UBC Thunderbirds Lacrosse Sport Club win BC Provincial Championship

UBC Thunderbirds Lacrosse Sport Club comes from behind to win BC Provincial Championship in 10-9 Thriller!

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Over the past two weekends, the UBC Thunderbirds Lacrosse Sport Club won 5 games enroute to winning their first BC Men’s Provincial Lacrosse Tier II Championship. This, only their second year as a member of the Canada West Field Lacrosse League (CWFLL), was also their second consecutive year competing in the provincial finals, falling to Nanaimo in 2015. This year, UBC avenged their loss by defeating Victoria in a thrilling championship final that saw freshman Matthew Lattimer pot the 10-9 game winner with under 5 minutes to play.

In their first game of the tournament, UBC topped the Ridge Meadows Tropics 11-5 to earn their first playoff win of the season. Next up, Junior goaltender Dean Grimm earned his first playoff shutout as UBC blanked the Abbotsford Attack 8-0 to secure their second victory. A balanced attack and some stingy defense led to the convincing win. Keisuke Matsumoto was the only multi-goal scorer with 2, Jesse Labrecque added a goal and an assist, and Louis Landolt, Mitch Niessen, Ryan Anderson, Tomas Syskakis, Corey Wong each scored once.

On Saturday, UBC met the Vancouver Island representative, Victoria Axmen, for the first time this season. A back and forth affair for most of the afternoon, Syskakis’ first half hat-trick keeping UBC close, saw a 4-4 tie with 5 minutes remaining in the game. A couple Victoria penalties gave UBC the man-up advantage, where Chris Case capitalized and Brendan Lancaster added his second of the game, leading to a 6-4 round-robin victory.

The final round-robin game saw the Vancouver Barbarians square up against their cross-town foe UBC. In the first half, each team traded goals, Labrecque scoring two and assisting on another for UBC’s first three goals. In the second, UBC began to pull away to secure an 8-3 victory and a first place seeding, leading to their second consecutive championship appearance. Phil Pomeroy (2G) and Lancaster (1G, 1A) both added two points in the win, while Case, Chris Pomeroy and Jamie Gill each scored once.

Following Victoria’s defeat of the Barbarians in the morning semi-final, the matchup was set for the afternoon championship. Despite the torrential rain and howling winds, Victoria erupted quickly out of the gates, piling up a 3-1 lead in the first quarter, Matsumoto added the lone tally for UBC. Victoria scored four more goals in the second quarter as they took a comfortable 7-4 lead into halftime. After the break, UBC began to claw their way back into the game, thanks to a third-quarter hat-trick by Phil Pomeroy, yet Victoria added 2 of their own to lead 9-7 heading into the final quarter. In the fourth, Eddy Hernandez dominated the faceoff dot, leading the day with 6 ground-balls, and creating key possessions as the team was trailing. The first to score was Lancaster, his third of the afternoon, who drove hard from behind the net and tucked the ball around the goalie with two players draped on his back, bringing UBC within one. Next, following a Victoria technical foul, Landolt tallied his second of the night on the extra man situation, receiving a stick to stick feed from Case and bouncing the ball through the goalies legs to tie the game 9-9. Finally, with 3:58 to play in the game, 6’4” freshman Matt Lattimer drove his defender towards the goal, tucked his stick past a second sliding defender, reached across the net and put home the 10-9 go-ahead goal. The final minutes saw exciting action as Victoria pushed hard to even the match, but a big save by Grimm and a last minute defensive takeaway by sophomore captain Mack Craighead secured the victory for UBC. Game MVPs were awarded to Phil Pomeroy and Brendan Lancaster for their stellar offensive displays in the come from behind win!

To close their spring season, UBC will play the University of Victoria in an exhibition match at 2pm on Saturday March 19th on Warren Field. This will be their first ever home game so fans are encouraged to come support the team and be a part of program history.