The 2012 season is here and we wanted to work closely with college programs to bring a part of the excitement to you. Throughout the 2012 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.
Jr. – #22 – Midfield
Not much can be said about our performance on Saturday against a visiting Villanova team. Disappointing, frustrating, embarrassing…all fitting words to describe the outcome of the game. With the amount of excitement and opportunism that flourished in practice last week, to come out and lose the way we did was discouraging to say the least. In discouraging times like these, though, there’s only one thing a team can do…move forward.
Being a face-off guy myself, I’ve been all too guilty at times in my career of letting the past get the best of me. When so much passion and effort go into a task, I like to think I’m not entirely at fault for getting caught up in certain moments. At the end of the day, though, the blame falls entirely on me for failing to realize that my attitude and focus are things I can control going forward…whereas the face-off I just took is something I certainly can’t.
I’ve learned through my own personal experiences that when I focus too much on a lost face-off, I become that much more prone to lose the next one. At this point in time, my teammates on this lacrosse team realize that we must have short memories in order to move forward and accomplish our ultimate goal. The past is the past, after all, and the only thing worse than losing a game is letting the outcome of that game affect the outcome of the next one.
Saturday night after the beat down, Dan “Dogfish” Carr and I sat in his room watching ESPN, trying to put our fingers on what had happened, what had gone so wrong. I remember listening as Michigan head basketball coach John Beilein was interviewed by Erin Andrews prior to his team’s game against Ohio State. I’m sure many guys would agree that it takes pretty captivating words in an interview to draw one’s attention away from the sight of Erin Andrews. Coach Beilein’s message on Saturday night was certainly up the task, though. When asked about his pregame message to the team, Beilein talked about their goal of being champions…not only in the Big Ten, but also in life.
“While you’re striving for a championship in a league you’re learning a lot of life lessons,” he said. This really stuck out to me at what could have easily been a very vulnerable point of the season. In sports, as in life, there is always opportunity. Sure these opportunities are limited and some (such as the Nova game) might be better than others, but failing to capitalize on one doesn’t mean you can’t succeed on the next. Dogfish Carr, myself, and the rest of our squad are still looking in one direction after this weekend…the road to a Patriot League Championship.
At this point, I’ll stop trying to be a “cunning linguist” reflecting about last weekend and practice what I’ve been preaching. After all was said and done with our highly unpleasant Monday film session, the fellas took the field and got back to work. Competition was the theme of the practice, and we cancelled our normal lift to spend more time on the field getting after each other. Live 6 on 6 and a full scrimmage took up the entirety of the session. As Coach Cassese put it, bench press and squat numbers aren’t the reason we lost on Saturday. The focus this week has been about figuring out why we failed and what we can do to get back on track.
Guided by this mentality, we actually didn’t practice on Tuesday. Instead, we met as a team to essentially call each other out and hold each other accountable for the little things we’ve failed to do individually. Accountability has been a big theme for this team since the day I got here, but it hasn’t really been anything more than just a theme. There’s a wide disparity between putting a slogan on the wall of a locker room and having the guys in that locker room put the slogan into practice. For our team, the toughest hurdle to overcome has been that exact disparity…the difference between saying and doing. Accountability became more than a theme on Tuesday. Accountability became an actual part of the Lehigh lacrosse culture.
As I write this entry before Wednesday practice, I’m excited to see how our guys respond to all that’s been said. I’m excited to see how we prepare for this weekend’s game. I’m excited to drive over the mountain and see my teammates excited about playing lacrosse. I’m excited because Wednesdays are upper body lift days…if bench day doesn’t get you going, check your pulse. I’m excited to take draws with upcoming orthodontist Ryan Buttenbaum. I’m excited to be a Lehigh lacrosse player…a privilege that gets taken for granted far too often. With Manahattan coming to town on Saturday, we have a chance to win and get back on track. Studying the past, appreciating the present, looking forward to the future…a lesson on lacrosse and life well learned, Coach Beilein. A Wednesday workday is coming up for the boys in Bethlehem and its time to put words in action…back to #ringchasing.