AUSTIN, TX - For the first time since 2014, the University of Texas men’s lacrosse team has opened the season 2-0.
After multiple coaching changes and back-to-back 5-9 seasons, the Longhorns finally have consistency at the helm. On his first day on the job prior to the 2016 season, current Head Coach Seth Bokmeyer told the team, “Tell me your goals as a team, I will create a plan; you buy in, and we will get there.”
Bokmeyer selected a Conor McGregor quote to be the team’s theme this year and only two games into 2017, it is safe to say that the Longhorns have bought in. They dismantled a solid squad from the University of North Texas, 19-0, while leading the entire game against Texas A&M in an 11-9 win that was also featured as the Men’s Collegiate Lacrosse Associations’ National Game of the Week.
The Longhorns have struck a balance with strong upperclassmen leadership from captains Ethan Galowitz (Sr), Danny Koudelka (Sr), Noah Starr (Sr), Hayden Clouse (Jr), and Cooper Glass (Jr), and a roster made up mostly of underclassmen.
On offense, returning all-conference sophomore John King and many first year players have made significant contributions to the Longhorn’s early season successes. Six first-year players have scored goals for the Longhorns so far this season. The defense returns all-conference performers junior Hayden Clouse and sophomore Daniel Spomer, who are joined by some excellent returners and first-year Longhorns.
Most notable is Cooper Glass, a transfer from Monmouth University where he was selected as an All-Metro Atlantic Conference defenseman last year. Matt Meaders has had two excellent performances in goal so far this year. Meaders and Ryan Tyrrell split time in goal while shutting out North Texas in the opening game.
“I am so proud of the leadership this group has shown," said Bokmeyer about his captains. 'They are out there leading by example every day. Twenty-three of our 47 players are new to the team this year, so the captains’ leadership has been, and will continue to be, very important this year.”
Bokmeyer also talked about the team’s youth.
“It has been great to see so many of our young players step up and compete, and that competition has made every player on the roster better," he said. "Getting wins in the first two games was important, and it is exciting to know that we have the potential to be even better as the season progresses.”“Expectations and confidence are as high on this team as any other team I’ve ever been a part of,” said Ethan Galowitz, a three-time captain and team president.
Now the ‘Horns prepare to host a tough Southern Methodist squad squad that opened 2016 with 13 straight wins on its way to a Lone Star Alliance championship.
“We are looking forward to the challenge of playing SMU this Saturday,” said Bokmeyer. “They are the reigning LSA champs, so it is exciting to have the chance to test ourselves against them early in our season.”
The game is this Saturday, Feb. 18 at 1 p.m. at Caven Lacrosse Center at Clark Field.