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.
Wesley Goodman-Levy #19
Senior – Midfield
3 years ago and new to lacrosse, I experienced what it was like to lose every single game of the season and limp into the offseason with only a scrimmage win to cling to. Ever since that first season of college lacrosse, I’ve worked, along with many others who had the same experience, to make sure that such disappointment never happened on our team again. My sophomore year, With no juniors on the team, and only one senior, I took the position of team president, while other close peers of mine filled other administrative roles.
Together, with the addition of a new head coach, we immediately had to work hard to get ourselves out of an administrative mixup that would have left us out of the SLC for the year. Through that and other debacles, we came to be captains of sorts. That year we bettered our record slightly with a regular season win and another scrimmage win. Junior year saw the rebirth of a program almost lost. Abroad in the Fall semester, I was altogether surprised and impressed when I showed up for pre-season camp. The incoming freshmen knew their stuff, and the returners had improved tremendously. Possibly basing their decisions on my role the year before, I was made a captain by the coaches.
That year, with the addition of another coach, we went 6-3 in the regular season and made a playoff appearance. It seemed that we were on the brink of being a force to be reckoned with. This Fall, nighttime classes and a rigorous course-load prevented me from participating in Fall ball practices. As distance does, I withdrew from lacrosse, possibly forgetting why I played and had come to love the game over the past three years. To my happiness, 3 games in, I have remembered.
Although I was not voted to be a captain this year, this season promises to give me much more than those past when I made the pre-game walk to meet the refs. Our team this year is exactly that, a team. Our captains are exactly the calm, motivated players and people we need them to be. But the team is also itself. Our captains are not our team and our team is not our captains, and because of that, I, now being a teammate, am focused on what I can do to better us overall.
That focus has been the drive of this season. After a thrilling 11-10 win over Pepperdine to start the season off, we headed to Cal State Channel Islands. In a game that was riddled with penalties, it was perhaps the first real test for the team and captains alike. Quick goals by Doug Calder (#22) and Vincent Vigorita (#12) gave us a quick 2-0 lead, which just as speedily returned to a 2-2 tie as Channel Island’s retaliated. Continuing to trade goals into the second quarter, we finished the second half with a one goal lead.
In the second half we pushed ahead and lead 10-5 early in the 4th quarter. However, Channel Islands wasn’t going down easily and battled back to within 2. Nevertheless, multiple strong defensive stands and some awesome goalkeeping by Thomas Kelly (#14) prevented CSCI from bringing the score any closer. Exciting to the end, we held on to win 11-9. However, as a team, we weren’t pleased. While the tale-tell signs of a battle hard-fought were present on our bodies, we knew we had underperformed in many ways.
Expecting to win heartedly given our 19-6 win last year, we knew we didn’t pass well, shoot well, and worst of all, we lost our cool and committed countless stupid penalties ranging from playing with the free-hand to entering onto the field unequipped, repeatedly. I was further unsurprised when Coach made us run sprints after the game. “Go,” we sprinted from the end-line to the top of the box. “Again,” “go,” “again,” rang through our ears as we sprinted for every penalty we had obtained.
This week we played Marymount College. Also beating them handedly last year, I was both excited to do it again, and nervous that we might play down to them, as we did Channel Islands. Our moto in practice all week was “get everyone in.” We wanted to get everyone playing time this game, everyone on the team worked hard, and they all deserved to play.
It was up to us, the starting lines to make that happen. However, up by only 2 goals at the end of the first quarter was making me, and possibly everyone, nervous. At half the score was 8-2. We knew we could keep pushing and accomplish our goal. Finally, in the 4th quarter, everyone was playing. Possibly most satisfying was having our freshman hockey-convert, #99, Evan Tolley AKA Gretsky, score. As hard as he works during every practice, it was something we owed him. Furthermore, this win gave us confidence in playing our game, and not playing down to someone else’s.
Three wins strong we now stand, with UC Irvine up next. 3 years later this team is the polar opposite of what it was, and I, simply as a member of it, am loving it.