One of our Readers, CrimsonBlood, has taken us down the lacrosse trail and man it is heating up! We've moved from posting score updates into the diaries section to actually being contacted by one of the assistant coaches of the team. While our interest in the sport had been sparked already, Coach Matheson agreed to share his insights on the sport and tell us first had about Oklahoma's team and why we should get out and support them.
Thanks for your time coach and welcome to the Machine!
Coach Matheson: Lacrosse is the fastest game on two feet. It is a combination of soccer, hockey and basketball. The field is roughly the size of a soccer field. There is body checking like in hockey, it can be a rough sport, although there are seldom any injuries even though it is a very physical game. Each game consists of 4 - 15 minute quarters. A typical game last about 2 hours from start to finish. For a history lesson on lacrosse, you can go to USLacrosse.
Lacrosse is a new sport at OU. How is the program going and what does the future hold for fans of the sport and Sooner fans in general?
Coach Matheson: OU actually had a team in the early 1980's. I played for OSU and we played the OU squad several times a year. However, for some reason the program stuttered and finally when away around 1986. Alex Perry, the teams President came to a few of us 3 years ago while we were playing on a men's team. He told us he wanted to get a team going at OU and wanted our help coaching. Alex along with Andy Roop, our school advisor , have worked really hard to get this off the ground. We are getting a lot of interest from players around the US who are interested in coming to OU just because we have a lacrosse team and want to continue player. We are still building a solid base and in the next 2-5 years should see a very good squad of players. Hopefully we will have something similar to the University of Texas who actually have two teams, a starting team and a development team. This is the first year we have been really competitive within the league and hope to make it to the championships next year.
Who are some of the names on this year's teams that OU fans should take note of?
Coach Matheson: It is hard to give credit to just a few individuals since this is truly a team sport. If the defensive or offensive unit does not function well, the team as a whole will not be able to compete very well. But the fans love action. On defense I would keep my eye on #45 Alex Perry. He is usually knocking the ball out of an opponent's stick and bringing it back to our offensive end. David Floyd #13 is a big, hard hitting defensemen and Austin Fennema # 24 is a tall, fast defenseman who will continue to improve the next two years. In addition to the defense ( long poles ) there is also # 3 Phil Isaacs who plays on the face off line as well as some defense. He will be getting more playing time on defense since we have suffered a couple of injuries lately. On offense it is usually the attack that score, but our midfielders are getting into the scoring zone lately as well. The top high scorers this year so far are as follows: #8 Adam Hawbaker 11 goals, #12 Ray Wilcox 10 goals, #10 Cory Euhus 6 goals, #22 Hollis Meyer 6 goals. Others to watch are #28 Chrispy Hoover, #9 Kevin Neil and #17 Matt Dzura.
You are off to Dallas this weekend for games against North Texas (Friday) and SMU (Saturday) what is the best way for OU fans to follow the team when they are on the road?
Coach Matheson: www.oulacrosse.com. There they can sign up for the newsletter that comes out after every game at a minimum. For people in the area, they can email one of the coaches for directions.
Baylor, Kansas State, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech and Nebraska are all on the schedule. Is there a conference champion for Lacrosse?
Coach Matheson: Yes, there is a championship each year, usually in late April. Go to Lone Star Alliance for details.
The games are free to attend but tell us where we would need to go to watch them and the best way to get information on the team.
Coach Matheson: Most home games are played on the intramural field on the corner of Jenkins and Timberdell. But since we had all the rain last weekend, we play games rain or shine, that field is now under repair. The rest of our home games will be played on the large intramural fields just to the east one block. During our Face-off Classic Tournament in March, we will also be playing some games in the soccer stadium. We even have a night game scheduled. For last minute changes and information, you can always check out our web page. Here is the remaining schedule for 2008:
Sat 02/23/08 North Texas University of North Texas 1:00 PM away
Sun 02/24/08 SMU Dallas, TX 12:00 PM away
Sat 03/01/08 Kansas State University Norman, OK 1:00 PM home
Sat 03/08/08 Oklahoma State Norman, OK 1:00 PM home
Face-off Classic Weekend all home games
Fri 03/28/08 Texas Tech Norman, OK 8:00 PM
Sat 03/29/08 Stephen F. Austin Norman, OK 1:00 PM
Sat 03/29/08 University of North Dakota Norman, OK 8:00 PM
Sun 03/30/08 Nebraska Norman, OK 12:00 PM
Sat 04/12/08 University of Arkansas Fayetteville, AR 1:00 PM away