Westminster lacrosse: Griffins host Utah in RMLC quarterfinals on Saturday

By Josh Fisher

For the Deseret News

Published: Thursday, April 24 2014 12:53 p.m. MDT

The 10th-ranked Westminster College men’s lacrosse team hosts in-state rival Utah in a Rocky Mountain Lacrosse Conference Tournament quarterfinal game on Saturday. Action between the fourth-seeded Griffins and fifth-seeded Utes begins at 1 p.m. from Dumke Field.

Saturday’s game will be broadcast live on Griffins TV. Tim Haslam will handle the play-by-play with Steve Nelson serving as the analyst. Live stats will also be available for the game.

Westminster enters the postseason after compiling a 10-5 record during the regular season. The Griffins went 1-3 in RMLC action to earn the No. 4 seed in the conference tournament. They are coming off back-to-back wins at Boise State and against Washington last weekend in Boise, Idaho.

The Griffins are averaging 14.73 goals per game this season, and they have scored in double figures 11 times. They are attempting 42.1 shots per game and putting 59.3 percent of those shots on cage. Westminster has scored on 59.1 percent of its shots on cage and assists on 48.4 percent of the goals scored. The Griffins have gone 23-of-55 (41.8 percent) on man-up chances.

At the defensive end, Westminster opponents average 8.0 goals per outing while they attempt 32.2 shots. Westminster has only allowed six opponents to score in double figures this season. The opposition puts 59 percent of its shots on goal and scores on 42.1 percent of those chances. Griffin opponents have 13 goals in 56 man-up opportunities (23.2 percent) this season.

Westminster has won 55.7 percent of the faceoffs taken and has an 83.8 clearing percentage. The Griffins also maintain a 492-404 edge in ground balls during the year. They limit the opposition to 69.8 percent clearing and have seen 234 turnovers from the opposition while causing 109 of them.

The Griffins have had astonishing success in the postseason in the program’s Division II history. Westminster is 12-2 all-time in the RMLC Tournament with five D2 titles. This will be its first appearance in the Division I tournament. When you factor in the MCLA National Championship, Westminster has gone 24-8 all-time in postseason play.

Westminster moved up in the MCLA Coaches’ Top 25 Poll once again this week as it checks in at No. 10 in the 10th edition of the poll that was released Tuesday. The Griffins have now improved their position in the poll five-straight weeks and eight times overall this season. They started the year with a No. 24 ranking in the preseason poll and sat at No. 18 in the March 18 poll.

Two Griffins moved themselves to the top of the career leaders charts at Westminster with their performances over the past two weeks. Collin Madsen became the Westminster all-time leading scorer with 197 career points with six points against Boise State and then seven more against Washington. Madsen ranks fourth in school history with 113 goals and third with 84 assists.

Kyle Postler became the school’s career leader in assists with his two helpers at Colorado on April 11. Poster then tallied five assists against Washington to move his career total to 99 entering Saturday. He ascended to the top of the career chart in just his junior year. Postler also ranks fourth in Griffin history with 185 points and sixth with 86 goals.

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