March 7, 2008

M. Lacrosse Must Step Up Play To Compete With Elite Foes

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Tomorrow, the men’s lacrosse team will host their home opener, for real this time. After the scheduled home opener against Binghamton was canceled due to inclement weather, the Red will finally play a regular season game at home on Schoellkopf Field against the Army Black Knights.
“We need to get a win,” said senior John Glynn. “To start 1-1 this year is not a great way to start. We are definitely looking to this week and trying to get a win over a very good Army team.”
After winning an uphill battle against Navy — 8-7 in overtime — the Red could not repeat its comeback success against North Carolina, losing 13-8. With a 1-1 start on the season the squad realized that if it wants to compete with the best teams, it is going to have to start playing as a unit. However, in order to prepare for Army, a team ranked 17th in the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) coaches’ poll, the Red did something a little different at practice this week in order to increase the pace and intensity of practice.
“One thing coach put forth in practice this week is if you worked hard and outplayed anyone on the field he was going to put you on the field,” said junior Max Seibald. “People stepped up this week and were fighting for spots. … We will see a lot more faces on the field and different people will get more opportunities this weekend and it should make for an exciting game.”
The Red knows it is facing a talented team that has skill and depth at every position, especially in goal. Army senior Adam Fullerton is not only a force in goal and 2007 Patriot League Goalkeeper of the Year, his presence and influence is evident all over the field. [img_assist|nid=28630|title=Stare down|desc=The Red will take on Army this Saturday, looking to get back in the win column after last weekend’s loss to UNC.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
“I think that their biggest guy we have to get to early is their goalie,” Seibald said. “He is their leader and he is one of the top goalies in the nation. He gets everything going for their team. He just commands everyone on their team and tells them where to be and when to be there. You can just see on the film how everyone on their team looks to him.”
Achieving an unselfish, team-oriented style of play is the Red’s biggest goal for this weekend and for this season. The Red knows that it can compete with a high quality team like Army, but in order to win the players need to focus on using each other and taking advantage of their collective ability and experience.
“I mean we are definitely upset about the loss at UNC,” Glynn said. “We kind of got after each other in practice a littler more. We understood that we didn’t play that well last weekend because we didn’t play that well in practice last week. We are just trying to build our confidence back up and play as hard as we can this weekend.”