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Club Sports Notes

ALYSON GROVE/Arizona Daily Wildcat

Laxcat defenseman Tim McComb tries to maneuver around Cal Poly midfielder Andrew Parr yesterday in Arizona Stadium. The Laxcats lost to Cal Poly 10-9, which was their only loss of the weekend.

By Charles Renning
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Monday Mar. 4, 2002

Laxcats win 4th game in 5 days

The Laxcats wrapped up a stretch of seven games in 10 days this weekend as they beat Michigan State and Fort Lewis College, but lost to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

Assistant coach Ken Crowley said this week's stretch of games can be used as preparation for the United States Lacrosse Intercollegiate Association playoffs. Because of the way the playoffs are set up, teams that win are force to play games on consecutive days.

"In St. Louis (at the playoffs), you have to win four games in five days," said Crowley. "They now know what it takes to win in a short period of time."

Senior attackman Jay Spatafora agreed that the recent stretch has helped to prepare UA.

"We've learned how to deal with the emotions of a win and get ready for the next game," Spatafora said.

It was a somewhat bittersweet weekend for the Laxcats (8-1, 5-0). Despite losing its first game of the season, the team was pleased with their overall performance for the 10 days.

"A lot of different guys started stepping up," Spatafora said. "We started to play well as a team."

The Laxcats started the weekend Friday night when they beat Michigan State 11-3.

UA controlled the contest from the face off and never let the Spartans in the game.

But Saturday was a whole different story.

The Laxcats and Cal Poly went back and forth the entire game.

Junior attackman Josh Morrison put the Laxcats up 6-2 at halftime with four first half goals, but the Mustangs would not go away.

Cal Poly battled back and brought the game within a goal, 7-6, heading into the final period.

The Mustangs scored two quick goals to start the fourth quarter and took the lead for the first time since early in the first quarter. They would not relinquish it.

With two minutes left in the game, the Laxcats trailed 10-9 but made several costly mistakes and could not overtake Cal Poly.

"(On Saturday) we were sleeping," Crowley said. "(The team) knows they were beaten. No excuses. Cal Poly played a hell of a game.

"It's almost a good loss because they realized they can be beat and it opened our eyes."

The Laxcats bounced back from their first loss of the year with a 15-4 win over Fort Lewis College yesterday.

UA looked as though it might be in trouble early in the first quarter when it fell behind 3-2, but quickly responded and took a 7-3 halftime lead.

"We came out a little flat from the loss," Crowley said, "But we got it together and started sticking the ball in the cage."

The Laxcats dominated the second half and went on to score eight second half goals, while only allowing one.

Spatafora lead all Laxcats scores this weekend with 18 points.

"I'm really proud of these guys," Crowley said. "They really fought hard."

The Laxcats will continue play on Sunday when they take on the University of Santa Barbara at Laxcat Field.

Rugby ends three-game losing streak

The UA rugby team ended a three-game conference losing streak this weekend with two big wins over Long Beach State and UCLA.

Behind the play of their forwards, the Wildcats beat UCLA 50-17 and Long Beach State 42-17.

Head coach Dave Sitton said the team was better in its attacking this weekend and the way the backs ran the ball.

UA broke off several long runs, which accounted for a majority of its points.

"We played better," Sitton said. "We're excited about winning two games in a row."

The Wildcats (5-7, 3-3) came out fresh after a weekend off and their play showed.

"We weren't as beat up and fatigued," Sitton added.

As the season winds down, senior flanker Tommy Dolan said that both wins were crucial.

"This will help get some momentum and finish up the season strong," Dolan said.

The Wildcats will continue play this Friday when they travel to San Diego to play the University of California San Diego.

Dolan said this will be a big game for the Wildcats if they want to achieve their goal of finishing over .500 for the season.

"We'd like to finish the year with no more loses and set a good example for the following teams." Dolan said. "Even though you might not make the playoffs, you can still have fun and enjoy the game."


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