Lacrosse team making strides

What happens when you mix football, hockey and soccer?

Lacrosse — a sport with roots on the East Coast that is slowly spreading its way westward. UK has had a club lacrosse team for a while now, but the team is starting to round the corner and is beginning to be taken seriously.

“Lacrosse is very fast-paced and intense,” said head coach Jacob Knight, who is also the Kernel’s advertising adviser. “There’s just as much contact as hockey; a lot of plays are similar to hockey and football; the offensive and defensive matchups are similar to basketball. It’s something new that you don’t see a lot in Kentucky.”

Club lacrosse started at UK in the ’80s, but didn’t really pick up until recently, Knight said.

“It varied in the commitment of the team, but the last three or four years it has become more serious,” he said. “More come to play and try out.”

The team practices three times a week and has its games at the Club Sports Field by the soccer and softball complex on Saturdays.

“Our goal is always to win a national championship,” said junior long-stick middle Andrew McCarthy. “We want to continue making a name for Kentucky lacrosse.”

McCarthy hails from Boston, Mass., where lacrosse is more of an everyday sport, and is trying to incorporate his knowledge into the team. Now in his third year playing for UK, McCarthy knows teamwork, as in most sports, is essential in lacrosse.

“We want to play more as a team,” he said. “Focus less on the individual talents and more on the teamwork.”

The Cats play against seven other teams in the Midwest South region, one of 12 in the National College Lacrosse League. The team goal is straightforward: win.

“We want to win the championship,” senior defenseman Tommy Brummet said. “Last season, we made it to the final eight for Division II club teams. We brought a lot back, so our goal is to win the tournament. Considering all the players we have, I think we can.”

Brummet came to the UK as a kicker for the football team, but after he was injured he decided to come back to the sport he had played for 10 years.

“I had played lacrosse in high school and it was my favorite sport,” he said. “Football didn’t work out, so I came out for the club lacrosse team, and I’m happy with my decision.”

While the Cats’ record is currently 2-3, they believe the losses will help in the long run.

“We’ve played some tough teams, which is what we need to do,” Brummet said. “We fully expect to get to the playoffs. Our record doesn’t reflect our potential, and we can turn it around.”

UK faces the Ohio University Bobcats, a team the Cats have never beaten, tomorrow at 4:30 p.m.