The Cal State Fullerton men’s lacrosse team is gearing up for another playoff run in the Southwestern Lacrosse Conference.
The Titans are entering the tournament after another dominant season where they went 14-1 under second-year Head Coach Mike Ansel. CSUF earned the No. 1 seed in the SLC North Division and a first-round bye.
CSUF has been a powerhouse in the Division II SLC playoffs since 2010, reaching the championship each year and winning two titles. However, the Titans have been denied the title the past three years and have developed a rivalry with Concordia over the past two years, after the Eagles snatched two championships away.
The Titans are on a crash course to meet the Eagles again in the finals, but first they have to take care of business against Northern Arizona in the Final Four Saturday. The Lumberjacks advanced to the Final Four by defeating Cal State San Marcos 13-11 last weekend.
Fullerton looks to have the upper hand, having defeated NAU 12-5 back on March 8. Seven different Titans scored in that game, while only two Lumberjacks were able to get on the score sheet.
The Titans will look to two of their young stars, Alex Kowalski and Micah Willis, to step up and be the catalysts of the team in the playoffs.
After Kowalski’s stellar freshman campaign that included 47 goals, he was named one of four captains and has increased his production in his second year. Kowalski has tallied 57 goals this season to go along with 22 assists.
Willis has been the breakout freshman this year. The Huntington Beach High School product has burst onto the scene by flashing versatility in both goal scoring and setting up his teammates. Willis has notched 45 goals and 41 assists for a team-leading 86 points.
Senior goalie Chris Laurino will be protecting the Titan cage. The Lake Forest native has been strong in front of the net, allowing opponents to score an average of 4.57 goals per game. Laurino has made 112 saves on the season and owns a .642 save percentage.
Faceoff against NAU is scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday at Chapman Stadium.