Over the weekend Wisconsin’s “A” lacrosse team and Marquette’s squad met at the University Bay Fields to play the championship game of the Second Annual Madcity Tournament.
The Badgers lost the match 6-5, but overall it was still a competitive tournament. The tournament field consisted of teams from Minnesota, Iowa, Western Illinois, Northern Illinois, UW-Whitewater, Marquette, and two teams from UW.
“It was very competitive. Each year [the tournament] gets better and better in terms of teams showing up,” said senior starting goalie Jay Haugen.
Wisconsin’s A Team responded well to the challenge, beating Western Illinois 9-4 and then stealing a nail biter from Minnesota 7-5. Against the Gophers, the Badgers came back to win after going down 2-0 in the first quarter.
“Senior [midfielder] Johannes Beeby did a great job of controlling face-offs,” said UW head coach Hal Rosenberg.
For the last couple years Marquette has been one of UW’s biggest rivals. In the championship game of last year’s Madcity Tournament, the Badgers edged the Golden Eagles in another hard-fought competition. In fact, the teams have already scheduled a rematch for October 13.
“We had some momentum going into the third quarter, but we couldn’t convert it to any goals,” said Haugen.
After two easy Marquette goals early in the game, the Badgers battled back to tie the Golden Eagles. Despite some good chances, however, UW could never come up with the go-ahead goal.
“I am definitely looking forward to playing them again in October,” Haugen said.
When the two teams square off again next month, midfielder Cody Harper just hopes that the weather is better than the rainy conditions they played in last weekend.
“Games in those conditions are always tough,” said Harper. “The fields were so bad. We are hoping for better conditions next time we play [Marquette].”
In fact, the weather was so questionable that the decision to play was not made until game time.
“The field was a mud pit. Overall it was a good tournament, but we just didn’t come through when we needed to,” said Beeby.
Unfortunately for Wisconsin, the B Team did not fare as well as the A Team. It lost both of its matches the first day of the tournament, first to Minnesota 7-2 and then to Western Illinois 7-4. The team’s consolation match that was supposed to be played on Sunday was cancelled due to rainy weather and swampy field conditions.
Although the weather put a damper on this year’s tournament, lacrosse is quickly gaining popularity in many parts of the United States for its fast-paced action and physical nature. It appears that the Madcity Tournament will stand up to the test of time because of the sport’s growing popularity in Madison.
“Normally we just have an A Team, but we had so many guys this year [that we had two teams],” Rosenberg said. “It was definitely the biggest turnout we’ve had in history.”
Rosenberg began coaching the team as a graduate student at UW and has been the coach of the team for its entire 28-year existence. Lacrosse, however, did not become an official university club until 1978.
With few games remaining in the fall season, the Badgers are looking to become a stronger cohesive unit.
“Basically, our goal for the rest of the season is to grow together as a team so we can compete well in the NIU Tournament that’s coming up and also in the spring at the Mardi Gra Lacrosse Tournament in New Orleans,” Hubacher said.
After competing against good teams last weekend, the squad should be able to pull tighter for their last matches this fall. Hopefully they generate will be carried over to the spring season.