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.
Midfielder – #2
Blog 7 – Finding Our Identity
Coming off our huge win over Penn State, our squad felt like we were firing on all cylinders. The offense was starting to get very comfortable together and the defense was really starting to step up. We felt like we had corrected our early season woes and were back on the right track. We returned to an empty campus as everyone else went to Punta Cana or some other tropical place like that. Besides just going there, many of Lehigh’s students felt it necessary to post all of their pictures on every social media outlet possible. Although this seemed fun, there was nothing I’d rather be doing than hanging with all of my boys for a week.
On Monday and Tuesday, we really got back to basics in practice and had two “Hawk-Days.” Groundballs were a huge focus and with Army on Saturday, Coach challenged us to out-scrap Army, who is known as being an extremely tough team. After practice on Monday night, we all headed to the movies to see Dead Man Down, which was recommended by none other than Chris Rinaldi, the movie connoisseur. Typically, Chris has great taste in movies and is extremely reliable, but for this choice he received a missed assignment, as the movie did not live up to the hype. Regardless, it was still a lot of fun to go to the movies and all just spend some time together off the lacrosse field. It goes without saying that Dan Carr ensured he had a seat next to Ryan Snyder.
On Tuesday night, we picked up the pace a bit and we all headed to Revolution’s, a new bowling/arcade place in Bethlehem. Shout out to Revolution’s, as their facilities and food were unreal. Unlike Dead Man Down, I would definitely recommend Revolution’s to anyone looking for a fun night. Four people bowled on each lane, and in my lane, Mike Noone had the high score with a 142. Thanks to the coaches for setting up another fun night with our team.
On Wednesday, we dialed it back a bit in practice, as we were coming off of two very tough days. Wednesday was more of a mental day as we started to game plan for Army on both offense and defense. We knew this would be a huge game because it was the Patriot League Opener. It is imperative that the level of urgency rises when Patriot League games start and we knew we would have our hands full with a talented Army team. Coach really hammered home the point of controlling the middle of the field and winning the ground ball battle.
Wednesday night was a night that everyone on the team looks forward to: the annual freshman skits. The freshman class is assigned into groups of 3 and puts on a skit in front of the whole team. This is the lone time of the year when the freshman can say anything about anyone on the team (including the coaches), and it is always a hilarious time. This year, Eddie “Special Ed” DeDomenico stole the show as his team brought home the prized Best Team Award (which is rewarded to the team that gets the loudest applause from the team). I genuinely believe that Eddie’s team had the funniest skit I’d see in my four years. It was another great night with the team and morale was high. We started to get dialed in and really focus on Army, the task at hand.
We had a walk through on Friday and brushed up on our game plan, and then headed up to West Point for a business trip. I was informed by Coach Comp that I would be rooming with him this trip, which I was ecstatic about. I have really gotten to know Coach Comp well over the past two years and look up to him a lot, and love having him as a coach. I don’t know how excited he was to have me as a roommate though, due to the fact that he heard rumors that I often sleep in the nude. While surfing the T.V., I came across a documentary called “The Street Stops Here” on ESPN Classic about St. Anthony’s basketball team and their famous coach, Bob Hurley. It was unbelievable to see how great of a team they were and all of the principles that Coach Hurley instilled in his team. I couldn’t think of a better movie to watch the night before the game.
We met for breakfast on Saturday and departed for Army. Army’s stadium is unreal and it’s always an honor to play in it. We started off very strong, but had trouble finishing as we were up 2-1 at the end of the first quarter. At halftime, we were up by a couple, and ended up pulling out a hard fought win, 10-6. Alex “DrizWiz” Drake had a great game, scoring 2 huge goals. David DiMaria had a real casual 2-2 and seemed to get past his kryptonite. Lastly, Matt “The Truth” Poillon crushed it per usual. It was great to be 1-0 in the Patriot League, and Clarity was bumping in the locker room post game. All was well in Bethlehem.
On Sunday, we met for film as a team and learned from the Army game and quickly shifted our focus to UMass, who we played Wednesday on ESPNU. We had two solid days of practice on Monday and Tuesday and felt great going into the game. It was the lone game of the season on ESPNU and everyone wanted to show the nation what Lehigh Lacrosse was all about. Unfortunately, that was not the case. After jumping out to a 2-0 lead, our offense sputtered, and we lost 6-4. We reverted back to all of the bad habits that were hurting us earlier in the year, and it was devastating. Our squad felt like we had gotten over the hump, just to slip right back down the proverbial hill on this night. Having played for Coach Cassese for four years now, I had never seen him so disappointed in our team, which is truly an awful feeling. All of us know how competitive and how much time he puts in, and we did not represent ourselves well at all. After the game, Coach challenged us as a team to step up as a senior class and lead this team in the right direction, or have our legacies be remembered in a very different way. It’s not time to panic by any means, but it is definitely time for myself and my fellow classmates to step up in a big way. The time is now and with Patriot League games on the horizon, we must find our identify as a team. We have a great opportunity this weekend as we play our second Patriot League game (at Holy Cross), and I am confident this team will get back on the right track.
W#SpringBreak2013NoRegretzz could not have been going any better.