By Charles Renning
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Wednesday Feb. 27, 2002
The Laxcats will kick off a month-long home stand tonight at 7 against No. 4 Michigan at Laxcat Field.
This game will have little effect on the Laxcats' conference standing, but a win could be a big confidence-booster for this young team.
"This will be a huge game in boosting our confidence as a team," head coach Adam Hopkins said.
"It really doesn't mean anything for our conference standings," senior goalie Greg Parkington said. "On a national level, (a win) would be big."
The No. 13 Laxcats (5-0, 4-0), who are coming off three big conference wins last weekend in the Los Angeles area, would like to stretch their current winning streak to six games.
However, this could be tough playing a Michigan team that is currently ranked in the top four in the nation and has won its conference the past three years.
"Just like in any sport, any team can win on any given day," Parkington said. "It comes out to the team that works the hardest and executes their game plan."
The Wolverines (2-0, 1-0) are coming off a 12-4 drubbing of Arizona State in Tempe last weekend. Michigan controlled the game from start to finish. They outshot the Sun Devils 42-11 and won 17 out of 20 face-offs.
Michigan is a team that prides itself on defense and during the first quarter, held the Sun Devils without a shot on goal.
Although UA has played Michigan twice in the last three years, Hopkins said they are not too sure what to expect from the Wolverines. But because of their No. 4 ranking, he said he knows they will be a quality team.
"Traditionally, the top four teams in the (U.S. Lacrosse Intercollegiate Associates) poll are untouchable," Hopkins said.
But he also added that it will be a good game to see where the team stands in respect to other top teams in the nation.
"We need to stick to our game plan," Parkington said. "This past weekend in L.A., we realized that if we do that, we will be successful."
Home-field advantage is one benefit that the Laxcats have before the game even starts.
"There are a lot of distractions on the road," Hopkins said. "I like the fact that other teams have to worry about all those other things."
Tonight's game will begin a stretch of four games in five days and an eight-game homestand for the Laxcats.
UA will continue play this weekend at Arizona Stadium. The Wildcats play Michigan State on Friday at 8 p.m., Cal Poly San Luis Obispo on Saturday at 1 p.m. and finish up the weekend against Fort Lewis College at 3 p.m.
"After this week, some teams will start to take notice (of our team)," Hopkins said.