Club lacrosse team frustrated by treatment

Nick Erickson, Sports Writer

UND’s club sports seasons are coming to a close, but the men’s lacrosse club ended their season a bit earlier than they hoped with a cancellation of their only home game of the season due to field conditions and the inability to move the venue from their practice fields near BioLife Plasma Center.

“It’s quite frustrating when you’re given a slated spot in the schedule to play at home for once and yet, you still don’t get to,” lacrosse club president Zach Petron said. “We traveled all spring long to Wisconsin, Iowa and the Twin Cities area, but nobody comes to us because we’re so far out of their way.”  

On a higher note, UND went on to have a pretty successful season.

Having recruited a lot of new faces, UND had a  high retention rate of the players that came out at the beginning of the fall. They continued to play throughout the entire season in the spring despite the facilities shortage during the winter. In years past, UND has struggled to keep players interest throughout the entire year.

UND lacrosse was confined to the multi-activity court in the campus Wellness Center for two hours each Sunday afternoon this year. After making attempts to reach out to those who can sign off on allowing and scheduling teams for the High Performance Center practice facility, UND lacrosse went unheard. They also made attempts to reach out to UND’s neighboring city, East Grand Forks, in attempt to move the venue for their one home game to their high school football field. The call was sent to voicemail and was never responded to.

“It’s frustrating when you’re trying to develop a good relationship with the community and you just aren’t given the chance,” Petron said. “Our attempts to find a practice facility, or even an adequate game field for three hours on a Saturday afternoon in the spring are frivolous and nobody will even hear us out.”

Retaining the new players throughout the long winter months without being able to show them the excitement of the traveling season is another problem for UND’s lacrosse team.

“We would reach out to faculty on campus in order to use any kind of facility besides the club sports fields so we can establish a standard of class and authority in the league we play in,” Petron said. “We have first class facilities, but since we’re simply just students that aren’t being paid to play, we get pushed aside and forgotten.”

With the change in athletic director at UND, the club lacrosse team is hopeful for the new athletic director to make an impact in their world, allowing them sufficient facility time to be a competitive team.

“We just hope he’s gracious enough to give us a chance to prove that we’re a worthwhile club team at this university,” Petron said. “Other teams we play are given spectacular access to their universities’ facilities. But here we are, confined to a field with gopher holes, that’s also completely underwater during the spring season.”

UND played rather well in their post season play having defeated University of Wisconsin OshKosh 7-2, but got eliminated by UW Madison’s top team.

“We’re getting better every year,” Petron said. “We’re playing against tough teams with schools that have more than four times our student body size, yet we’re still competing with them. If we had more time for practice during the winter, I guarantee that we could smack some of these bigger schools with the talent that we have. If we get the backing from our own university, we could really see this program shine. We would have more recruits in the fall, retain most of them in the winter and have a more formidable and competitive team in the spring.”

Nick Erickson is a sports writer for Dakota Student. He can be reached at [email protected].