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M. Lax to perfect new system after Lycoming heartbreak

by Panagiotis Argitis
Tue, Mar 27th 2018 09:30 pm
Brockport players shake hands with Lycoming players after theres 5-4 loss.
Brockport players shake hands with Lycoming players after theres 5-4 loss.

One can argue that the significance of league games out- weighs that of non-league ones, but the progress needed to reach a title should be traced back to non-league competition at the beginning of the season.

The College at Brockport men’s lacrosse team has had plenty to reflect on this season. The team is seven games deep into the 2018 campaign and has come away with mixed results, losing five and winning two. There are multiple reasons as to why the team is struggling to find consistency, from coming up against considerably stronger opposition to having trouble finding the net. But one key part of the team’s result inefficiency is its cur- rent undeveloped state.

The Golden Eagles lost a total of eight seniors at the end of last season, with two of them being captains. Apart from leading the team, graduated attacker Jake Guidice and midfielder Bren- dan Fitzgerald were responsible for a large portion of last year’s scoring output and overall offensive direction. The now gradu-

ated senior class played a huge role in Brockport’s success during last year’s play, but its absence from this season’s roster called for change; an ongoing overhaul that’s been part of Brockport’s non- league process this season.

Aside from the recruitment of 14 new freshman—yes, 14— the team has made teamwork and chemistry-centered execution a focal point behind its attacking rhythm this season.

“Coach Wineburg has implemented a new offensive scheme to how we move the ball,” sophomore midfielder Tom Walsh said. “There is an emphasis on less individuality and more of a team involvement from everyone on the field.”

Despite the team’s season record of 2—5 thus far, the team’s transition to a pass-orientated style of play has been evidently working more toward the offensive side than that of last year’s one-on-one play mentality. Although Brockport’s current win- ning percentage might not display that, the numbers behind head coach Ben Wineburg’s tactical change certainly do. In compari- son to the first seven games of last season to that of this season, Brockport has created more shot opportunities, proving that the switch to a teamwork style of play is working.

Although the team hasn’t had much luck with converting its chances this year, it’s constantly working to do so by solidifying its overall chemistry as a unit throughout non-league competi- tion in hopes of finding a winning consistency come SUNYAC playoff time.

“We have been working on perfecting our new system since the beginning of the season,” sophomore midfielder Kieran Fitzgerald said. “By the time playoffs come around, everyone is going to be comfortable with our new play.

“It’s very difficult to incorporate a brand new way to play, especially when you have 22 new players on the team.”

“We also lost our all-time leading scorer and that is defi- nitely affecting our game but we are confident that we are in the right direction and we cannot wait to show that against SU- NYAC competition next weekend.”

Brockport’s most recent game was played this past Satur- day, March 24, in a matchup against Lycoming. The game proved for an immensely entertaining battle that lasted till the very last play.

Both sides fought hard from the first face off but it was Ly- coming that scored first following great play from its attackmen. After its first goal, Lycoming’s attack caught fire and added two goals to its lead, closing off the half with three goals to Brock- port’s none. Despite finding themselves down by three goals, the Golden Eagles turned the pace over and came back to score one goal, but soon saw their deficit go back up to three goals as Lycoming scored a fourth to end of the third period. However, Brockport was not done yet. The team’s offense clicked in the last period and Brockport slowly closed in on Lycoming, scor- ing three consecutive goals. The score was remarkably tied at 4-4 with 30 seconds left in the period, but Brockport’s effort was to no avail as Lycoming found its way through the Brockport de- fense and scored with 27 seconds left to break Brockport hearts.

Regardless of Brockport’s loss to Lycoming, the team has been improving on its new system and overall play since the start of the 2018 season. Brockport is versing Oswego in its first SUNYAC playoff competition this coming weekend. The team will look to utilize the experience it’s taken away from the past seven non-league games in order to make a winning impact for the start of its playoff campaign.

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