The High Point University men’s lacrosse team began fall practices this week in preparation for the 2014 season. The Panthers will cap off the fall practice period with a weekend in Maryland to face Navy and the MLL’s Chesapeake Bayhawks.
HPU began official full-team practices this week after taking part in individual workouts since the beginning of school. The Panthers will play an instrasquad scrimmage on Friday, Oct. 4. High Point will travel to Maryland on Oct. 12 for scrimmages with Navy and the Chesapeake Bayhawks.
“We started out with mostly individual development, working on riding and clearing and really put an emphasis on our transition game,” said head coach Jon Torpey. “Actually having upperclassmen this year is a huge help. Practices are moving faster and it is great that we have guys in leadership roles. A lot of the guys who were here last year are stepping up as leaders and it is helping practice flow a lot smoother.
In January the Panthers will scrimmage Marquette at Vert Stadium before the season begins. The game will be Jan. 25 at noon. The season kicks off at Delaware on Feb. 1. HPU’s home opener is on Feb. 15 against St. Joseph’s at 1 p.m.
The Panthers return 32 players from last year’s inaugural team including senior captains Bucky Smith and Garrett Swaim. Sophomore Dan Lomas also returns as the team’s leading goal scorer (36 goals) and junior Matt Thistle is back after leading the team with 42 points on 19 goals and 23 assists last year. Redshirt-junior Austin Geisler is back after starting 14 games in goal for HPU. He averaged 12.78 goals per game for the Panthers.