Men’s lacrosse team restoring tradition

Young club returns for second year after hiatus, earning victories against bigger, competitive programs

Coming off of an extremely successful 2016 spring season, Trinity men’s lacrosse returned to action ready to tackle a new league. The guys went undefeated in the 2016 season and won the Gulf Coast Lacrosse Association championship, earning them a spot in a higher level league.

“After going undefeated last season and winning our league championship in the Gulf  Coast Lacrosse Association, we were able to join the Lone Star Alliance, the top club league in the state featuring teams like UT, Texas A&M, Baylor, TCU, etc.,” said Ben Mulford, senior.

As with many teams that join a bigger, more competitive league, the Tigers are going in hopefully cautious. The team is training to be as competitive as possible, and setting big goals to hopefully win it all.

“We hope to be competitive. Entering a new league means there will be better competitors. We obviously want to win but we want to make sure that we represent the school with respect and pride,” said John Carr, junior.

“Our goal is to win the second division of the Lone Star Alliance, which would secure us a regional bid to the national club lacrosse tournament this May in Orange County, California.”

The lacrosse team has been on hiatus for several years. The team disbanded several years ago, but Mulford was inspired to bring the program back. The team has been back for about a year.

“My junior year (last year) I and a small group of other students began the process of reestablishing lacrosse as a club sport. We have had tremendous success in recruiting players, putting together a competitive roster and so far have not lost a contest since the lacrosse program restarted play,” Mulford said.

Mulford knew the new team had big shoes to fill.

Trinity’s lacrosse program is one of the oldest collegiate programs in the state,” Mulford said.

So far, they have been holding their own. While the league only started games in January, the men have been preparing and competing since last fall. In mid-November the team faced off against top-tier competition from Texas, New Mexico, Louisiana and Oklahoma at the Texas A&M Fall Classic.   After a break, the team came back to start games in January, beginning the season with an 8-8 draw against Texas A&M Galveston.

The team’s first game this semester was in February. They were able to grab a 12-10 victory against St. Edward’s University. The team started slow, with St. Edward’s winning the first quarter with four goals to Trinity’s three. However, the boys rallied together and had a very strong second quarter, scoring six points total — twice as many as St. Edward’s. The Tigers maintained their lead for the remainder of the game, scoring two points in the third quarter and one in the final.

The team recently faced off against the University of North Texas, recording their first loss of the season, 15-9. UNT, which is actually a LSA Division I school, started the game very strong, securing a 3-0 lead in the first quarter, which proved to be the ultimate difference maker. The Tigers chipped away over the course of the rest of the game, scoring three points in the second, third and fourth quarters, but UNT scored five in the second quarter and then four in the final to seal their victory.

For much of the team, getting to play lacrosse at the collegiate level is about more than just winning games. Many of the men have long-standing attachments to the sport from when they were children, and others found lacrosse as a way to continue their love for athletics without playing on a varsity sport.

“I was always really competitive in high school. I used to play football and baseball,” said lacrosse player Gibson Hatch. “Coming to Trinity I decided to stop playing sports, but decided to play lacrosse after my good friend Ben Mulford told me I should come out and give it a try.”

Like Hatch, even those without experience are encouraged to try out for the team. For more information, contact Ben Mulford at bmulford@trinity.edu.