On a breezy and wet night, the Southern Oregon Men’s Lacrosse team secured its second ever Pacific Northwest Collegiate Lacrosse League (PNCLL) South division championship with a 15-13 victory against the Western Oregon University Wolves. The win caps off a dominating regular season, in which the Raiders finished 11-2 and a perfect 4-0 record in division play. Junior attacker Ari “The Hebrew Hammer” Feldman led the way in the division-clinching win, notching 4 goals and 1 assist. The performance was indicative of the attackers’ play this season; Feldman ranks third on the team with 23 goals. Coming into the game, he anticipated the game to be one of the team’s hardest challenges.
“We knew we had to play a tough game. We knew it was going to be a team effort and it was going to be a full 60 minute battle,” said Feldman, “We knew this team was never going to quit.” That’s expected from the Wolves, as WOU has captured the PNCLL championship 6 times (an astonishing ‘6-peat’ from 2008-2013).
Multiple times on Saturday evening, the Raiders staved off a Wolves comeback. On three separate occasions, WOU was able to pull within one point, but each time, one of the Raider seniors stepped up in response. Whether it was goalie Connor Kelly, with his seven save effort, or attacker Scott Murphy, who recorded two goals and an assist. Head coach Mark Brown, who has been at the helm of Raider lacrosse since 2005, credited SOU’s depth of seniors as a fundamental part to their success.
“It’s all about the seniors who haven’t won the PNCLL South division yet. It’s our best senior class ever, by far. They deserved it.”
All very fitting, as Saturday’s night contest was Senior Night. The game balls went to the seven seniors: Scott Comer, Dirk Davidson, Josh Barnhart, Connor Kelley, Scott Murphy, Ian Wilborn and Killian Spicer-Torreblanca.
The win comes at a crucial juncture for the Raiders, as postseason play begins next week in Boise, Idaho. With the victory SOU secures a first-round bye in the PNCLL playoffs. They will start the quest for their first ever PNCLL championship on April 30th against the winner of the College of Idaho-Western Washington University matchup.