Currently sitting at a 6-3 record this season, the Florida Tech Men’s Lacrosse team has their eyes set on EmbryRiddle this Wednesday in hopes of keeping their dream alive of winning the Sunshine State Conference.
After losing two straight games, the Panthers were able to defeat Palm Beach Atlantic by five goals this past Saturday.
This was the first of five straight inter-conference games to finish out the season.
Goalie Jake Hahn said the team is locked into focus and ready to secure the SSC.
“The remaining five games are all sunshine state conference games and we know that these are games that we must win to keep the dream alive,” said Hahn. “Our conference is very competitive within itself to the point where anybody can beat anybody on any given day.”
The Panthers have a 2-2 SSC record and need to win the remainder of their games and the University of Tampa to lose a game in order to win the conference’s regular season title.
However, the goal doesn’t stop there; Ryan Lepp, a defensive player on the team, said that the team has aspirations of ultimately making it into the NCAA tournament.
After the team fell short of their goal last season of winning the SSC, the team felt that there needed to be a change in mentality, according to Hahn.
However, with just two conference loss this season, the Panthers have taken a different mental approach that has led to their success this season.
“The mentality that we brought to those games was that we thought we could easily beat those teams that we ended up losing to, which is not the case this year,” said Hahn.
Hahn mentioned that his captains and coaches have placed an emphasis on discipline and not underestimating the opponent, regardless of their record.
With the recent success, the team has also noticed a steady increase in fan attendance at home games.
Lepp said the recent success and their style of play this season is the reason for the increased turnout.
“I believe that we had such a great turnout against Rollins, which was our most recent home game because students were excited to see us go up against a good team in our conference,” Lepp said. “I believe that our next home game will bring an even bigger crowd because of the exciting comeback-style victory that the students got to experience on that day.”
The teams next home game, as well as their senior night, is April 20 against Florida Southern.
The lacrosse team encourages fan support as they close out the season and make a push for the SSC title.