For a program that has taken their talents to the state semifinals in each of the past eight years, to the finals three of those eight years, and to the title once, back in 2012—a winning record and playoff lacrosse is merely insufficient. They want more.
But the conclusion of last year’s season smashed a hole in the team, with al- most 20 seniors graduating. This year’s players have gi- ant boots to fill, pressing the mettle of those who want to be great.
Senior captain Will Webster, the goalkeeper who found himself at the tail end of a 13-1 thrashing at the hands of the Rams in last year’s title bout, knew exactly how losing felt and the motivation he needed to prepare for battle once more against the Rams. But MICDS isn’t all of his concern.
“Yeah, it was rough losing like that in State but I think the program as a whole has used that to work harder in the offseason. I think as a program we have worked a lot harder and are more prepared for the upcoming season. We are hoping for a successful sea- son and looking to take our season one game at a time rather than focusing solely on MICDS,” said Webster.
Head Coach Andrew Toussaint, now in his sec- ond year at the helm of the varsity lacrosse program, already has a state game un- der his belt, and therefore knows the mentality needed to take his program back to the championship game.
“Certainly you want to win, and in doing so, put yourself in the position to be in a championship game. I think that this early in the season it’s sometimes hard to be looking at the long- term goals because you’re just trying to get through one practice and get ready for one game. I would say in terms of goals, our main goal here is to implement a system, and to get these guys on the same page on drills, on how we play of- fense, how we play defense, and how we practice,” said Toussaint.
The lacrosse team is seeing some new faces this year. Seniors Nick Lang and Trip Dolan, who have just finished their basketball seasons, as well as Brian Lymberopoulos, who fin- ished a season of varsity soccer last fall, have joined the team in hopes of pro- viding that depth which is crucial to any lacrosse team, due to lacrosse’s demanding stamina.
“Well all my friends played and it does look su- per fun. Coach Toussaint recruited me through bas- ketball and told me basket- ball transitions over to la- crosse pretty smoothly and he’s right. All the coaches are so supportive and are making this transition fun and as easy as possible and I don’t regret my decision to switch,” said Lang.
Switch? What switch? Lang, for the past three years since his freshman year had played on the var- sity baseball team. In his se- nior year though, he wanted to switch.
“I’m not playing col- lege baseball next year so I thought I’d take the op- portunity to play with my friends. I hope to win some games and have fun doing it with my brothers. I am working very hard to catch up to my teammates and I am having a blast doing it sonowallwehavetodois win some games,” said Lang.
Toussaint is excited for the new players, for more than one reason.
“We’re excited about it. And we do want more multisport athletes in the program, and more players in the program. You know I think especially basketball guys, the similarities of the games are numerous. The way you play offense and the way you play defense, picking, playing off the ball, are very similar. And they’re able to pick that up pretty easy, as well as having some added athleticism and guys who play other varsity sports who understand the commitment and dedica- tion to it,” said Toussaint.
SLUH already has a “game” under their belt this season. Sort of. This past week, they invited De Smet over to the football turf for a practice and then a short- ened scrimmage game. The score ended 3-2 in favor of the Jr. Bills, but the result isn’t at all indicative of each team’s standing.
“I’m extremely hopeful, thrown together defense, very ambitious, I’m think- ing they will be strong. We have a lot of new guys which can be described as a ‘goon squad’,” said senior captain attack Charlie Carse.
“I love great chemis- try with all the mates, and accountability that builds character. All of us captains are in this together, we’re holding everyone to a high standard of focus and ambi- tion. We are highly looking forward to grind out this season and have loads of fun,” said Carse.
The Jr. Bills face their first test tonight against the Lafayette Lancers of Wildwood.