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
“Greatness is upon you… You better act like it.” That was the quote on the back of our practice shirts in every player’s locker before the beginning of training camp. After a tremendous season last year, the 2013 Colgate Raiders have a lot to prove and build upon. Making the quarterfinals of the 2012 NCAA tournament puts a bullseye on our backs. With many returning starters, a talented group of young players, along with the reigning 2012 Tewaarton Award winner, we are up for the challenge and know the sky is the limit for our team.
Training camp opened with three days of two a day practices. One session inside in Sanford Field House, and one outside on our home field Andy Kerr Stadium. While overall team fundamentals were emphasized throughout the week, strengthening our defense was as major priority in training camp, as it will be throughout the season. Last season our offense shouldered the load for our team, scoring the second most goals per game in the NCAA. As Coach Murphy would say, it is time for the defense to start, “earning their Chicken Parm” on this team. With three returning starters on close defense, including Senior Captain Jimmy Queeney, hard work and attention to detail will help the defense improve on last year’s performance. We finished training camp with one practice each day of the week, including an intra-squad scrimmage on Saturday morning. Both teams played hard with the Maroon team comprised of the starting attack and second team defense winning the game, as the midfielders switched teams at half time. A successful training camp ended with Senior Attackman Ryan “RC3” Collins earning practice player of the week.
Monday was the first day of classes for the spring semester and the team was busy finalizing their schedules. Senior Robbie Grabher added and dropped an amazing 5 different classes before finally confirming his schedule for his final semester at Colgate. After the busy day we had what would turn into a memorable practice out on Andy Kerr Stadium. What started out as a standard cold night in Hamilton New York, turned into a blizzard that we were forced to practice through. The team did a great job staying focused and working hard through the practice, and making the practice a productive one.
For the remainder of the week we were forced to practice indoors due to severe cold weather. As many of the avid Game Of Thrones fans on the team enjoy saying, “Winter is coming” and it truly did hit Hamilton with temperatures in the single digits. Despite being unable to play outside we kept our focus and continued to work on our offensive and defensive fundamentals. On Tuesday we worked on our pick play, while on Wednesday we worked on our offensive and defensive zone schemes. The work week concluded with an early Friday morning practice, before we headed to Delaware in the afternoon for the scrimmage.
On the way up we stopped at team favorite Pizza Grande, or “Grande Pizza” as it reads on top of the restaurant, where we feasted on pasta and Chicken Parmesan. The journey seemed to take longer than usual due to some skeptical movie choices from the coaches, (Premium Rush?!?!) but by 10:30 we made it to the hotel and into our rooms. Saturday morning came quickly, with the 2013 Raiders ready to play an opponent other than ourselves.
We played Delaware to an 8-8 tie in what was a good effort from our team. After a slow start from our offense and defense, both units got better as the game went on and worked to even up the score with the Blue Hens. Peter Baum and Sophomore Ryan “Wantagh” Walsh tallied 3 goals each, with a goal a piece for midfielders Matt Baker and Matt Clarkson. The freshman goalies split the game and each played well. Overall the scrimmage went well as it gave us a chance to compete against a different team, and become acclimated with our usual pregame routines. After a nice tailgate with the parents, we headed back to Hamilton with another week of practice and a scrimmage ahead of us.