With a new head coach at the helm, the Oklahoma men’s lacrosse team has had its best regular season in program history, and is poised for a postseason run.
In his first year as head coach, Mario Enea has led the Sooners to a 10-2 record and a Lone Star Alliance North division title. The California native has 20 years of coaching experience, and is hoping to turn Oklahoma into a lacrosse powerhouse.
“Our goal here at Oklahoma is to win our Lone Star Alliance, and make the national championship tournament,” Enea said. “We think within five years you could build a national championship program here at the University of Oklahoma.”
Eana's Sooners have been lethal on offense this season, outscoring their opponents 209-89. Senior co-captain Matthew Hammond believes Enea is one of the biggest reasons the team has been so successful this year.
“I think the biggest thing is we’ve really come together as a team, underneath the guidance of coach Mario,” Hammond said. “He’s brought a lot of consistency to the program. Everything he’s done for this team is incredible.”
Hammond has also played a major role in the Sooners’ success, recording 28 goals and 39 assists this season. The four-year starter also only needs three more goals to break the record for most goals scored in a career.
“It’s pretty exciting, but it’s not just with me, it’s all my teammates contributing to it,” Hammond said regarding breaking the record. “Without them I don’t think I would have been able to do it.”
Hammond and the Sooners started the season 10-0, but have lost their last two games, falling to Texas State and Texas. Sophomore goalie Nick Johnston says the team isn’t phased by the back-to-back losses right before the playoffs.
“We did a good job rallying after the Texas State game” Johnston said. “That was probably one of the worst games we’ve ever played. We did really good job coming back against Texas the next day, and rebounding.”
Even with the two losses, Oklahoma has earned the No. 1 seed on the North side of the Lone Star Alliance conference tournament. The Sooners will face No. 4 seed LSU on Saturday, April 22, at the intramural fields. You can view a full bracket here.