Feb 19, 2021 | SPORTS | By Zeke Lloyd | Photo courtesy of The Catalyst Archives
It is a little-known fact that the Colorado College Men’s Lacrosse Team was undefeated during their most recent season. In all fairness, they only played six games before the pandemic’s spread canceled the rest. For the three weeks they were competing, though, the team demonstrated an unbeatable dominance.
While the off-season may have been long, the Tigers are looking to keep up the momentum. So now, after what has been almost an entire year since their last match, the team will once again face an opponent on Washburn Field.
At 1 p.m. on this coming Sunday, Feb. 21, Colorado State University at Pueblo will travel up to Colorado Springs for both teams’ first game of the season.
“I think everyone is super excited to play our first official game against an actual opponent,” attacker John Sutro ’21 said.
After three years of experience with the team, Sutro was also willing to provide some insight into the difficulty of the upcoming match.
“We’ve played Pueblo a couple of times, they’re always a good team … they’re obviously Division II,” Sutro said. “I think we have a pretty good strategy and we have a lot of talent, it’s about executing and putting it together.”
That talent will certainly serve the team well during this upcoming season, comprised of 15 games. Sutro further expressed confidence in how the team might perform over the course of the whole spring. “Honestly I think this is the most talented team we’ve had here. I’m super excited to see us play,” he said.
Philip Gisler ’24, an attacker from Boise, Idaho, agreed, saying, “We have a great group of leaders, and a big freshmen and sophomore class that’s coming together. I think we’re going to be extremely competitive and find a lot of success.”
Something that may help make the team more competitive is its newfound size. The 2021 roster consists of 58 players; this is a large spike, as just two years ago the team had only 49 players. Moreover, the senior class only makes up only about 12% of the team.
“I think we have done a pretty successful job at incorporating a lot of the underclassmen into the team culture and what it means to be a CC lacrosse player,” Sutro said. “We’ve been able to mix up the groups and get to know each other through virtual Zooms. It’s been more challenging than it has been in the past, especially because our team is the biggest it has been in my time here.”
Despite the challenges of the pandemic, Gisler agrees that the program has done well integrating new players into the large community.
“I didn’t come from a big lacrosse hub, so just the coaching and the community itself have been amazing. Coach Woods and Coach Pop are great guys and are really passionate about the team.” Gisler said. “Just the structure and being able to have a strength program and all this, even during a pandemic, is really special and something to be grateful for.”
The size of the team has also proven to be a challenge during the pandemic. While players are tested twice a week and maintain safe practices, the players still feel an appreciation for being on the field.
“‘We are just super fortunate’ is the mentality that a lot of us have.” Sutro said. “Every day out there is a blessing and we really want to thank this student body, and our athletic director and all our athletic team staff. They give us such a great opportunity to play.”
Sutro is not only grateful for the chance to play this year, but also looks forward to the future of the team after he is gone.
“We have great leadership in the junior class, there’s a lot of really great players to add to that too,” Sutro said. “As it is my last season, I definitely think the program is in really good shape right now.”
Even though Gisler finds himself on the opposite end of the age range, he holds a similar sentiment. “I’m just extremely excited … we’re hoping to find a lot of success and I think we will.”