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Fort Lewis Lacrosse, and this webpage will be undergoing significant changes in the following months as we prepare for a new era of Skyhawk Lacrosse.
There will be significant changes on the field as well, starting at the top. Zane Bilgrav stepped down as coach to pursue a life of semi-retirement, and to have the chance to spend more time with his children. I have been given the honor of being named as the new head coach of the program, I promise only that I will do my best.As the new head coach, I want to begin by thanking Zane Bilgrav for his contributions to the team the past few years. I hope that I can live up to the trust you put in me to take this team forward in the next few years.
Already we are off to a great start, making a solid showing this past weekend in Golden at the Colorado School of Mines Fall Brawl. A freshmen heavy squad (about half of our roster) helped lead us to victory over Mines 9-3 in a cold morning game. The ball moved well, faceoffs were controlled, and defense played aggressively. The next game vs. Northern Colorado was a contentious affair. Falling snow contributed to sloppy play, and a typically physical and generally classless UNC team got the benefit of questionable officiating (MY opinion of course). The resulting FLC turnovers led to a 7-3 defeat at the hands of the Bears squad. The final game vs. Wyoming was a spirited mixed-squad affair, as a depleted Wyoming side joined with some of our reserves for a very competitive and light-hearted scrimmage.
Thank you so much to all of our team parents who provided a home atmosphere and some comforts for our young squad’s first road experience. It was a memorable trip due to some transportation issues as well as on the field excitement. We look forward to our next trip to the Denver-Metro area on March 25th for a rematch against UNC in Greeley.
I apologize and ask for your patience as we move the program, and the website forward to meet our needs in the future. Look for us on Twitter and Facebook soon as well!
Fort Lewis Class of 2010
Fort Lax Wraps Up 2011 May 23, 2011
Fort lax wrapped up the 2011 season with a 17-4 loss against Colorado Mines on May 5 at the RMLC playoffs in Grand Junction. The Gold Digger’s outstanding midfield play and aggressive close defense combined to shut off the Sky Hawks ability to put points on the board.
With a relatively young team, Fort Lewis ended the season at 6 wins and 8 losses. Senior defenseman Jon Bock and senior midfielder Cullen Bilgrav will graduate, leaving the rest of the team intact. With a healthy number of new incoming players that have committed to FLC for the fall, Fort Lax should field a larger and more experienced team next year.
Congratulations to attackman Kevin Harkey for his Second Team RMLC All-Conference recognition, and to defenseman Jon Bock for his Third Team RMLC All-Conference award. Also receiving RMLC All-Conference Honorable Mentions are goalie Sean Claussen, and midfielder Drew Larson.
For Fort Lax team awards, captain Jon Bock was Defensive Player of the Year, Drew Larson was Middie of the Year, Kevin Harkey was Offensive Player of the Year, captain Josh deGuzman was recognized for his Commitment and Contributions to the team, John Pekarske was Rookie of the Year, and Sean Claussen was recognized for his consistently Superior Performance in the nets. Captain Mike Kelly was recognized for his competitive play, attitude, and commitment as Player of the Year.
I want to thank all of the parents, relatives, friends, and businesses that supported FLC this year. I also want to thank the players for the time they spent with the team, their consistently scrappy play, and for the maturation that I noticed through the season.
I look forward to next year.
Coach Zane Bilgrav
Both UNC and FLC were in high spirits despite Easter Sunday’s brutal weather – low clouds, temperatures hovering around 40, and spitting intermittent rain. Playing tough defense against the well Respected U. of Northern Colorado Bears, UNC pinged the first goal of the game half way into the first quarter. The Hawks quickly responded as hard playing middie Josh deGuzman rocketed the ball to darting attackman Andrew Allsup to even the score. With just 1 minute left in the quarter middie Drew Larson put the Hawks up 2-1 with a driving score.
With players streaked with mud, the Bears settled down into a well coordinated offense with many pinpoint passes to the crease to score 3 goals in the second quarter. Playing like a possessed beast, Drew Larson again drove from the middle to garner his second goal.
With the game tightly scored at 5-3 at the half, a major upset was within the FLC’s reach. Even with FLC’s midfield playing their best game of the year, UNC surged ahead with 6 third quarter goals. Attackman Kevin Harkey scored a scorching shot, and Drew Larson continued his rampage with two more driving goals in the third.
