By Luke Mich, Sports Editor
The Saint Vincent Bearcats men’s lacrosse team has started out the season very strong and, over a month into their regular season, the team is looking to continue forward in the same manner. Well before their season opener on Feb. 23 against Juniata College, the team met up to prepare for the season and establish their goals.
“Training started in the fall semester with practices and team lifts,” Casey Moore, senior marketing major who plays midfield, said. “Over winter break we used group-based workouts to hold each other accountable while being away from school. Upon returning from winter break, we promptly started practice during the first week of classes.”
Starting with the game against Juniata College, the team won six games in a row and began their season with a 6-0 start. Several factors led to this undefeated stretch of games.
“Our 6-0 start starts with the leadership and work ethic that we possess as a team. Our focus on improving ourselves day in and day out lead us to great results in those games despite the challenges that our competitors posed,” Moore said.
After their sixth game, a 15-3 win against Allegheny College, the Bearcats faced a tough task against defending conference champions Grove City College on Apr. 2. Unfortunately, Grove City handed the Saint Vincent team its first loss of the season. Yet the team considers this result as a chance to improve and work on correcting the little mistakes.
“We went into [Grove City] knowing that the margin for error for us was razor-thin. It was one of the best efforts I have ever seen this team put together,” Moore said. “In the end, it was miniscule mistakes that we made that allowed Grove City to punish us, and despite our best efforts, we were not able to come back from the deficit. This loss has been a learning experience for us as a team and has allowed us to attack practice with a renewed focus.”
As the men’s lacrosse season moves past the halfway mark, the Bearcats squad has the best overall record in the PAC (as of Apr. 9) with their 6-1 start. The team is looking forward to making the conference playoffs for the first time since the 2019 season, as COVID-19 had prevented them from participating in the playoffs for the last two seasons.
However, the most important factor to the lacrosse team’s success is the remainder of the regular season. The game against Grove City kicked off the stretch of the season where they play all their conference opponents. This time period is crucial since the conference record determines
who makes the playoffs, not the teams’ overall records. Even with the opening conference game resulting in a loss, the Bearcats team’s morale has been sky-high so far this season.
“Team morale has been fantastic all season. I attribute this to the leadership of our captains and coaches,” Moore said.
So, lastly, what does the team need to do to maintain not just a winning record, but crucial positioning in time for playoffs?
“One thing we need to work on moving forward as a team is remaining on the path we’re on,” Moore said. “The ability, the positivity, the accountability that we have is leading us in a great direction. If we stay on that path, the sky is the limit.”