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Midfielder – #2
Blog 5 – Ups and Downs
This past week definitely had its ups and downs. Coming off of our player’s only meeting on Tuesday afternoon, the team had a couple of great practices on Thursday and Friday. Our squad had a new sense of confidence as we were able to discuss our problems and figure out what we needed to do to be successful. Key themes that arose from the team meeting were playing together, playing hard, and regaining that chip on our shoulder that made us so successful last year. Energy was flowing as we walked to the field on Saturday afternoon to take on the VMI Keydets. We got off to a really fast start, which has been a recent goal of ours. Chris “Shire” Rinaldi had his first career goal, but that wasn’t it. He put in two more to have his first hat trick. It was great to see one of my best friends be rewarded for all of the hard work he has put in the past four years. I don’t know if anyone brings it harder every day to practice, and it was quite a pleasure to see him do his thing on the field. Additionally, Kyle “AK-47” unloaded his clip as he dropped 3 and 1. DiMaria had another DiMaria-esk game, dropping a casual 3 and 4. Reid Weber had 2 and 1 in one quarter of play and is challenging Kevin Donovan’s (Class of ’12) record for most points per minute last year.
Derek “Ocho” Bogorowski recorded his first career assist and got really excited afterward. Everyone on the squad is still wondering who will score their first career goal, Derek Bogorowski or Mike Noone. They made a friendly wager before the season but I’m guessing neither of them will score. We ended up beating VMI 18-2 in a true team effort. It was great to get everyone on the field and even when the starters came out, the level of play did not drop at all. This speaks to how hard both the offensive and defensive scout team go every day in practice and when they get the chance to play in games, they crush it. It was an honor and a privilege to see the one and only Evan Farha at the tailgate afterwards. Every time Evan has visited Lehigh, he has been the MVP of the weekend and I don’t see that changing.
We met for film on Sunday to review the VMI game, which is always more fun after a win. We learned from our mistakes and quickly turned our focus to UPenn, who was our opponent on Tuesday night. UPenn is a very talented team and we knew that it would be a close game. In a short time, the coaches put together a great game plan and the juices were flowing. There is something special about night games on Frank Banko that really gets the boys hyped up. On top of that, Matt “Go DJ, That’s Your DJ” Risk tweaked the pregame warm up CD and Banko was bumping. Both teams got out to a slow start, as it was 0-0 after 8 minutes of play. Penn struck first as they got off to a 2-0 lead after the first quarter. Fantoni answered to make it 2-1 and at halftime it was 3-2. It went back and forth in the second half, and UPenn ended up pulling out the win 6-3. Mike Noone had an absurd stat line, as he scooped up 5 ground balls and had 6 caused turnovers. That is not a typo; he legitimately had 6 caused turnovers.
The defense in general put on an absolute clinic, as Ty Souders, Tripp Telesco, and Baxter Lanius all played phenomenally. Alan Henderson looked like Matt Abbot as he was all over the field making big play after big play. On top of that, Griff (Griffin Farha) was extremely solid in net. He told me before the game he was nervous because his girlfriend’s family (The Guman Family) would be in attendance. The same could not be said about the offense, as we struggled. Our offense really felt like we let the team down, because any time your defense gives up 6 goals, you feel like you should win. This loss really stung because we felt like we played well, but just didn’t make the big plays in big moments. We met for film of UPenn on Wednesday and watched clips per usual, but Coach decided it would be best to watch the whole 4th quarter. We made too many mistakes and it was imperative that we watched the whole quarter to see why we lost. Just like we do after a win, we needed to have a short memory after this stinging loss and put our focus onto Penn State. This is one of the biggest games of the year, as we are playing in the Whitman’s Sampler Independence Classic which is an event by Inside Lacrosse at PPL Park. I was recently informed that the celebrity himself Tyler Fiorito (my high school teammate and 4 time All American at Princeton) will be in attendance. I don’t know if he will even be able to watch the game as I’m sure he will be getting mobbed for autographs.
Right now, our squad is 3-3. Like Coach said, you are what your record says you are. It is a results driven world and right now our record says that we are just an average team. With that being said, I firmly believe that with the guys we have that our team is better than that. We are just struggling to find our identity, but what better way to get back on track than at the Independence Classic. We face another in-state rival in Penn State, and they are an extremely talented team. While all of Lehigh heads to Punta Cana or Puerto Viejo for spring break, myself and my teammates have the privilege of representing the University on a big stage. All of us will be playing for the name on the front of the jersey, not the back. Although this is not the start I think anyone wanted after 6 games, by no means are we panicking. I am fully confident that the Lehigh Lacrosse Team of 2013 will figure it out. That’s it for thi