As conditions deteriorated into, the 4th quarter heralded brutal play as both teams slopped through numerous physical plays, and resultant penalties on the squishy turf. Throughout the resultant man-up opportunities, and the entire game, FLC’s attack couldn’t find their rhythm against the high pressure Bear defenders. UNC continued pulling away with 3 goals in the fourth. Drew Larson was the clear standout player of the day as he found the nets for his 5th goal of the game, and scooped up 7 ground balls, and won 9 faceoffs.
The Hawks travel to Grand Junction on May 5 to compete in their division playoffs.
On Saturday, April 16, FLC hosted the University of Utah on a perfect April day at Fort Lewis. With temperatures hovering around 70 degrees, a cloudless blue sky, green field, and the snow capped mountains in the background, the home fans were treated to a hard fought first half. UVU is a powerhouse team having lost in the MCLA Division 2 national championship last year. With UVU controlling the pace of the game with long possessions, UVU found the net 5 minutes into the first period for that quarter’s only goal. Kevin Harkey burned a hard low shot from 10 yards out to even the score at 1 each at the beginning of the second quarter. With a patient offense UVU tallied 3 more goals in the second quarter to end the first half up 4-1.
FLC was able to possess and control the ball more in the second half, but offensively was still unable to produce many quality scoring opportunities. Cullen Bilgrav initiated an electrifying play in the third quarter as he created a defensive turnover, gobbled up the ground ball, streaked the length of the field, and passed to Attackman Andrew Allsup who zinged the ball low past the UVU goalie. In the fourth quarter Kevin Harkey slipped one past the UVU keeper to score FLC’s third and last goal of the game. UVU won with a final score of 11-3.
FLC’s defense played a gritty first half allowing only 4 UVU goals. After adjusting their offense in the third quarter, UVU was able to penetrate FLC’s perimeter with well executed drives and passes to the offside crease. With only 18 players compared to UVU’s 29 players, the FLC middies did an excellent job of playing hard with little substitution time. Goalie Sean Claussen played his most spectacular game of the season, making 21 saves, 3 of which were 1 on 1 attempts by UVU.
The Hawks host the University of New Mexico, next Friday at 7 PM, and then host the University of Northern Colorado on Sunday at 11 AM to finish the regular season.
April 9, 2011
Westminster Whips FLC 16-2
With a major storm pushing through the area, last Friday FLC boarded vans for the 400 mile 8 hour drive to Salt Lake City to face the Westminster Griffins. Game Day on Saturday dawned to intermittent heavy snow, gusty winds, and unseasonably cold temperatures. Fortunately Westminster has a beautiful turf lacrosse field, which handles inclement weather well.
FLC’s 18 athletes played a scrappy first quarter against Westminster’s roster of 36 players and 5 coaches. Josh deGuzman found the net halfway through the first quarter off a nice feed from Kevin Harkey to tally FLC’s first score.
With the score at 3-1 after the first quarter, Drew Larson darted in from midfield to score in the second period. With the score at 6-4, the Hawks felt that with outstanding play from the entire team, they had a chance of playing a competitive game. Unfortunately, the Griffins instituted a high pressure defense that virtually shut the Hawk’s offense off for the rest of the game. With the ball predominately on the Sky Hawk’s defensive end Westminster was able to feed their talented inside players for frequent goals.
The half ended with the Griffins up 9-2. Westminster continued their domination into the third and fourth quarters streaking to a 16-2 win.
Fort Lewis faces nationally ranked University of Utah at home next Saturday at 12 noon.
April 3, 2011
FLC Storms Past Western’s Mountaineers
Game day dawned as a typical spring day in the Rocky Mountains with stormy winds, some sun, some rain, and some snow – while the day before was almost like summer. With an improved program this year, Western tallied the first goal less than 1 minute into the game. Attackman Kevin Harkey roared right back with the Hawk’s first goal off a faceoff win by Josh deGuzman. For the rest of the first quarter, both teams had a difficult time getting into an offensive rhythm and the quarter ended at 1 apiece.
