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Monmouth lacrosse builds a strong fan base in its inaugural season

Hannah Maloney ’17
Teammates congratulate #3 (Taitum Priewe ’20 of Janesville, Wis.) on scoring the first goal of the game--and of program history. The Scots would roll on to a 9-5 victory.
Monmouth College’s April Zorn Memorial Stadium has been an unusually lively place during mid-February. Normally quiet during the winter, the stadium has attracted hundreds of Fighting Scots fans who have cheered on lacrosse, the College’s newest varsity sport. Men’s and women’s lacrosse represent the College’s 23rd and 24th entries into its robust varsity sports program.

The men’s lacrosse team won its inaugural game on Feb. 18 at Zorn Stadium, a 9-5 victory over Carroll University, then lost three days later 15-2 to visiting Elmhurst College. The women’s lacrosse team’s first three games are on the road; their home opener is 1 p.m. March 4 against Illinois Institute of Technology.

Whether out of support, curiosity, unseasonably warm February weather – or all three – Zorn Stadium was full of energy when the men’s lacrosse team took the field Feb. 18 for its inaugural game.

The Scots’ team goal for the game was to make the first shot and the first goal. Taitum Priewe ’20 of Janesville, Wis., accomplished the latter by scoring less than five minutes into the match, an experience he says was “indescribable.”

“At first, I wasn’t sure if my shot made it in because I got hit to the ground, but as I was standing up and fixing my helmet, I heard the crowd going wild and my teammates were jumping all over me,” he said. “Scoring the first goal in Monmouth College lacrosse history was an honor, but I wouldn’t have been able to do it without my teammates and the trust of my coaches.”

Monmouth men’s lacrosse coach Andrew Routt said he is excited to be working with the new program.

“Before (Feb. 18), no one on the roster had played college lacrosse yet,” he said. “I want the team to get better every game. Winning is a plus, but my main focus right now is on improvement, making sure everyone is comfortable in the game of lacrosse at a collegiate level, and fostering a positive experience.”

Monmouth’s first men’s lacrosse team is made up of a “small” roster of 24 players – three quarters of which are freshmen. Both the players and the coaches see that as one of their biggest challenges.

“We are going to have freshmen marking up against seniors at schools that have had lacrosse around for years,” Routt said. “It will be a great test to see where we are mentally.”

Croy Seagren ’20 of Hampshire, Ill., said lacrosse played a role in his decision to come to Monmouth.

“It was a huge driving force for me to come to this school to be a part of the first-ever Monmouth College lacrosse team,” he said. “It’ll be a great thing to look back at.”

A confident group mentality helps keep the team optimistic about this season as it looks to contend for the Midwest Lacrosse Conference title in the coming years.

Seagren says he believes the Scots can win that trophy while he is a Monmouth student.

“For this season, I would like for us to surprise a lot of people with a successful season,” he said. “By my senior year, I would like to see our team strong and developed better than we started. From my eyes, the lacrosse program can only grow from here on out, and I take pride in being a part of it.”

Photos from men's lacrosse home opener