Daily Archives: January 15, 2010

Western College Men’s Lacrosse: Gonzaga Men’s Lacrosse (Spokane, WA) 2010 Schedule Includes Long Beach State, Montana, Washington State, Utah, Utah State And Boise State


While many of us were relaxing at home and enjoying the final days of our winter vacation, the Gonzaga men’s lacrosse team was back on campus preparing for its upcoming season.

Members of the team came back to Gonzaga a week early to partake in full days of physical conditioning, training drills and team bonding.

“We would wake up and usually do a team breakfast at 8:30 a.m.,” co-captain Stu Allen said.  “Then we would have conditioning at 10 a.m., which included mile runs, agility drills and sprints.”

Date Opponent Result
2/12 at Pacific Lutheran 7:00 pm
2/13 at Central Washington 1:00 pm
2/27 UNLV 1:00 pm
3/20 at Montana 1:00 pm
3/27 LONG BEACH STATE 1:00 pm
3/28 at Idaho 12:00 pm
4/02 at Utah 4:00 pm
4/03 at Westminster 1:00 pm
4/05 at Utah State 4:00 pm
4/11 WASHINGTON STATE 12:00 pm
4/17 PORTLAND STATE 1:00 pm
4/18 vs. Boise State 12:00 pm
Coach: Ben Stein

After morning practice, players had time to get lunch and rest before the second round of practice.

The Gonzaga Men's Lacrosse Club team, who plays in the Dvision I Pacific Collegiate Lacrosse League, hopes the success of their training camp will translate into success in their upcoming season. A season that includes league rivals, Washington, Washington State, Oregon, Boise State, and Simon Frasier.

“The workouts were definitely tough,” senior co-captain John Ciepela said.  “The practices are made for the team to get back in shape after break.  We did a lot of stick work and a lot of running.”

“Practices were pretty intense,” Allen added.  “We focused on conditioning, basically getting our lungs and legs back.”

Though it was their first winter-break camp, the freshmen earned the respect of the upperclassmen.

“The freshmen were playing up to the level of the seniors and the seniors were able to help the freshmen,” Allen said.
“It’s usually difficult for freshmen to make the transition from high school to college, but they came out, played hard and did a good job,” co-captain Ryan Sheldon said.

“I knew [the practices were] going to be cold and hard but things went well,” freshman Payson MacWilliam said.  “The first practice was a little rusty, but the team got everything accomplished we needed to.”

After a hard day of training, team members were able to relax and get to know their teammates better.  Because underclassmen were unable to move into their dorms early, they stayed with older teammates’ living in houses.
“It’s a good thing to have the freshmen in the house because everyone gets to hang out for an extended period of time,” Allen said.

“It’s definitely a good bonding experience,” Sheldon added.  “It was fun living together and hanging out with teammates.  It’s good for the season.”

Though they were not able to sleep in their own beds, MacWilliam notes it was not an issue for underclassmen.

“Everyone was able to find a place to sleep, whether it was a bed or a couch,” he said.

The team also made it a point to have dinner together each night.

“We would have a team dinner and the houses would rotate who prepared dinner,” Ciepela said.

While the members were able to bond and come together as a team, the upperclassmen made sure the freshmen still new who was in charge.

“The freshmen had to do all the cleaning and scrub work,” MacWilliam said.

The freshmen were also reminded of their standing each night while the team gathered around a television to watch that night’s big sporting event.

“We all got together and watched whatever big game was on  TV that night,” Allen said.  “We made sure the freshmen were on the floor and the seniors in the chairs.”

Members of the team consider the element of eating meals and watching television with each other to be just as important as the actual training.

“Getting together early definitely helps with team cohesion and helps build camaraderie,” co-captain Nick Vaubreuil said.  “It’s nice to start training before there’s other distractions like friends, girlfriends and classes.”

Another aspect the team feels led them to a successful camp was benefiting from favorable weather conditions.
“We lucked out this year and didn’t have to deal with six inches of snow,” Vaubreuil said.  “We were able to practice in the gym as well as the field.”

“The weather was nice so we were able to have tough practices,” Sheldon said.  “It was one of the best training camps we’ve ever had.”