On the first possession of the second quarter, catching a great feed from Josh deGuzman, middie Drew Larson ripped the net for his first of 3 goals. Minutes later Larson fired from the outside, beating the Mountaineer goalie for FLC’s second score of the quarter. Dodging through the middle Kevin Harkey got his second goal off a nice feed from Aaron Blue. Drew Larson ripped another outside shot to tally his third goal of the quarter. With the clock winding down, the scrappy Western team was able to cause a Fort turnover and ran the ball down to score with just 1 second remaining in the second.
With the weather deteriorating, the second half saw both teams trying to run and gun on offense, with numerous turnovers. The faceoff team of Josh deGuzman, John Pekarske, and Drew Larson gave the Hawk’s numerous possessions throughout the game scooping up a combined 20 ground balls. The FLC Hawks were able stretched their lead to 5 with 2 goals from Kevin Harkey and a goal from freshman attackman Andrew Allsup and just 1 goal from western.
With a comfortable lead going into the fourth quarter, all of the Hawks players saw plenty of field time. Western was able to find the Hawk’s goal twice, and Harkey netted his fourth goal of the game for a 10-6 Skyhawk win.
The Hawks travel to Utah next weekend to play powerhouse Westminster University on Saturday.
April 2, 2011
FLC Skyhawks Race Past the Metro Roadrunners
Playing Metro State at Western State in Gunnison, the Skyhawks mashed Rocky Mountain Lacrosse Conference (RMLC) opponent Metro State. The Hawks jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead as freshman middie Ross Woods assisted Kevin Harkey for an easy shot in front of the Roadrunner’s goal. FLC’s defensemen Jon Bock, Mike Kelly, Sumner Randle, and John Pekarske shutout Metro’s offense and did not allow any scores the first quarter.
FLC’s offense sputtered the rest of the half, and the Roadrunners were able to ping the goal for 2 goals in the second quarter.
Down 2-1 at the half, the Hawks orchestrated an offensive surge the third quarter. Ross Woods tallied the first goal of the quarter to tie the score. Then Harkey passed to Michael Chase who then buried the ball. With a 1 point lead, Harkey assisted Ethan Fisher to solidify the lead to 2 goals. A scrappy Metro scored 2 quick goals to even the score. The Hawks bounced right back with an unassisted scores from Fisher, Harkey, and a driving goal by attackman Aaron Blue.
With a 7-4 lead going into the fourth quarter, the Roadrunners stepped up the intensity of their play. FLC’s standout goalie Sean Claussen stonewalled Metro making 6 saves in the quarter, 2 of them from right in front of the crease. Metro was only able to score 2 goals in the fourth, and freshman Ellsworth McCormack iced the cake with the FLC’s final goal giving the Hawks an 8-6 win.
FLC takes on divisional rival Western State on Sunday.
Saturday, March 27: Colorado School of Mines dug a grave for the FLC Skyhawks by burying 6 goals to the Hawks zero goals in the first half. The third quarter was more of the same as Mines piled on the rubbish with 3 more goals. FLC showed some spunk in the fourth quarter as Kevin Harkey tallied FLC’s loan goal from a sharp feed by Ross Woods. Final score Mines 11 Fort Lewis 1. Aside from goals, statistically the game was relatively even with both teams winning about the same number of ground balls and clears. However Mines won 10 faceoffs to FLC 6, and outshot FLC 31 to 22.
Sunday, March 28: There are times in a season when a team has to win, and Sunday was a must-win situation for FLC. With enough talent on the team to be competitive in the midfield, to dominate on defense, and to put the ball in the net on offense, the Hawks needed to put together an entire game. After installing a new defensive pattern in the fourth quarter against Mines, moving some players to different position, and a spirited pre-game meeting, the Hawks were mentally ready to shine. The first quarter was close as Kevin Harkey peppered the net with 2 great goals to Regis’ 1. As the Hawks gained more confidence, and the team chemistry finally started to meld, FLC put in 4 goals with 2 by Kevin Harkey, 2 by freshman Ellsworth McComack, and assists by Aaron Blue and Harkey. On one goal, Harkey ignited the team and numerous FLC fans with a quick sweep across the crease and a behind the back shot that binged the lower corner.
