Men’s lacrosse is preparing to begin what looks to be an impressive season. With a strong performance in pre-season scrimmages and a mix of experienced leadership and raw talent, the men are looking forward to delivering a commanding performance in their first official game.
This year’s team will roster 18 rookies, a group composed of a large class of recruits and talented walk-ons. The rookies make up a third of this year’s enlarged roster and have already begun to prove themselves in their preseason scrimmages against NESCAC rivals. “A lot of freshmen are going to see the field, and they will be crucial to our success,” said tri-captain Corey Jacobs ’11.
The key players for the men this season will include the team’s returning seniors, a group that tri-captain David Fitzpatrick ’11 said “has always been really strong.” He described fellow tri-captains Matt Cranshaw ’11 and Jacobs as “really talented guys who will do good things for us in terms of getting possession and starting a spark on the field.” Additionally, Fitzpatrick expects other returning players, including Colton Growney ’13 and Sam Hargrove ’12, to do “big things for the team.”
The men graduated eight key players last year, which will force them to restructure the team and look to field a new set of powerful starters. “Finding replacements at goalie and close defense will be a big challenge,” said Head Coach George McCormack. “Every year you lose a group of talented guys that have a lot of experience and have grown to really be assets to the team,” Fitzpatrick said, “[but] we’re stronger this year than ever.”
The men have also suffered losses of key players due to injury. This weekend, Aaron Flack ’11, Michael Ryan ’12, David Fitzpatrick ’11, Paul Taylor ’14, Jacobs and Hargrove were all sidelined due to injury. While the men hope to get healthy and back on the field soon, the pressure will be on for the team’s underclassmen in their first games. The seniors are hoping this will prove an asset for the team: “With some experienced guys out, it’s given us the opportunity to let the new guys step up and figure out what their role is going to be,” Fitzpatrick said. “While we have some guys who I think will have standout seasons, the depth of our team will be our biggest strength,” Cranshaw added.
The team is enjoying what Cranshaw describes as “a really great vibe.” The team’s chemistry is a potent combination of the invigorating presence of the new freshmen who “bring an energy that is really exciting” and “a tight-knit group of seniors who provide unified and consistent leadership,” according to Cranshaw.
The men took on squads from Amherst and Trinity in scrimmages at home last weekend. They beat both teams, downing Amherst by a score of 10-4 and dropping Trinity 8-4. The men look to continue the momentum gained from their scrimmages in their first official game this Saturday at Colby: “It should be a lot of fun,” said Cranshaw, “and hopefully we’ll come home with the ‘W.’”
The men are looking to impress this season. “Our goal this year is to meet our potential in every game and improve throughout the season [in order to] play our best lacrosse during playoffs,” said McCormack. “More than any of my other years here, we’re hungry and we’re excited,” said Fitzpatrick.
Williams’ regular season will kick off with the team’s first conference game at Colby at 1 p.m. on Saturday.