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Laxcats face Sonoma State in WCLL semi-finals

By Chris Reimer
Arizona Daily Wildcat
April 15, 1999
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Leigh-Anne Brown
Arizona Daily Wildcat

Sophomore defenseman Tom Christian (25) swipes the ball from his UCLA opponent during the game Saturday at Wildcat Field. The Laxcats beat the Bruins 18-12 and will now face Sonoma State in the second round of the WCLL Playoffs.

The UA Laxcats travel to San Francisco this weekend to face Sonoma State in the semi-finals of the Western Collegiate Lacrosse League playoffs.

Arizona lost to Sonoma State 12-5 as the game was played in wet and muddy conditions in Sonoma, Calif., earlier this season.

UA head coach Mickey-Miles Felton said the Laxcats team Sonoma State will face tomorrow is not the same team it played against earlier this year.

Felton said the team will likely change its defensive philosophy due to Sonoma State's unique style of offense.

"They get great contributions from their midfielders on offense," he said. "Their offense is geared toward their talent at the midfield position."

Along with changes in the defensive philosophy, Felton has yet to decide who will start in goal for the Laxcats. Freshman Greg Parkington is challenging freshman Jesse Carlaftes for the starting job.

"It is a difference between Jesse's size in the net and Greg's quickness," Felton said.

Felton said he is very excited that the Laxcats get a chance to experience the postseason.

"We took our knocks as a team, but we are a young team that has come a long way," Felton said. "I really want this team to get the experience of the national championships."

Rugby team plays BYU in opening game of playoffs

The UA rugby team will face BYU Saturday in the opening game of the West Regional playoffs at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs.

Fullback Chris Kron led the Wildcats (6-1) this season with eight tries, but will miss the game with a shoulder injury sustained in the season finale against Arizona State. Without Kron, Arizona will look to Jon Shumway and Al Lakomskis (five tries apiece) to lead the offense. Also, Zack Harrison (four tries, 10 penalty goals, 20 conversion kicks) has recovered from an injury.

Sitton said it has been a great pleasure to see this team evolve into a compact unit.

"Since this senior class came in as freshmen, we, as coaches, have learned to train better with conditioning and weight training both in the off-season and the regular season," Sitton said.

If Arizona can defeat BYU at noon Saturday, the Wildcats will play Sunday against the winner of the game between the Army and Wyoming.

Arizona finished the season on a tear, winning its last seven games by an average of over 38 points to take its second conference title in three years. UA has also held its last seven opponents to less than six points per game.

If Arizona can win its games this weekend it will advance to the Final Four in San Francisco May 1-2.

"Anything less than an appearance in the national championships would be a letdown to this team," Sitton said. - Chris Reimer