents 66-16 over the weekend with special teams scoring on 11 of 18 man-up opportunities while only allowing 1 goal on 17 man-down situations.
Iowa State Recap: Minn (22) – Iowa St (4)
Minnesota started the game on a 12-0 run that lasted until late into the second quarter. Their attack unit, who combined for a total 15 goals and 9 assists, led the Gophers. Senior attackman, Nick Abbott, recorded his 100th career point and his 11th career hat trick with a goal off a feed from Chandler Sampson early in the second quarter. Abbott finished the game with 6 goals, a new career high, and 2 assists. Freshman midfielder Kamal Baker scored his first career goal, and Matt Johnson scored his first goal as a Gopher. Johnson, the junior transfer, finished the game with 3 goals, completing his hat trick.
Western Michigan Recap: Minn (23) – W. Mich (8)
Less than twelve hours later the Gophers faced off against the Broncos. Trent Woodcock opened up the scoring off a spectacular end-line saving flip from Bodhi Engum. Amar Batra was able to wrap a goal in before Western Michigan tied up the Gophers with two quick goals in under a minute. The Gophers then went on a seven-goal run aided by three consecutive man-up goals and never slowed down.
Bodhi Engum led all Gophers with a career game high 8 points on 4 goals, 4 assists. Trent Woodcock also had a career high 5 points with 3 goals and 2 assists. The star of the game however was sophomore Nick Smith. With Niklas Damberg inactive for the weekend and David Skaug going down with an injury early in the game, Smith was called upon to take the majority of the face-offs, finishing 14-24 (.588).
Minnesota–Duluth Recap: Minn (10) – UMD (4)
A rivalry game started off just as you would expect–with intensity. Trenton Woodcock opened up the scoring for the Gophers 52 seconds into the opening quarter with a dodge down the alley. Duluth answered back several minutes later to tie the score 1-1. With less than 4 minutes remaining in the first quarter, the Bulldogs were able to take advantage of deflection off a wire [hanging across the dome] and scored man-down to take a 2-1 lead. Amar Batra evened the score by converting on the man-up opportunity 30 seconds later. Minnesota then shutout the Bulldogs throughout the second and third quarters, while adding 5 goals to pull away with a 7-2 lead.
Amar Batra had a game high 5 goals in addition to his 1 assist. Matt Johnson scored 2 goals, both assisted by Nick Abbott, and both Alex Wohl and Chandler Sampson notched 1 goal and 1 assist. Kamal Baker also added an assist. Matt Jorgensen stopped 10 of 14 shots on goal to collect his 3rd career win over the long-time rival Duluth.
The Gophers will travel to Brighton, Mich. for another 3 game weekend. They will encounter their first major challenge of the season, facing off against the six-time defending CCLA champions, Michigan State, on Friday, February 24. The following day, they will play another conference opponent, Oakland. The weekend will then be capped off with a match up against Indiana in Beverly Hills, Mich.