By Alec Caso and David Burton
Loud shouts of praise, criticism, and encouragement echoed throughout the campus as the University of Michiganâs lacrosse team took Ted Slavin field. From fourth period throughout seventh period the team prepared for their matchup against the number one ranked Chapman University College.
“This is our biggest game of the year so far, we have to come ready to play ready in order to take over the number one spot,” Michigan Lacrosse coach John Paul said. Michigan is ranked as the number two lacrosse team in the Menâs Collegiate Lacrosse Association, MCLA. The MCLA is a separate lacrosse league from the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) that provides non varsity lacrosse teams with an interscholastic league. The team which was on their spring break, came to California to play three on-the-road games. Making their first stop in San Diego to defeat the University of Arizona 14-3, then on to Santa Barbara to defeat UCSB 7-5; the team made its way to Studio City to use Harvard-Westlakeâs practice facilities.
“When we travel to other states we try to use our connections to find practice facilities,” Paul said.
“We like to look for high school facilities because we want to expose upcoming high school lacrosse players to the pace of a college level practice.”
Charlie Meister, Harvard Westlakeâs varsity lacrosse coach, offered Paul a chance to train on Ted Slavin Field before the final game of their California road trip against Chapman University. Arriving at the school at approximately 11 a.m., after a quick speech from Paul, the team suited up and took the field. On the sideline sounds of laughter filled the air, but as soon as they stepped on the field, the players became serious, competitive, and settled into the intensity of a collegiate level practice.
“Itâs really cool to have a college level team play at our school. They play at a completely different pace, and they really know what they are doing,” varsity team captain Connor OâToole â10 said.
Michigan beat Chapman University 13-10 on Feb. 28.