Occidental College Men’s Lacrosse 2012 Player Blog

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.

Vinny Vigorita #12

Freshman – Midfield

Sweet sweet sweet lax. Lacrosse is the best sport on this planet on so many levels. It’s like that really hip song Levels by Avicii in that it just goes from one epic level to the next. First off, it’s got the coolest bros, sickest equipment, and the ladies love it. It’s got the open field style of soccer, the hard hits of football, and the offensive and defensive strategies of basketball. It’s no wonder why the sport is growing exponentially huge.

Coming from the East Coast lacrosse has been a culture for me. I knew I loved the sport from the second I picked up a stick in my backyard with Poppa Skip, who played ball at Williams College back in the day. I started off playing in Long Island, NY for my middle school team in the 7th grade. Following middle school I played for The Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, CT. Playing at the same school the Ultimate Lax Bro came from was quite the experience. Matched up against teams like Deerfield, Salisbury, Avon, Brunswick and Lawrenceville our schedule was no breeze. In fact, one season we had the #1 hardest ranked schedule on Laxpower.com.

Anyway, Hotchkiss lacrosse is one of my best memories because of the kids I called teammates, the coaches I had, and the great times we had on the field. From Hotchkiss, I was set on getting into a small D3 school somewhere in New England and trying to walk on to their squad. After a few of the schools I really had my eye on left me hanging, this small school, all the way across the country, called Occidental, started rising in the ranks. I applied based off of info from my cousin John who graduated a few years back and a brief visit.

From the wise words of Brantford Winstonworth, “I’ve never been to LA, but I hear it’s a really chill place.” So, I decided to make the 3,000 mile voyage from coast to coast. LA is about as far as it gets from the eastern tip of the Long Island penis I call home. I walked into O-week knowing only that Oxy had a club team. On my first stroll down to registration, passing the club tents, I met the famous Michael Berman, Wesley Goodman and other laxers who were grabbing the emails of interested players.

I really had no idea what I was getting myself into here with the lacrosse program. To say the least, It far exceeded my expectations. We spent the fall with small numbers practicing twice a week and finally getting some PT in Vegas. We didn’t fair well against the D1 club teams we were matched up against without half our players, but we played hard. So hard, that my wolf pack and I (Danny Stern and Jake Kahane) passed out in the Trump around 11pm, missing what most likely would have been a wild night in Vegas.

Bummer. Anyway back to LAX. As Duncan, Wes, and Doug have written we got off to a hell of a start this season. 4-0 easily evolved into 5-0 when we sent the small squad of Ca Lu packing in a 15-3 victory.

Coming into this week, we knew we had our work cut out for us. We had a game on Saturday night under the lights against a solid squad Regis from Colorado followed shortly on Sunday at 1:30 by an in-league game against Biola. Regis was relatively unknown for us, while Biola had been a team that topped us in the years past.

Against Regis we came out slow, letting them get off to a 2-0 start. Middie Doug Calder had missed the last 3 games due to a shoulder injury, and was playing in man-up situations against Regis to get back into the mix. He got us on the board with a sexy snipe in his first man-up. Following that Jake fed me on the crease for a canadian style quick shot. OHHH CANADA! We had a strong 2nd quarter getting up on Regis 8-3. Jake and Wes put a few more in the net that half.

Between Carter H, Mike Dodson and myself, we had probably our most successful game in faceoffs. Regis played us very physical and got the game within 3 in the 3rd quarter. As a team we prevailed. John Solowiej forced at least 4 turnovers riding on attack. TJ Kelly prevented Regis from coming back countless times with some miraculous saves. Kahane and Vigorita put up 15 points combined (11 goals, 4 assists). Last but not least, a first year player with little to no previous lacrosse experience, Nate Sullivan was knocking heads left and right and making big plays. He single handedly matched Regis’ strength and was awarded with a game ball in basically his 3rd or 4th lacrosse game ever played.

Now 6-0, the Tigers were feeling pretty fresh. Well, mentally not physically. As a team we were pretty worn down, bruised, and fatigued from our nighttime battle. Unfortunately a bigger and stronger enemy was marching into our lands the next day and we had to protect our house once again.

Biola gave us our first L in the 2012 season by quite the difference. I believe we have what it takes to beat a team of that level but Sunday was just not our day. We entered the game sluggish from the night before, a lot of guys letting their injuries and tiredness dominate their mindset. We threw away and dropped a lot of balls and struggled clearing. Coach Steve Luna prepared us well for Biola’s zone defensive, but our offense struggled in executing our written up plays. It was evident that more focus and attendance was needed in practice that week. On the defensive side of the field, our sliding was a bit slow and not to the body. Looking at the positive side of things, we for once stayed out of the penalty box fairly well until the end of the game. Freshmen Danny Stern played with composure and smarts. Seniors Wes, Duncan Marks, and Dylan Griffiths played their hearts out, never giving up.

The one thing, if any, that I took from our first loss this season is how dedicated some of our players are, particularly the seniors. These guys have turned a program from rags to riches and us underclassmen are blessed to be entering it at this time. The team means so much to them because it truly is a product of their hard work and loyalty to each other. If I can make one goal for the rest of the season it’s to give the seniors a memorable playoff run that they won’t forget and can look back upon as a hell of an ending. It starts with Long Beach next Saturday. Let’s do it boys!

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  1. MOM on March 16, 2012 at 6:14 pm

    fantastic blog—so well written and one can just feel the passion

  2. MOM on March 16, 2012 at 6:14 pm

    fantastic blog—so well written and one can just feel the passion

  3. Cam on March 14, 2012 at 10:54 pm

    proud alum in the building. Nice write-up Vinny, and keep racking up the Ws. 

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