by Sean Ellertson, Tom Dynan and Cam Gonsalves
The occasional yell of “Oh yeah!” echoed across Sodexo Field as the men’s lacrosse team prepared to take on Post in their season opener on Saturday.
In their final practice in February, the Ravens began their game preparations focusing mainly on team defense. Last year, the Ravens gave up 15 goals to Post in a loss, and are searching for redemption on Saturday to start the season off strong.
“Last year we had a little miscommunication among the defense of our team,” said junior defenseman John Massaro. “We lost some good seniors this past year, but we did gain some really good freshman and some other guys stepped up who haven’t in the past.”
Head coach Rick Senatore said in a team huddle, “We are not going to quit. We are not going let them get the ball at midfield, make one pass and score. That’s what happened to us last year.”
The Ravens emphasized defense all practice, simulating plays that Post runs to prepare against their attack. The team practiced situations where the offense had more players than the defense. They also practiced clearing the ball out of the defensive zone by moving the ball and players from side-to-side.
“There’s definitely some things we need to improve on,” said sophomore midfielder Callan LeMay. “I think that during these past few weeks that we’ve been practicing every day, we’ve definitely made a lot of improvements from the beginning, like in fall ball. I think we’re going to be very well prepared.”
Senatore told his team to take pride in their defensive work, even out of the attackers and forwards. The Ravens were energetic throughout the entire practice and played with physicality.
The Ravens have high hopes for themselves this upcoming season.
“We just want to make the playoffs and make a run for the national championship,” said senior Scott DeLaura. “We were there my sophomore year and we want to get back there.”
Only eight division two teams make it to the NCAA Tournament. Franklin Pierce was ranked fifth in the New England Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association and ranked eighth in the Northeast-10 Coaches’ Poll.