The club team, who plays in the Dvision I Pacific Collegiate Lacrosse League, hopes the success of their training camp will translate into success in their upcoming season.  A season that includes league rivals, Washington, Washington State, Oregon,  Boise State, and Simon Frasier.

“We definitely want to make the playoffs and make a statement in league,” Sheldon said.  “We want to put GU on the map.”

“We want to go undefeated in conference,” MacWilliam added.  “We also want to win our games in Utah to get our name out to places outside of the Northwest.”

Carrying lofty goals for their season, the team feels they are ready to continue the hard work they began over winter break and deliver a conference title.

“I think we’re ready to start playing,” MacWilliam said.  “The camp went well and everyone worked really hard and we’re ready to play hard throughout the year.”


College Men’s Lacrosse: Syracuse Men’s Lacrosse Reloads For 2010 Title Defense Season After Losing Key Players To Graduation

Many words were spoken Thursday afternoon during the Syracuse University lacrosse team’s annual media day in the Carrier Dome. The one uttered most often, though, was the one head coach John Desko and his players least wanted to hear.


It was on the minds – and then the lips – of many in the media herd that hounded the Orange for an hour prior to its first practice of preseason camp. SU will enter the Feb. 19 season-opener vs. Denver in the Carrier Dome with a gaudy record of 32-4 over the last two years. Each season ended with the team celebrating a Division I national championship.

So, guys, how about a third?

Syracuse Men's Lacrosse Coach John Desko

“I’ve never been one to talk about national championships on the opening day of practice,” Desko said. “For everybody who talks about defending national championships, I’ve never talked about it. Those championships from previous years are in the bank. I’m not defending those. They’re there and they’re always going to be there. We’d much rather climb the mountain than stand on top of it and try to push everybody aside.”

It soon became obvious that the veteran head coach had already addressed the very topic with his players.

“No one is thinking three-peat,” said senior attackman Cody Jamieson, whose overtime goal gave the Orange a dramatic 10-9 victory over Cornell in last season’s title game. “We’re all just here to win a national championship, and that’s it. That’s all it comes down to.”

“It’s a new season, a new group of guys,” junior longstick midfielder Joel White said.

“It’s great motivation for us, to have an opportunity to do something special,” junior goaltender John Galloway said, ” but like Coach said, we’re not defending anything. No one can take those championships away from us.”

There are some good reasons for Desko and his troops to display caution heading into their first year as a member of the new seven-team Big East men’s lacrosse conference. Among them:

• The team will enter the season without All-America attackman Kenny Nims, who was second in the nation in scoring last season with 74 points (32 goals, 42 assists). More importantly, Nims served as the team’s offensive quarterback, a role Desko admitted will be tougher to replace than Nims’ production.

“As far as dodging and feeding, I don’t think we have anybody as good as Kenny back there,” he said.

• The team will also be missing its quarterback at the other end of the field, All-America close defender Sid Smith.

“To lose a guy like that is real tough,” White said. “The one big thing he did for us was communication.”

• Perhaps most importantly, the team bid farewell to five of its top six offensive midfielders following last season, among them powerful left-hander Dan Hardy and the game’s best two-way middie, Matt Abbott. Only junior Josh Amidon (LaFayette) is back from the top two lines. Desko said filling the holes around Amidon will be the biggest challenge of camp.

“I think so,” he said. “I think we’re looking at eight or nine guys there. We don’t know. It could be set groups. We could use groups of four (in a rotation). I think you’re going to see some of the guys who played more of a defensive role in the past play a little bit more of an offensive role. We’re still figuring it out.”

Among the leading candidates are true freshman JoJo Marasco, the team’s most highly touted newcomer; redshirt freshmen Steve Ianzito (Cicero-North Syracuse) and Peter Coleman; senior Max Bartig; sophomore Kevin Drew; and juniors Jovan Miller (CBA), Jeff Gilbert (C-NS) and Jeremy Thompson (LaFayette). The most intriguing is Thompson, who helped Onondaga CC win the national championship last season and can provide instant offense from the faceoff X. Overall, though, the group is green.

“We’re not filling in with a lot of game experience,” Desko said. “I told the guys this morning I have a lot of confidence in this group. It’s a very good team. It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when.”

