BUFFALO, N.Y.– The men’s lacrosse team at the University of Minnesota (7-3, 3-1 CCLA) will be traveling east this weekend to play No. 21 Boston College on Saturday, and Pittsburgh on Sunday.
The Gophers snapped a two-game skid last weekend with a strong 17-6 win against Central Michigan. Twelve different Gophers scored at least one goal as Minnesota utilized its depth–every player dressed was able to get onto the field. Matt Jorgensen and Max Chlan split time between the pipes and combined for 10 saves. Niklas Damberg was dominant, going 16-21 (.762) at the face off X. Amar Batra led all players with 7 points (2 goals, 5 assists).
PREVIEWING BOSTON COLLEGE
The Eagles (1-3) are coming off a 11-10 win against Michigan State. Their 3 losses on the season come from their PCLL foe New Hampshire, No. 12 Virginia Tech, and No. 19 South Carolina. Leading them is senior attackman Steven Van Fossan who currently has 17 points (13 goals, 4 assists) through four games. Junior attackman Kevin Sheridan is second in points with 13 (9 goals, 4 assists). Boston College also has a 2016 All-American defenseman in Ryan Neff who can also be a threat in transition.
The Eagles’ Griffin Carney is a two-time 1st Team MCLA All-American Face Off Specialist. The junior is currently 59-81 (.728) on the draw this season. He will be battling with Minnesota’s Niklas Damberg who has garnered 3rd team All-American (2015) and Honorable Mention All-American (2016) honors as a face off specialist. Damberg is 73-113 (.646) through the six games he has played in this season.
At the helm for BC is Louie DeDonatis, who is in his first year as head coach. DeDonatis was an long-stick midfielder for Grand Canyon and helped the Lopes win the 2015 MCLA National Championship. During his time as a player, he was a three-time MCLA All-American LSM, three-time All-SLC LSM, and a three-time Scholar Athlete.
The Panthers (9-2, 4-1 CCLA) just recently competed in the Battle of Baltimore event last weekend. They earned wins against No. 19 South Carolina and North Carolina State, while losing to Northeastern. Their one conference loss was to No. 18 Michigan State.
Leading Pittsburgh in scoring is senior attackman Matt Higgins, who has 53 points on the season (24 goals, 29 assists). Higgins has led Pitt in points in every year of his career. In addition, there are 7 other players who are averaging at least 2 points per game for the Panthers.
Head coach Jason Rickel is in his fourth year with the Panthers with an overall record of 34-26.
• The last Minnesota–BC matchup was in 2008, which resulted in a 13-5 loss for the Gophers. The Gophers will be playing Pittsburgh for the first time.
• Matt Johnson is on a hot streak, having collected his second consecutive hat trick last weekend against Central Michigan. He now has 7 goals on 18 shots through the last three games.
• Pitt is 4-0 in home games this year, having outscored their opponents 83-24.
The Gophers are averaging 16 goals a game while allowing an average 8 goal per game. Only two teams have scored at least 10 goals on the Gophers: Michigan State (10) and Colorado (18).
• Pitt has secured a spot in the CCLA tournament. A win over the Gophers will have them seeded at least at #2.