SALT LAKE CITY — The Westminster men’s lacrosse team will continue its season-opening seven-game road trip with two games in Southern California.Â The eighth-ranked Griffins face UC Santa Cruz in Los Angeles on February 27.Â The next day Westminster plays at Concordia (Calif.) in Irvine, Calif.
Westminster carries a 1-1 record into the weekend after splitting games at the MCLA Full House Face Off.Â Westminster opened the year with an 18-11 loss to No. 10 Western Oregon.Â They responded with a 19-9 victory over No. 13 Cal State Fullerton.
The Griffins outscored the opposition 30-27 to start the season.Â Westminster finished games strong by posting an 11-8 edge in fourth quarter goals during opening weekend.Â Westminster opponents hold an 84-51 advantage in shots.Â Three Griffin goalies have combined for 53 saves and a 66.3% save percentage.
Jake Arthur leads the team with eight goals and eight points.Â Andy Lehr scored five goals with one assist for six points.Â Andrew Gordon and Gian Sexsmith have five points apiece with four goals and one assist.Â Dallas McLellan made 39 saves with a 10.74 goals against average.Â He has a 69.6% save percentage.Â Chris Burckle posted a 77.8% save percentage with seven saves.
About UC Santa Cruz
UC Santa Cruz enters the week with a 0-5 overall record.Â They dropped both games at last week’s Full House Face Off to extend the losing streak to five games.Â Will Jaffe has scored a team-best 13 points with eight goals and five assists.Â David Misaka has recorded 11 points with seven goals.Â Dylan Weed-Pomerantz has made 61 saves with a 46% save percentage.
About No. 24 Concordia (CA)
Concordia heads into the Westminster game with a perfect 4-0 record.Â They are coming off a 17-4 victory over Biola on February 19.Â The Eagles have outscored the opposition 60-22 in four games this season and three times allowed four goals or less.Â Dustin Seguin has scored 20 goals and totaled 29 points.Â He scored eight goals in a 13-12 win over UC Santa Cruz on February 5.Â GM Ciallella has made 45 saves and allows 3.75 goals per game.
Westminster will broadcast all five home games live on Griffins TV.Â The live feed will go live approximately 15 minutes prior to the face-off.Â Fans can access Griffins TV at WestminsterGriffins.com.
All Westminster home games will feature Live Stats.Â The feed begins with the opening face-off and can be accessed at WestminsterGriffins.com.
Preseason Player of the Year
Dallas McLellan has been named the Preseason Player of the Year by Lacrosse Magazine. McLellan enters his senior season with 33 career victories and a 62.7% save percentage. He has twice been named MCLA First Team All-American and also has been a Second Team All-American. The 5-10 goalie from Sandy, Utah, led the Griffins to the 2008 national championship as a freshman and led the team to the semi-finals last season.Â McLellan made 39 saves with a 1-1 record during the opening weekend.
Checking the Polls
The Griffins can be found inside the top 25 of all three major MCLA DII polls released this week.Â Westminster sits eighth in the Prodigy MCLA Coaches’ DII Top 25 poll that was released on Tuesday.Â They dropped three spots to ninth in the ADIDAS/MCLA The LAX Mag Top 23 poll that was released on Monday.Â The LAX Power computer rankings have the Griffins at No. 13 through games played on February 22.
Since the program started competition in 2007, Westminster has posted a 9-3 mark in the first three games of the season.Â The Griffins have gone just 2-2 in season openers, but they have never opened the year with two consecutive losses.Â Westminster is also 3-1 in the second game of the year and they have never lost the third game of the season.Â The team opened at Dumke Field in 2008 and 2009 with a 1-1 record.Â They went 2-1 to start last season, losing the season opener to UC-Santa Cruz.
Full House Face Off
For the second consecutive year Westminster played host to the MCLA Full House Face Off to begin the year.Â This year Cal State Fullerton, UC-Santa Cruz, Utah Valley, and Western Oregon joined the Griffins in Nevada.Â Western Oregon won the 2011 title with a 3-0 record.Â Utah Valley finished 2-1 while Westminster went 1-1.Â UC Santa Cruz and Cal State Fullerton finished 0-2 respectively.
Sophomore Jake Arthur scored eight goals n the first two games of the season.Â The 6-foot midfielder from South Jordan had two goals in the season opener against Western Oregon.Â He then a career high scored six goals against Cal State Fullerton the next day.Â He had just 15 goals in all of 2010 and his previous high for goals in a game was four against Western Washington on February 20, 2010.
Playing the Best
Westminster will once again face one of the toughest schedules in the country this season.Â The Griffins have eight teams ranked in the first Prodigy MCLA DII Top 25 Coaches’ Poll on the agenda in 2011.Â Westminster will also face two teams, BYU and Utah, that are ranked in the DI poll. The Griffins played five ranked opponents during the 2010 regular season along with BYU and Utah.
Westminster concludes the season-opening road trip with three games in three days in St. Paul, Minn.Â Westminster faces No. 4 Grand Valley State on March 11, No. 12 Savannah College of Art & Design on March 12, and No. 1 Saint Thomas (Minn.) on March 13.