Lacrosse pleased to return home

By Ed Rietveld

After three weeks away from DeKalb, NIU lacrosse returns home this Saturday with a pair of games against Lake Forest and the University of Chicago.

The Huskies (3-1) are on a two-game winning streak heading into Saturday’s action. NIU beat the Leathernecks of Western Illinois 8-2 and had a forfeit win 1-0 over the Drake Bulldogs two weeks ago on the road.

Though the team is playing well right now, David Jasper, NIU lacrosse president and defenseman, said it can improve both offensively and defensively.

“I’d say offensively, we need to work on possessing the ball more, I guess; working our offense, getting more shots,” Jasper said, “And then defensively, we need to work on our sliding and communication, because we lost to Holy Cross by just being undisciplined on defense and not having our third slide ready.”

Jasper said he expects this weekend’s game against Lake Forest to challenge the team physically.

“Lake Forest is a very athletic team,” Jasper said, “Most of them are the football players who just happen to play lacrosse in the spring because they have nothing to do, so they’ll come out ready for us. They like to hit. They’re fast, they’re quick, they don’t really run out of shape. So, we just have to be able to beat them by possessing the ball. We can’t be in a fast break transition game with them.”

Jasper said winning face-offs will be key in both games.

“That will be another way we can control the game,” Jasper said. “If we win the face-offs, you know, the less time you spend on defense the better.“

The Huskies will be without midfielder and usual face-off man Mitch Gunn, who broke his wrist in the Huskies’ first game this season.

“I have high confidence in the other guys on the team,” Gunn said. “They’ll be able to pickup my weight and still be able to perform at a very high level.”