CORVALLIS, Ore. -- Oregon State hosts Boise State this weekend in a pivotal conference game in the Pacific Northwest Collegiate Lacrosse League (PNCLL). OSU is currently tied atop the conference with a 3-0 record. The Broncos are just behind at 3-1, having suffered their first league loss on Friday.
“Most of the teams in our conference have played several games against each other at this point of the season, but the next few weeks will determine where teams are at in terms of playoff seeding,” said OSU coach Chad Stelling.
Boise State is currently ranked No. 23 in the country with a 5-6 record. However, the six losses have all come to ranked opponents who currently reside in the top 10. The Broncos have an high-powered offense, tallying 136 goals on the year, which is just over 12 a game. Stelling and the Beavers spent the week focusing on slowing the Boise State attack, but are still focused on executing their own game plan.
“We are definitely focused on us, but we are also very aware of what they are doing. They have some tremendous attackmen and a productive midfield group,” said Stelling. “They are a very talented team that likes to move the ball quickly on offense. They are also very good in transition and are an extremely hard working, scrappy unit, so we are going to have to be ready for their intensity.”
Despite the loss to top ranked Chapman last weekend, the Beavers are still very much in the hunt for a postseason bid. Winning the automatic bid to the MCLA National Tournament powered by Under Armour is the primary target for the Beavers the rest of the season.
“This is the most important game of our season to this point, not just because it’s the next one, but because it’s a conference game and it will really set the stage for our conference playoffs,” said Stelling. “Because of the seasons that all of us have had in the PNCLL, it’s likely we are a one horse conference as far as getting teams to the national tournament. So where you are seeded going into the conference tournament can really help or hinder your ability to get to the next level and competing for an MCLA championship.”
Senior Attackman Seth Goddin reiterated the point that his coach made about regaining focus before the Boise State game.
“This is a huge game for us. We got a taste of what it takes to be a top ranked team last week against Chapman and we have used that to stay focused and energized this week,” said Goddin.
Goddin has been a key part of the OSU attack this season, and although his goal total of just four doesn’t jump off the stat sheet, the senior is active in the attack, moving the ball and spacing the field for his teammates. Goddin was a part of the OSU team that won the PNCLL last year, and knows that the Beavers upcoming schedule will greatly test the team.
“Boise State is a very talented team and we are definitely aware of some things they are going to try and do against us. But we are prepared, we’ve really focused on nailing things down this week in order to get a win,” said Goddin. “Conference games are always important and this weekend we will definitely see where we stack up against other teams in our conference.”
Game time is at 1 p.m. on Sunday, April 3. The game will take place at Lake Oswego High School.
(Story by Caleb Clearman/photo by Robert White)