There are few safer bets than Chapman’s men’s lacrosse team winning a conference game. The team has never lost in the Southwestern Lacrosse Conference (SLC) North Division I and hasn’t lost a conference game since an April 14 loss in 2007, before the SLC existed. Since then, Chapman has won 55 straight conference games, and all 50 in the SLC North.
April 4 was no different. In its final home game of the season, Chapman – the No. 1 team in Division I men’s club lacrosse – battered a depleted Claremont College team in a 20-5 win. While Claremont was missing seven of its starters, Claremont head coach Pete Ginnegar said there is not much that can be done to slow Chapman down.
“It doesn’t really matter what you throw at them, they’re just that good,” Ginnegar said. “They’re No. 1 in the nation for a reason.”
Ginnegar said Chapman has a particularly deep roster, with little drop-off in talent between bench players and starters. Dylan Garner, Chapman’s senior attacker who’s tied for second in points in the SLC with 48, is the best player in the country, Ginnegar said. Only Wiley Bonham, a sophomore attacker for Chapman, has more points in the SLC, with 49.
“They’re the classiest team we’ll see all year in how they operate,” Ginnegar said. “They’re a team that you look at and year in, year out there’s been a consistency here with this program that a lot of programs can’t match.”
With one game left in its conference schedule, a 1 p.m. April 14 away game against the University of California, Santa Barbara, Chapman – which won the national championship in 2016 – already has a playoff run in its sights. To have similar success to what the team found in 2016, Garner said consistent focus will be essential.
“There are a lot of times (during games) where we got a little lackadaisical,” Garner said. “On offense, taking possessions off, or on defense, not taking the right angle. But at the same time, when playoffs come, we’ll be dialed in and ready to go.”