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Partnering with One Love Foundation, UCLA club men’s lacrosse defeats Sonoma State

UCLA club men’s lacrosse players celebrate after scoring a shot. The Bruins won 18-8 on Friday in their second win of the season. (Amelie Ionescu/Daily Bruin senior staff)

By Amelie Ionescu

Feb. 13, 2023 12:00 a.m.

Love was in the air as the Bruins took down the Seawolves to claim their second win of the season.

In its collaboration game with One Love Foundation, UCLA club men’s lacrosse took down Sonoma State on Friday night at Wallis Annenberg Stadium. The win comes off a loss against BYU on Wednesday, leading to several play adjustments to notch the victory.

“We changed our strategy for tonight,” said coach Larry Turkheimer. “To get them to play their game instead of play with the other team. (To) let the other team play with us and chase us.”

Down by one with a minute left in the first quarter, a shot from sophomore midfielder Hayden Lechner upped the score and kick-started a dominant run by the Bruins to close out the half. Outscoring the Seahawks eight goals to none, the blue and gold picked up a lead that it would only extend as the match progressed.

(Lex Wang/Daily Bruin senior staff)
Junior midfielder Hayden Krystyniak pushes past a Sonoma State defender. Krystyniak had three shots for one goal scored. (Lex Wang/Daily Bruin senior staff)

Senior attacker Max Iseler – who tallied five assists and three shots on the night – said although the Bruins didn’t begin the game the way they wanted to, it didn’t deter them from their ultimate intentions.

“We wanted to come out firing, that was our main goal,” Iseler said. “And obviously it didn’t happen, but we kind of looked at each other and just said, ‘Let’s go.’ And we did. It wasn’t really anything specific. We kind of just turned it on for the switch, and it felt good.”

Aggression spurred that change as knocked sticks and players on the turf defined second-half play. Sophomore defensive captain Daniel Juarez broke an opponent’s stick, leading to a fast break goal.

Junior midfielder Hayden Krystyniak got a delay penalty. Later, the team had to go ahead with a man down for a minute as Iseler took a slashing penalty. Turkheimer said moves by the coaching staff led to the change in aggression alongside the players adapting their passing and moving, which ultimately led to the victory.

“The offensive coach and the defensive coaches changed the way we were playing,” Turkheimer said. “We got much more aggressive defensively. We got aggressive against their offense, playing on their hands, pushing the ball, going through every ground ball that was available. That was the key there.”

Coming onto the field during the second half, the Bruins kept up the pressure, letting in six goals to their own eight scored. Throughout the game, the blue and gold had 23 shots, six ground balls and won nine face offs.

(Amelie Ionescu/Daily Bruin senior staff)
Sophomore defensive captain Daniel Juarez passes the ball. Juarez kept the defense alive and hyped through the match. (Amelie Ionescu/Daily Bruin senior staff)

Juarez credited the coaching shift for the win and the Bruins’ turnaround this season.

“This year, we got new coaching staff, and we want to really change the culture from last year – from showing up to maybe one practice and then playing the game,” Juarez said. “We’re here four to five nights a week, working hard. Great team, great team chemistry this year, loving it.”

[Related: UCLA men’s lacrosse leverages expanded roster ahead of 2023 season]

One Love, the organization the Bruins partnered with for the game, is a nonprofit foundation focused on ending relationship abuse. On its website, One Love features 10 signs to look for in unhealthy relationships along with ways to spread the word. According to Iseler, it’s an organization the Bruins had looked to partner with last year as well but were unable to.

Through junior defensive midfielder Jack Wyatt, the team was able to complete the collaboration Friday. Juarez said One Love’s mission is not exclusive to the world beyond lacrosse.

“One Love is building healthy relationships,” Juarez said. “And I think that’s the most important thing on a team. We all got to trust each other. We got to be honest. Like I had mentioned earlier, communication is key.”

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Amelie Ionescu | Sports senior staff
Ionescu was previously an assistant Sports editor on the men's volleyball, women's volleyball, swim and dive and rowing beats, and a contributor on the women's tennis beat.
Ionescu was previously an assistant Sports editor on the men's volleyball, women's volleyball, swim and dive and rowing beats, and a contributor on the women's tennis beat.
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