With a schedule that features eight games away from home – including SU’s biggest rivals Virginia, Johns Hopkins and Princeton and last season’s title-game foe, Cornell – “when” had better be sooner than later.

“It’s a little different group than in the past,” Desko said. “Obviously, the last couple of years we’ve had some very strong senior classes. I think we’re going to be relying on more younger players than we’re used to.”

That noted, the team returns four accomplished attackmen in Jamieson, fellow senior Chris Daniello (21-3), junior Stephen Keogh (49-6) and freshman Tim Desko (13-4); one of the game’s premier goalies in Galloway; the nation’s top longstick middie in White; one of the game’s hardest shots in Amidon (14-9); and two very good close defenders in senior Matt Tierney and junior John Lade.

And while it may lack the overall experience of last season’s title team, the word coming out of fall ball was the Orange is more athletic overall and may push the ball in transition even more than usual, which is plenty.

“You’d like to think so,” White said when asked if the assessment was accurate. “And why not? We like to run. We like to get up and down, and we’ve got plenty of guys who can do that. Plenty.”

Plenty of holes to fill. Plenty of tough games on the road. Plenty of potential.

Enough to take a run at a three-peat? Don’t mention it. At least not yet.

Note: Desko restructured his coaching staff in the off-season, assigning veteran assistant Roy Simmons III to a new role as director of operations and assistant strength and conditioning coach, returning Kevin Donahue to full-time assistant status, keeping Lelan Rogers as defensive coordinator and adding former Orange and West Genesee High School star Steve Scaramuzzino as a volunteer assistant to help coach the offense.


Lacrosse Injuries: California Sports Safety Advocates Meet To Address “Alarming, Rapid Increase In Youth Sports Injuries”

Sports safety advocates met in Sacramento Tuesday morning to discuss what one local surgeon called an "alarming, rapid increase in youth sports injuries." Photo by LaxBuzz

Sports safety advocates met in Sacramento Tuesday morning to discuss what one local surgeon called an “alarming, rapid increase in youth sports injuries.”

The summit at the Legislative Office Building, organized by the National Athletic Trainers’ Association, called on parents, coaches and health care providers to take steps to prevent these injuries, which include heat stroke, cardiac arrest and concussion.

“A decade ago, physical injuries only seen in professional athletes are now commonplace in youth athletes aged 8 to 15,” said Dr. Robert Burger, a sports medicine specialist at Kaiser Permanente in Roseville.

Over the past two years, there were at least 115 sport-related deaths in 33 states, including eight in California, according to the NATA.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated in 2006 that among high school athletes, there are 2 million injuries, 500,000 doctor visits, and 30,000 hospitalizations annually.

California is one of three states – the others are Alaska and West Virginia – that do not regulate or license athletic trainers, said Michael West, president of the California Athletic Trainers’ Association.

West said his association is working to reintroduce legislation to certify athletic trainers and establish injury prevention guidelines.

An athletic trainer’s knowledge and caution saved the life of 18-year-old Tommy Mallon, who described his sports injury ordeal Tuesday.

Seven months ago, the San Diego athlete was playing the last game of his high school lacrosse career.

He was looking forward to graduation and playing at Chapman University in Southern California.

In the last two minutes of the game, he collided with another player while running for a ground ball.

Recovering, Mallon felt a strange sensation.

His athletic trainer, who was versed in emergency medicine, ran over and checked his vitals.

Mallon wanted to continue playing; he hated when games were put on hold for injuries.

But the trainer made him lie down and called 911.

Had it not been for that, he wouldn’t be walking today, Mallon said.

Doctors in the emergency room discovered he had fractured his neck.

The other solution to the youth sports safety crisis is proper prevention, experts said.

It should be mandatory for children to have pre-participation physician examinations, said Dr. Cindy Chang, a UC Berkeley sports medicine specialist.

“In addition, it’s essential to develop … community emergency action plans for sports injuries,” she said.


Lacrosse Training Equipment: LaxPrax Lacrosse Rebounder Demonstrated By Kyle Harrison (Video)

Kyle Harrison of STX Lacrosse demonstrating the Lax Prax Trainer