Skylar Nitz taking a crosscheck from a San Jose State midfielder. | Photo by Matt Shiffler

HSU club lacrosse celebrates 420 with a W

The Hogs run wild and become playoff eligible
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The Hogs run wild and become playoff eligible

In the wind tunnel that is College Creek field the HSU club lacrosse team, better known as the “Hogs,” hosted San Jose State, for a chance to make the playoffs.The Hogs started fast, using the senior day crowd as a home field advantage. They built momentum and took control of the game early.

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Justin Turner firing a shot high over the San Jose States defense. | Photo by Matt Shiffler

The game was crucial for the Hogs playoff chances because the winner would face UC Davis the following weekend, in the first round of the playoffs. The early morning start time was foreign to the Hogs, who practice four days a week, all in the afternoon.

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Senior Logan Salcuni scoops up the ball and gets Humboldt’s offense started. | Photo by Matt Shiffler

Senior Logan Salcuni admitted he was nervous about the morning start.

“We always practice or watch film in the afternoon. So I was pleasantly surprised that we were able to come out with so much momentum because we normally don’t play that early in the morning.”

The first half went quick as the Hogs controlled possession throughout and took a 9-3 lead into the break. They were able to win faceoffs, and control the tempo of the game by executing passes, screens, and shots.

The Hogs defense set the tone for the game early and continued through the first half. They were able to build off consistent blocking from Sophomore goalie Liam Birmingham, who commanded his interior defense, and was able to make 13 saves. The Hogs were able to keep the Spartans out of the middle by collapsing the defense when a Spartan would try to make a run.

The help defense was key to giving the Hogs a six-point lead at the half, and gave the offense momentum to create, and capitalize on opportunities.

Skylar Nitz taking a crosscheck from a San Jose State midfielder. | Photo by Matt Shiffler

Junior Liam Salcuni was thrilled on the team’s ability to stop the Spartans while a man down.

“We were able to move into our box and one defense when a man down to slow them down,” Salcuni said. “Without good communication, and switches we would not have been able to stop them, or even compete today.”

Skylar Nitz taking a crosscheck from a San Jose State midfielder. | Photo by Matt Shiffler

The second half came and went as the Hogs built on their lead, as from Logan Salcuni scored seven goals, and capped off his HSU career by scoring off his assist from his older brother.

The game ended 16-6 in favor of the Hogs, sending them to the playoffs, and giving them a date with UC Davis the weekend of April 27. They’re facing an uphill battle, as they’ll try to knock off the nationally ranked number one seed, something that has always proven to be tricky.

For now, the Hogs look to celebrate the senior day win, the playoff berth, and a successful winning season.

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Players embrace | Photo by Matt Shiffler

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