Men’s lacrosse team starts season with high hopes

Last April the Norwich University Men’s Lacrosse team was devastated by a tough loss in the 2012 GNAC Championship game against Mount Ida.


“We are a team that peaks when it needs to and that showed last year with our push at the end which had us competing for the GNAC crown against Mount Ida,” said Tim Seibert, 21, a junior history major from Lancaster, Pa.

The team is starting off their season strong and striving to be the best they can possibly be.

Norwich lacrosse players take the lead GNAC season opener against Anna Maria College. (Norwich Athletics Photo)

Norwich lacrosse players take the lead GNAC season opener against Anna Maria College. (Norwich Athletics Photo)

“We’ve played three tough opponents so far and they showed us where we need to get stronger,” said Ian Thomas, 20, a junior criminal justice major from Barrington, R.I. “But we’ve had moments of greatness on offense and defense in all the games.”

According to the players, the first two games of the year were against their usual season opener, UMASS Dartmouth.

“In the first couple of games we learned where we were going as a team with our philosophy and was a useful litmus test for our freshmen players who had a first taste of real D-III play,” said Seibert.

Having only lost two seniors from last year’s team, the team this year is made up of a lot of younger players, which, according to the upperclassman isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

“Losing only two seniors has definitely helped a lot because now with a younger team they can build more on their skills,” said Judd Baggett, 21, a senior criminal justice major from Newtown, Conn. “The team doesn’t have to rely on the seniors being the leaders of the team.”

According to the players, the large number of veteran starters  leaves them hopeful that this  will take them to the podium for the GNAC Championship.

“I think this huge returning class will be crucial benefactor going deeper into the season as real playing experience and time on the field cannot be bought,” said Seibert.

According to Thomas, since most of the team has been playing together for two or three years the chemistry between all of the players is already in place.

“The freshmen are doing well adjusting to the college game,” he said. “The biggest difference between high school and college ball is the speed of the game and most of the freshman have been getting quality time in our scrimmages and early games to help them adjust to the faster level.”

According to the players, the freshmen are doing well and are starting to build confidence on the field.

“I can definitely see them making an impact on the offensive end immediately in the coming games,” said Siebert. “Once they gain more confidence and a solid understanding of our system, I think we will some major contributors to the team.”

Since losing the GNAC Championship last year, one of the team’s biggest goals for this season is to take home that title.

“Our goal is to improve every game, every practice of every day and let the chips fall where they may each game day,” Siebert added.

“The main goal for the season is to win a conference championship and make it to the NCAA’s,” said Thomas. “Losing last year in the conference finals has been extra motivation this year to get back to the championship and win.”

In general, the team is striving for success and is pushing towards better results in order to be the best that they can be.

“The team’s main goal for the year is to just play excellent lacrosse,” said Baggett.

With the renovation of Sabine field, the team will able to play outdoors earlier and not be stuck inside of Shapiro for the whole beginning of their season.

“I think the new field will be indispensable for this team in the coming years,” said Siebert. “Having a forgiving surface to play on year-round compared to the brutal playing conditions inside Shapiro will be a huge factor in our success earlier in the year compared to later years.”

According to the players, the faster they are able to get outside, the faster the team can improve.

“Having a turf field will allow us to practice on a full-sized field for the whole season instead of in a building that is too small for us,” said Thomas.

Both men and women’s lacrosse teams are expected to  benefit greatly from the new field. According to Norwich Officials, it should be ready to go by the end of this academic year.

“The season is going very well right now. We’ve hit a bit of a rough patch but we’re building well in all aspects,” said Baggett.

Playing tough opponents in the beginning of the season has helped the team make improvements and show them what they have in story of the rest of the season.

“We are always focused on the next practice and game,” said Siebert. “This year we need to finish on championship day and take care of unfinished business.”

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