Despite Loss, Claremont Club Lacrosse Looks Forward to Successful Season

It was a mixed bag for the Claremont Cougars club lacrosse team (5-2 SLC) on Saturday, March 4, when they lost to the University of California, Santa Barbara Gauchos (4-3 SLC) 12-3 at the Pomona College lacrosse field. Kaegan Ingrasci PZ ’17, Alex Malmlund CM ’19, and Logan Miller CM ’19 scored the Cougars’ only three goals, all in the first half. Nevertheless, the Cougars are confident they can rebound from this loss due to improved team dynamics and overall confidence. 

Desmond Goetomo CM ’18 wrote in an email to TSL that coming into the game, the team’s strategy was to “keep up the intensity and the confidence.” The Cougars’ offense prior to this game was averaging nearly 16 goals scored per game and 11 goals against, in contrast to the Gauchos’ averaging nine goals scored and five goals against. On paper, the Cougars had the offensive advantage, but they struggled to put the whole package together.

“Lacrosse is frustrating because once a team goes on a scoring run and really gets going it can be hard to stop their momentum,” Goetomo wrote.

In the second half, the Gauchos scored four goals in the third period and three goals in the fourth period, and the Cougars were unable to stop the scoring run.

Even though they lost, the Cougars have a lot of bright spots on their promising team.

“Logan Miller CM ’19 has more or less been our MVP so far. He’s 17th in the nation in terms of scoring and assists,” Goetomo wrote.

“Alex Malmlund CM ’19 has also been super valuable on attack. He’s 18th in the nation [in points per game].”

Claremont Club Lacrosse is the oldest collegiate lacrosse team in Southern California, founded in 1958. Since Claremont-Mudd-Scripps and Pomona-Pitzer only have varsity women’s lacrosse teams, Claremont Lacrosse is the 4C men’s club lacrosse team that plays in the Men’s Collegiate Lacrosse Association, or MCLA, the club team equivalent of the NCAA. This season, the team is mostly Claremont McKenna College students, but there are several students from Pitzer College and Pomona College as well.

The team does not traditionally recruit athletes because it is a club sport. This leads to many players discovering the team through informal recruitment at the 5C club fair, with many players having never played lacrosse prior to coming to college.

"When I got to CMC I decided to check out lacrosse out of curiosity," Goetomo wrote in an email to TSL. "I didn’t think I was going to stay for long but in the end, the inclusiveness of the team, the great social culture and the strong sense of camaraderie made me feel like I was an integral part of the team despite my lack of experience.”

Goetomo is now the director of recruitment for the Cougars.

The Cougars are contenders for the MCLA playoffs, but they are in a tough conference. They have to win three conference games to go to the playoffs, but to get there they have to go through the defending national champion Chapman University Panthers and competitive teams University of California, Los Angeles and University of Southern California. Catch the Cougars next on the field on March 25 at home versus the University of California, Davis Aggies.