By Meghan Creane
On Feb. 23, the men’s lacrosse will be the first team on Frank Bailey Field starting the spring sports season. The Dutchmen have already set the bar high for themselves by crushing their competitors at the seventh annual Bruce Allison Tournament on Oct. 21, 2012, as well as being ranked No. 13 by Inside Lacrosse.com in the 2013 Faceoff Yearbook Division III Top 20.
The team is more than ready and hopeful for a successful season as junior Steve Melia said, “Myself and the team are expecting another winning season and hopefully another trip to the NCAA tournament.”
After making cuts at the end of last week, the team is really getting serious about the upcoming season. The dedication of all the team members shines through the late night and early morning practices—even getting a few solid workouts in during Schenectady blizzards. The fall season was missing several key players, who were studying abroad but are now eager to get back on the field with Coach Paul Wehrum, the returning players and the new additions to the team.
As junior Tanner Jones says, “Those of us who were abroad are really fired up to get back on the field since we had to miss the fall pre-season. We were also anxious all term to come back and see the talented freshman class we had been hearing about.”
The team’s goals for the season, as noted by junior Pat DeBenedetto, are to “rely on our strong defense to allow us to work as an offensive minded team…obviously to make the league tournament and the NCAA as well…it will also be fun to play in front of such talented goalies as Devyn Jefferies [‘15] and Stefan Basile [‘16].”
Senior Peter Griesinger is looking “to make an immediate impact as there is no next year for the other seniors and me.” He is also looking forward to his last spring break with the team, traveling to a range of cities and playing against many different competitors.
When interviewing the members it’s hard to ignore their bond and charisma. It is obvious that they each cannot wait to get back on the field with their teammates. Some highlights include Melia’s favorite senior captain, Alex Stone, who Melia “can’t wait to see continue his dominance at the face off X.” Junior Jake Quinn is excited to get on the field with freshman talent Nolan Staufer, who, in Quinn’s opinion, is “a smooth and talented team player.” While DeBenedetto is looking forward to playing with “not only the freshman but all the new additions to the team…it will be interesting to see what they bring into the fold.”
Jones is most excited to play with undeniably gifted Rob Santangelo ‘15, more affectionately referred to as “Teet” by both the team and the entire student body. During the interview, Jones also felt compelled to mention Melia, who was walking by, as one of his most adored players, since Melia was feeling a little left out. While, sophomore Connor Hall is, “Most excited to play with sophomore Charlie Ross. He is one of my roommates and me and him have been developing quite the chemistry at the midfield in the pre-season.
Even after the interviews the team and the upcoming season seem to be the only thing on the boys’ minds, each of them constantly bringing it up in conversation.