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Lacrosse builds on young squad

After losing a talented class of seniors, the Eagles focused on filling the gaps and growing as a team.  |  Photo Courtesy of Lavonue Scannell

 

The expectations for Biola lacrosse heading into this season were very uncertain due to the newness and youth of the squad—but they did expect to develop as a team. With six seniors graduated, including the two best goalscorers in the program’s history in attacker Jon Prichard and midfielder Bryce Hummel, as well as goalie Isaac Delgado, the Eagles needed players to step up in the team full of underclassmen.

“The biggest expectation was to turn the corner from the Bryce and Jon era into the younger guys making it their team,” said head coach Aaron Klett.

EAGLES STRUGGLE AGAINST TOUGH OPPONENTS

The 2018 squad struggled throughout the season against a tough schedule, going 3-9, a drop off from the 7-5 finish in the 2017 season. The team’s schedule this year featured matchups against five ranked opponents and they dropped every single one of those games. However, the Eagles managed a 2-2 record in the Southwestern Lacrosse Conference.

“It’s been a real test for our team, especially with the new guys, finding our groove,” said junior midfielder and co-captain Colton White. “It’s also really challenged us to get better together, which is something that I have seen a lot of.”

SHAW AND NEWPORT CONTINUE TO SHINE

With the loss of their two top goalscorers, the Eagles looked for players to step up into that role. Sophomore attacker Jonathan Shaw saw his goal tally fall from 23 to 21, but he added 13 assists this season to lead the team in goals, points and assists. Sophomore attacker Jacob Newport’s goal production dropped from the 33 he scored last season, notching 19 goals and assisting in 11 more, making him and Shaw Biola’s best offensive threats. Transfer sophomore attacker Jake Saxton added 10 goals and 10 assists on the season, while senior captains and midfielders Peter Williamson and Andrew Casto scored 14 and 12 goals, respectively.

“The goals are a lot more spread out across the team,” White said. “It’s really nice to see that we have goals being scored by so many different people, which shows that our team is working really well together.”

On the other end of the field, sophomore Garrett Scannell took over as goalie after sophomore Hananeel Tanojo was injured following the third game of the season. Scannell averaged 8.45 saves per game while allowing 11.45 goals per game.

With their final loss of the season on April 7 at Northern Arizona University, the Eagles lost their opportunity for postseason lacrosse.

While the team experienced struggles on the field, the Eagles’ 2018 season can be looked back upon as one of growth. Next season will see the team led by more experienced players with very few key pieces leaving, and fresh faces will come with the chance of breaking into and elevating Biola’s most prestigious club.

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