Diary of a D2 Lacrosse Player (Part Two)
Recently, I provided insight into the life of a D2 lacrosse player. There, I wrote about differences between high school and college lacrosse, academic life, and teammate relations. Obviously, I mentioned actual play. You can find part one here. Today, I’ll be going more in-depth on my time with Caldwell lacrosse.
Let me say this, the grind is real. Everyone is absolutely exhausted. With no games breaking up practice, bodies are broken. One goalie has an injured thumb (might be broken). Our starting LSM is out (knee). Our top two defensemen are slower. And our captain has missed time (hip). The key to surviving preseason is taking care of your body. Unfortunately, no matter how cautious you are, four straight weeks of lacrosse wears you down. No one is one-hundred percent. That’s the reality of college athletics.
Thankfully, our coach is rearranging the practice schedule. Originally, we had multiple early morning practices a week. Now, it’s one to two a week. You may be a morning person, but let me tell you, morning practices suck. It’s tough waking up at 6 and physically exerting yourself at 7. Not a lot of time to wake up, hydrate, and eat a well-balanced breakfast. There’s no avoiding early morning practices. Sometimes, that’s the only time your field is available. Remember, we share facilities with multiple varsity sports (plus, guys have class in the afternoon).
We’ve improved since our Drew scrimmage. Last Saturday, we scrimmaged Mount Saint Mary’s College in Newburgh, New York. We lost 9-16, but were competitive. Our 6 v 6 defense has improved. Our transition defense killed us. Guys struggled to delay fast breaks. In the second half, mental lapses occurred. Defensemen committed silly penalties. The Knight’s man up picked us apart.
It wasn’t all doom and gloom. At half, we were down 3-6. Ever see a game where a team scores but can’t get on a run? That was us. We’d score a goal, then give one up. Our offense couldn’t get on a run. Eventually, we’d score one goal and allow two. The disparity grew until the clock struck zero.
Mentally, no one was down in defeat. We’re a young team and slowly improving. The mood was disappointed yet optimistic. Adjustments were made immediately next practice.
After Mount Saint Mary’s, we’ve had two weeks to prepare for our inaugural game against American International College (AIC). Last week was about improving our own game. This week is all about AIC. We’ve watched three full AIC games. We’ve scouted their looks in practice. They tend to run a 1-4-1 offense. The Yellow Jackets employ two goalies. One has a 75% save rate, but plays pole too. Offensively, we’re worried about attackmen Dylan Heald and Matt Quinlan.
Personally, I’m hesitant yet hopeful. What can I say? I’m an optimist. AIC is good, but I believe we have enough talent to win. Our mental toughness worries me. Our defense is physically talented; however, we suffer from mental lapses. Guys are caught out of position or misunderstand their designated responsibility. To beat AIC, we cannot afford mental miscues. To beat AIC, we must execute our game plan.
Well, there you have it. You’re up to date on everything Caldwell lacrosse. I won’t be at AIC. As a transfer, I’m required to sit out this season. I’m not on the 2020 active roster and not allowed to travel with the team. I’m not making the three-hour drive for this one. I’ll be watching online. Our second game is against NYIT next Wednesday. I’ll miss that one too, as I’m not allowed to miss class for games (since I’m ineligible). While I’m disappointed with my inability to play, I’m ecstatic to be a part of Caldwell’s first lacrosse season. I’m proud to say I have a role in preparing the team for it’s first game in program history.
Did you enjoy this insight? Any questions on the college lacrosse experience? Whatever your thoughts, air them by connecting with me on Twitter or Instagram. You can also comment directly onto this article by subscribing. By subscribing, you’ll be notified whenever I publish a new article. Any and all support is appreciating. Thank you all for continuing this journey with me. I’ll be sure to release more articles as our season continues.