The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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Morgan Shiver, Contributor • June 20, 2024
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Lacrosse team finishes season worse than expected

It is easier said then done. That is what the men’slacrosse team learned after finishing the season Saturday with aforfeit against Texas Tech, ending with a record of 4-10.

“Last year was all gravy compared to this year’sstruggle,” coach Sean Gilligan said. “I guess you cansay this was our rebuilding year.”

Early in the season Gilligan worked hard with the team onfundamentals. Starting off strong, the Ponies earned two big winsagainst Texas State and UTA, while falling to UT 13-9.

As time progressed, the Mustangs showed promise and hoped tocontinue to come together and mesh as a team. They were waiting tobreak out at any moment.

“Parent’s Weekend was the highlight of myseason,” defensive player Tommy Jones said. “We had arecord number of fans and a stunning victory over UNT. It was justwhat we needed to help us gel as a team.”

However, when it came down to crunch time, the Ponies could notpull it together. After beating Trinity by a 10-point spread, SMUwould not see another victory this season.

Plagued by injuries, the Mustangs started to lose theirstamina.

Leading shooter Chris Crum hurt both shoulders and is scheduledfor surgery. Jones separated his shoulder, which took him out ofthe big Nashville tournament earlier this April. Junior attackerChris Neumann blew out his hamstring, while co-captain Rob Levsuffered from a stomach illness towards the end of the season.

With many of its big players out, Gilligan said the team lookedto Thomas Greene and co-captain Chip Hiemenz to lead the squad.

Even sophomore Michael Annen stepped it up by switching frommid-fielder to defense and earning himself a starting position.

Although the Mustangs did not finish on the strong note theywere hoping for, this season was nothing to be ashamed of.

The lacrosse team competed against teams ranked among the top 25in the nation, such as Texas A&M, Missouri, Florida andStanford.

“From a national standpoint, in order to be eligible forplayoffs, squads have to play two out of conference teams, whichmeant Stanford had to come east. But I think they recognized thesuccessful season we had last year and saw us as a team withpotential,” Gilligan said.

With this season behind them, the Ponies look to the 2004-2005season for a fresh start, while learning from the past.

“I hope we build upon the good things for nextyear,” Jones said.

The Mustangs will lose two seniors this year, goalie Evan Carterand mid-fielder Zan Smith, and are in the midst of looking to filltheir positions.

“We have three potential incoming freshmen that haveexpressed interest in playing, but I never count my chickens beforethey hatch,” Gilligan said. “I think if we find a solidgoalie and attacker that we will be a powerhouse.”

Despite the miscommunications that caused a forfeit againstTexas Tech, the Mustangs played their last game April 15 againstBaylor and lost 14-11 in the last two minutes of play.

“Thank God this season is over,” Jones said.”All I can think about now is how to do better nexttime.”

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