By: Cameron Andrade
The University of Tampa’s men’s lacrosse team were ranked second in the most recent United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) coaches Division II poll, for the fifth consecutive week.
This ranking follows the Spartans’ double overtime win over the now number 13 ranked Florida Tech University, where the final score was 11-10. This game brought Tampa’s win streak to now six games, keeping their undefeated record at an impressive 6-0 to start off the 2022 season.
This team, led by Head Coach J.B Clarke, has played against strong competition since the start of the season. Clarke’s team has battled against nothing but opponents ranked inside of the top 20, giving Tampa one of the best resumés out of any team in the country.
Spartans goalkeeper Blake Ulmer, has become a key player for this Tampa team. Whilst being a three time Sunshine State Conference (SSC) Defensive Player of the Week, Ulmer currently leads the country in saves per game as he is averaging 19 saves a game.
A lot of expectations come with being the number two ranked team in the country, however it’s about how you overcome those expectations.
“A lot of [coping with expectations] is starting the week off fresh and not really caring about the rankings,” said Ulmer. “We just gotta stay focused. Every week is the same week and every opponent is the same opponent. We just have one goal in mind as a team and that’s winning a National Championship.”
This seems to be the main ingredient to the Spartans’ success this season, as they have been playing some of the most exciting lacrosse games across the country. A fast paced offense with a strong and physical defense, has left many UT fans and lacrosse fans in absolute awe so far this season.
Anaclair Dudley, freshman communications major, has become a regular for the men’s lacrosse games this season.
“Watching this UT team compete this season has been absolutely incredible,” said Dudley. “This group of young men is super talented, and their connection on the field shines through their remarkable play. The atmosphere of the home games is one of my favorite things I have been a part of. I am excited to see how the rest of this phenomenal season goes.”
Tampa put their winning streak on the line against the number 20 team, Colorado Mesa University. The Spartans prevailed against the Mavericks 15-12, just showing how dominant Ulmer and company have been throughout the year.
Another matchup takes place this week on Tuesday, March 22 with the Spartans taking on Flagler University at the Naimoli Family Athletic and Intramural Complex.