Catching up with SLC playoff openers


Arriving late to a party can be awkward, and that’s a little how I feel as I try to play catch-up in the final weeks of the local lacrosse season. Nevertheless, here’s a quick look at the Southwestern Lacrosse Conference playoffs, which get under way Saturday in Santa Barbara, Calif., and Tuscon, Ariz. Top seeds Chapman and Arizona State are standing by to see who they’ll face in the second round May 4 in San Diego.

To summarize, UNLV will travel from the desert to the beach, while LMU will travel from the beach to the desert. The winners get another beach trip to San Diego next week.

UNLV (4-8) at UC Santa Barbara (11-2), 1 p.m. PT
Fifth-ranked Santa Barbara’s only losses came against Colorado State and Chapman, currently ranked Nos. 2 and 3, and the Gauchos own a win against current No. 1 Cal Poly from back on Feb. 29. The 9-4 loss to Chapman last Saturday was Santa Barbara’s only home loss this season and first at home since Feb. 27, 2011, snapping a nine-game home winning streak.

Leaders: For Santa Barbara, senior attack Jamie Bridgman (Manhattan Beach/Mira Costa HS) leads in goals (26) and points (36), while junior attack Kevin Bowles (San Anselmo/Sir Francis Drake HS) leads in assists (15). Sophomore goalie Andrew Noto (Newport Beach/Corona Del Mar) has a .615 save percentage. For UNLV, sophomore midfielder Cody Root (Las Vegas/Centennial) has scored 24 goals, and sophomore attack Brandon Edgell has 35 points (14 G, 21 A). Freshman goalie Dustin Silva (Silver Springs, Md.) is averaging nearly 12 saves a game with a .576 save percentage.

The winner faces Arizona State on Friday, May 4, at 5 p.m. PT at Westview High School.

Loyola Marymount (7-6) at Arizona (8-7), 7 p.m. PT
LMU snapped a three-game losing streak Saturday, beating Claremont 8-4 to earn the third seed from the SLC North division. The three losses, though, were to Simon Fraser (currently leading the PNCLL), Santa Barbara and Chapman. Arizona, meanwhile, had a six-game winning streak snapped by Arizona State last weekend.

Leaders: Attack Colby Rhodes (La Jolla/Bishop) leads LMU in goals (32) and points (39); senior attack Chase Parlett (Rancho Bernardo) leads in assists (14) and is two behind Rhodes in points (37). Sophomore goalie Connor Devane (Las Vegas/Palo Verde) has a .636 save percentage, despite getting pounded by Texas (17 GA, 20 saves) and Chapman (21 GA, 26 saves). For Arizona, senior middie Mike Hook (Cleveland, Ohio) leads in goals (31) and has 48 points, and sophomore attack William Stanaback (Califon, N.J.) has amassed 59 points (26 G, 33 A). Senior goalie Ian Parker (Scottsdale, Ariz.) has a .592 save percentage on the season but is at .618 in the team’s last three games.

The winner faces Chapman on Friday, May 4, at 7:30 p.m. PT at Westview High School.

The SLC championship game will be played at Westview at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, May 6.

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Jim grew up a fan of all sports but became a lacrosse fan when he moved to New England in 1999 and his oldest son started playing. Now his two younger sons have taken up the crosse, and the sport now borders on an obsession. A veteran of sports media, he now resides in the Los Angeles area and hopes to feed that obsession by posting about L.A. lax on the interwebs. Follow him on Twitter.