A rigorous regular season schedule helps the Broncos qualify
May 2, 2019
For the first time ever, the Broncos (8- 6) have qualified for a bid to the Division I National Tournament. Santa Clara Men’s Lacrosse managed to make program history this past weekend, despite losing the Western Collegiate Lacrosse League (WCLL) championship game to No. 1 ranked Cal Berkeley on Sunday,
The Broncos are one of three WCLL teams that earned a trip to the tournament held in Salt Lake City between May 6-11. The undefeated Cal Bears (14-0)—winner of the division and a former national champion—will enter the field of 16 teams as the No. 1 seed. Cal Poly (8-4), whom Santa Clara knocked out of the WCLL tournament in the semifinal round, will be the No. 9 seed, ranking five spots higher than the No. 14 Broncos.
“After making the league playoffs for the first time in 10 years last year, we set our sights high this season and put together a demanding schedule,” Head Coach and Santa Clara lacrosse alum Greg Mengis said. “It was risky scheduling so many nationally ranked opponents, but it paid off with some big wins and overall results that put us in position to qualify for the national championship tournament.”
Several Broncos have already been awarded accolades for their outstanding play this season.
Sophomore Keaton Collier was named First Team All-WCLL attack while senior team captain and long stick midfielder Ryan Buchanan and senior midfielder Brian Buckley earned Second Team honors. Club president, senior defender Kyle Jacobs, recieved an Honorable Mention. Junior netminder Matt Lencioni earned the title of Division I Goalie of the Week for his crucial saves in the fourth quarter of the WCLL quarterfinals against Nevada that kept his team alive.
Santa Clara will face off against No. 3 seed South Carolina (17-2) in the first round of the tournament next Monday at 4:30 p.m. The Gamecocks—who qualified for the National Tournament for the first time last season—are riding a wave of momentum after defeating the No. 2 and 3 ranked teams in the nation on their way to winning the Southeastern Lacrosse Conference championship.
“We want to prove that we belong in this tournament,” junior attack Henry Godfrey said. “We’re focused on tidying up mistakes we made in the conference championship against Berkeley and keeping the energy up heading into the first round. I’m optimistic that if we play our best game, we can advance far into the tournament.”
Regardless of the outcome, this year’s Men’s Lacrosse team has accomplished a feat never achieved in past years.
And next week is their chance to prove themselves on the national stage.
“Attending the national championship tournament means a lot for the program,” Mengis said. “I couldn’t be more proud of our players for accomplishing a lofty goal that we set at the beginning of the year, and we can’t wait for the trip to Salt Lake City.”
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