When spring begins to roll around, lacrosse season is here.
The F&M men’s team played its first two games this past week, winning against Immaculata 23-1 Wednesday and losing against Lynchburg Saturday 11-4, giving the team a 1-1 record after its opening foray.
In the game against Immaculata, Tristan Miller ’13 and Billy Kempner ’14 scored five goals each, Keith Murray ’12 and James Wenk ’12 two apiece, and Colin McKew ’12, Harrison Jones ’12, Jeff Newton ’14, Josh Kanter ’14, Ben Ross ’15, Zachary Johannes ’15, Will Beury ’15, Jason Polansky ’13, and Vann Jorgensen ’15 all scored one. Jordan Barr ’13, Kempner, Miller, and Freddy Schweizer ’12 scored one goal each Saturday.
The team has a lot planned for the remainder of the season. After a more rigorous offseason than in years past, and a full returning roster of starters, F&M is hoping to achieve all its goals this year. The captains this year are McKew, Andrew Setian ’12, Schweizer, and Scott Beury ’13.
Head coach Todd Cavallaro will be returning as head coach for his fifth season, assistant coach Casey Kear for his third, assistant coach Randy Marks for his sixth, and assistant coach Roly Shover for his first season with the team—so the coaching staff has its experience as well.
“[This is] one of the best groups of leaders I’ve seen since becoming a part of the team in ’08,” Setian said.
Even winning the Centennial Conference is a feasible goal this year. If the team performs well in the Centennial Conference, the Dips have a shot at entering the NCAA Tournament, which they have not done since 2003. The team is optimistic about its chances, as it should be.
“This year we have the talent to get there and compete with the best,” Schweizer said.
During the offseason, players would work out in the weight room and on the lacrosse field at least five days a week. During the week, the team would hit the weight room three days a week and either run or scrimmage the other two. They focused mainly on strength, agility, sharpening stick skills, staying in shape, bonding as a team, and—of course—lacrosse. The coaches even created a basketball tournament just for the lacrosse players as a fun form of conditioning.
The team is going to have to keep its focus all season long, as it has been doing a good job of all year during the offseason.
“We are always focusing on one day at a time and doing the little things well,” Cavallaro said. “This year in particular, we will remain very focused on ourselves and making sure we are playing our game every minute on the field.”
“We are going to focus on one game at a time,” Schweizer said. “We will have to have complete focus on our opponent at hand.”
“We are going to take it one game at a time and trust in Coach Cav’s game plan to see this team succeed,” Setian said. “The key [to achieving our goals] is unity, discipline, and persistence.”
Another important part of the team’s success rides on unity. Keeping the chemistry between 50-plus players is not going to be easy, but the team seems to be doing a good job of maintaining it so far; it doesn’t hurt that the entire starting roster from last year’s squad will be returning.
“Keeping that camaraderie at an all-time high is something that is important to us,” Schweizer said.
“We believe that if we stick together and play as a team, we will be able to put together 60 minutes of good lacrosse each game,” McKew added.
“With our entire starting team returning, and other people coming in to play, our team chemistry is great,” Kempner said.
The team is prepared to make a deep run this season.
“The team is very athletic and deep and is ready to make a statement in the Centennial Conference, and in all of Divison III,” Kempner said.
Wednesday will be the Dips’ next game and it should be a good one, against Gwynedd-Mercy at 4 p.m. This will be Gwynedd-Mercy’s first game of the year and F&M’s first game at home this season.