With a 6-4 half-time lead, FLC was a little flat in the third quarter trading goals with Regis.
The Hawks ramped it up in the fourth quarter with a bevy of shots, but only 2 goals. Regis matched the Fort with 2 goals.
Playing his first game of the season, Elsworth showed great scoring instincts and a slippery dodging style scoring a team high 5 goals. Josh deGuzman was outstanding at the faceoff X winning 14 of his 19 faceoffs. The defense was tough in their new formation, and the midfield was tenancious on ground balls. Jon Bock was honored by the team for his intensity and leadership.
Next weekend the Fort travels to Gunnison for games against Metro and its first divisional game against Western.
HI Players, Parents, and Friend of FLC Lacrosse
This past week, we’ve had sunny and unusually warm weather in Durango – with highs in the 60’s. The fields are dry, in good condition, and it’s great to be able to practice outside.
We had a fine 9 day trip to Southern California during the first week of March, although I would have liked to win more than we did – so here’s a recap.
We left FLC on Friday, March 4 in chilly weather with a few snow squalls coming through. The players were excited to be finished with their mid-term papers and test and get on to CA. As a weather front was moving through, the wind was crazy strong driving through Cortez to Kayenta in AZ. Just south of Cortez, the wind was blowing thousands of tumbleweeds across the highway. The fields looked like they were actually alive as the whole surface was comprised of undulating orbs. Since these are fragile, we didn’t try to dodge them on the highway, and just plowed them over. Once we entered into the true AZ desert, at times the sand was just flowing over the road. After we passed Kayenta, the winds diminished, and the weather cleared. We spent Friday night in beautiful Kingman. The team was eager to get on to CA so we left Kingman early on Saturday for the 6 hour drive to San Clemente arriving to sunny weather in the early afternoon. After checking in, the whole team hit the beach for some lacrosse tossing and surfing.
Sunday dawned a bit overcast with some drizzle, which cleared for our first game against Biola. This is a private university, similar in size to FLC and a good matchup. Both teams had a good defense, and both teams could not generate consistent offense. FLC came away the victor with a 5-4 win. Goalie Sean Claussen was awarded the game ball for his outstanding saves.
Monday was a free day, so the players enjoyed the beach, some surfing, checking out the shops and restaurants in San Clemente, etc.
Tuesday saw FLC matched up against powerhouse Cal State Fullerton. FLC had very little offensive possessions as Fullerton was able to control the clears and faceoffs. Defenseman John Pekarske had FLC’s play of the game as he scooped a ground ball, ran the length of the field, and scored. Kevin Harkey had 2 goals, Middie Cullen Bilgrav had the other for a final score of Fullerton 15 to FLC’s 4.
On Wednesday, FLC travelled to Cal State Long Beach. Long Beach is always a scrappy team, and was anxious to revenge last year’s lost to the Hawks. FLC put together a solid first half as the offense played smarter ball and the midfield and defense were much better on ground balls and clears. After being up by one at the end of the first half, the 15 FLC lax players just ran out of gas during the second half. Kevin Harkey was awarded the game ball, and had an outstanding game at attack scoring 5 goals and having 1 assist. The final score was Long Beach 12 and FLC 9.
After 2 games in 2 days, the Hawks travelled to UC San Diego to take on the Tritons. FLC was showing strong improvement each game and put together their best first half playing solid midfield, and strong defense. With a 1 goal lead at half, and the fog swirling in, the tritons stunned the Hawks with 3 quick goals in the first quarter. The Hawks put up a valiant second half effort, but was unable to regain the lead and lost 8-5. Aaron Blue had a breakout game tallying 2 goals, and Harkey continued to drive the offense with 3 goals. Long Stick Middie, Drew Larson was awarded the game ball for a tremendous defensive effort.
Friday was a much enjoyed free day as the players rested after 4 games in 3 days. With perfect SoCal weather, the beaches were closed due to the Japanese Tsunami, so the team’s focused switched from beach activities to other pursuits.
The FLC team is scrappy and played with great heart. These 4 games enabled the team to greatly improve some weak areas, and are a good foundation for the conference games in Colorado and Utah. Some of the FLC players were unable to make this trip, so I anticipate greater success with a larger roster.