By Matt Haile —

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The University of Wisconsin–Stout men’s club lacrosse team kicked off their season last Saturday. They faced both the University of Minnesota and St. Norbert College. All three teams are a part of the Great Lakes Lacrosse League.

The first match against Minnesota was considered an exhibition match due to a lack of players on the opposing team. The Gophers ended up winning the match 6-1 with a couple of players lent to them by Stout.

“Offensively we didn’t play very well and couldn’t control the ball long enough to make an attempt on net. Of course we did give the Gophers some players,” said freshman midfielder Kyle Erickson (Waunakee, Wis.).

“Our performance was not as crisp as we would have preferred,” said freshman midfielder Connor Destache (Green Bay, Wis.). “Although, that is not uncommon during the first game of the season. Minnesota was a skilled team with more experienced players, but we did not fold under the pressure.”

The tides turned for the Blue Devils as they came out victorious in the second game, beating St. Norbert 6-2.

“The second game went a lot better for us. We played exceptionally well on both ends of the field. We struck early and often in the first half,” said Erickson. “Our set lines gave us a chance to learn how to play together and how to work with specific people.”

Destache started off the scoring with a rocket shot from deep. It was all uphill from there for the Blue Devils; Destache would go on to score one more goal.

“I had two goals in the first half and my line worked really well together. We spread the ball around and the offense moved quickly. This gave us a plenty of shots on net,” stated Destache.

The lacrosse club at Stout is well-rounded and very competitive.

“We have a lot of young talent,” said Destache. “A lot of friendships on the team, and the captains do a good job of keeping things organized and keeping the

team focused.”

“One of our greatest strengths would be our depth at midfield. We have four lines of players and that allows us to run with any team deep into games,” said Erickson. “We are very well balanced on both sides of the ball. The offense is strong and smart. The defense is fast and physical.”

Look for the Blue Devils this weekend, who have two home games on April 11. They face the University of Wisconsin–River Falls and the University of North Dakota.

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