The 2013 season is here and we wanted to work closely with college programs to bring a part of the excitement to you. Throughout the 2013 season we will highlight lacrosse programs on our space for all of our readers to follow. Player blogs serve as a unique outlet for programs to showcase their season as it develops, plus highlight everything they have to offer a student-athlete. In contrast, families and fans get a glimpse into the program’s athletic and academic regimen.
Senior – #19 – Midfield
Patriot League Tournament Bound
The loss to our rivals was a tough one, but the close decision gave us the confidence that we could beat anyone in our league. Next up would be a Saturday matchup with the Lafayette Leopards. A win would secure a birth into The Patriot League tournament, allowing us to compete for our season’s goal of winning a Patriot League Championship. Saturday’s matchup would give our team an opportunity to get back in the win column, and build momentum towards our important end of season games.
We kicked off our preparation for Lafayette with a meeting before our Monday practice to wrap up the prior week. #44 freshman Chandler Millstone earned practice player of the week honors for his hard work on the defensive end for the scout team as my fellow D-mid, while Peter Baum was named player of the game for an outstanding performance in Bethlehem. As expected, Monday practice was a hard one, as Coach Murphy punished us for our undisciplined play with a heavy dose of gassers. Working hard and committing a foul is one thing, but retaliation penalties are unacceptable, and after we committed several of those in our previous contest we deserved Coach’s punishment. Thankfully the weather was nice in the beginning of the week, alleviating the pain of the tough conditioning. On Tuesday we began our formal preparation for Lafayette, introducing their personnel to the team, while towards the end of practice we had our first team man up and man down unit battle it out. After both units had poor performances in our last game, going against each other would prove to be a good challenge for both squads. Rain and potential thunderstorms forced us inside on Wednesday, allowing us to work on our 6 on 6 play in the smaller setting. We were back outside on Thursday in what was a wet day on Andy Kerr. We worked on our full field rides and clear, along with some transition play. So far the practice week wasn’t as sharp as we would have liked, but the necessary work was being put in to succeed on Saturday.
We departed for Lafayette on Friday morning, watching “Blood Diamond” on the way there. Oliveri’s subs were provided on the bus, but many of the guys learned from past mistakes and brought their own lunch for the trip. We got to Lafayette around 3:30 and practiced on their football field. To Coach Murphy’s dismay (sorry coach) before yelling Full F.O.T.S. to the team to begin practice as I have been doing the past few weeks, I gave a “Who Let The Dogs Out” to get the energy up before our pregame practice. Practice went smoothly on Lafayette’s field, with Pete Baum breaking us down before we headed to the hotel. Pete called on us to come out with the same energy we had the week prior, and clinch a birth into the Patriot League Tournament. Pete’s speech got everyone fired up for the game, and the upcoming Chicken Parmesan dinner. After dinner we had a team meeting to finish up our film work on the opponent, and then had the rest of the night to relax before game day. American Gangster appeared to be the movie of choice in the hotel.
With the 4:30 game we had an optional breakfast at the hotel followed by a quick shoot around at Lafayette’s athletic complex. We came back to the hotel with some time for a light lunch and relaxation before the game. Now I have previously mentioned in my blogs the not so luxurious life of college lacrosse players. This would be extremely evident on this particular Saturday, with our pregame locker room situation, or lack there of. First we were sent 10 minutes away from the eventual game field, to change in a locker room that was built to fit around 15 people. After taking shifts to change into our gear, we then took the bus to the football stadium where we would play. To make matters worse we didn’t even have a changing room at the stadium, and were forced to do so on the sideline. Despite the adversity, we were able to focus up and get ready for the big game. We got off to a fast start as we took a quick 2-0 lead on the Leopards. We knew it wouldn’t be easy on Lafayette’s senior day, and as we expected the Leopards stormed back, and took a 5-4 lead into half. It seemed that a sense of urgency kicked in to our team after halftime, as we scored three quick goals, and eventually won the game 14-10 earning ourselves a spot in the Patriot League Tournament. Lafayette played tough, but in the end we were not going to let the opportunity of clinching a post-season birth escape us. Once again Peter Baum offensively, and Bobby Lawrence defensively led the way for our team, along with help from Freshman Eric Foote having a career day with three goals.
It’s not easy getting patriot league victories, especially on the road, and while we may have not been at our best throughout the course of the game, I was proud of our team for coming away with the win. Now we have to refocus on to our next opponent the Bucknell Bison, a team that will be determined to get one back after we beat them twice last season.