Boys Lacrosse On Quest for Redemption

By Colleen Chasteau  ‘15 and Taili Gasso ‘15
Springing back from last year’s tough season, the boy’s lacrosse team of 2014 returns with a new agenda.
Ending last year’s season with a record of 1-11, the boy’s lacrosse team is out to redeem themselves in the current 2014 season. In the season of 2010-2011 boys’ lacrosse had a record of 12-0. Being in a  new  division known as  the Bowl Division , The  Midwood  Boys  lacrosse  team  has another chance  to  get back on top.
Adjustments have been made to their workout and practice regimen to attain a more successful season. Now the team works hard five times a week to improve performance during games. The lacrosse team focuses a lot on their conditioning by starting their practices with running to warm themselves up and leading up to working on their lacrosse stick skills. The improvements were shown in the results of their second game, the first game being a forfeit by the opposing team, winning the game with a score of 17-6.
“This season has been great so far. We’ve been working to better ourselves from the beginning of October and it’s been awesome to see where we are. We’ve learned to work as one cohesive unit and are having a spectacular time in the process,” said Omer Omer’16.  “It’s good knowing we have each other’s backs on and off the field and I think it’s now the start of a fun and successful season.”
Boy’s Lacrosse Assistant Coach, Roger Pudula, sees a lot of   promise in this year’s team.  He  has  seen  obvious  improvements  and  is  impressed  with  the  leadership  roles the more  experienced  players  have  taken  to  help  out  newer ones. He’s  confident  even  in this   new division  that  this  season’s  outcome  would  be   better  than last.
“Every season offers a new fresh start,” said Coach Pudula.
The   team members themselves are excited and ready for what 2014 has to bring.
“I’ve been looking forward to this   season with mixed emotions; fear, anxiety, confidence, all sorts of things you’d feel before a game,” said Tyler Leslie ’16, a defensive mid-felid player for the team, “I feel confident and think we can pull through this year looking at what we have developed overall.”
According to the players, this year’s practice regimen consisted of a lot more endurance training, stick work and conditioning. Many have   seen self-improvement and feel that the hard work they’ve been putting in since October is really paying off.
“Coach made us do more workout outs and conditioning this year and I’ve definitely seen improvements,” said goalie Jonathan Ho’14, “I used to only be able to run two laps before getting tired, now I can run eight!”
Even with their elevated confidence   levels, there is stillroom   for improvement. The players feel that they can work more on certain plays defensively and offensively.
“The team has improved pretty much every way since last season, but there is always room for improvement. Defense wins championships, but any team can score as much as they want if you can’t stop them from getting to cage, that’s what we didn’t do with Stuyvesant, ” said Dylan Epstein ‘14 an Attack player an captain of the team. “One player scored 13 goals and we can’t allow that to happen, but of course defense the only place we can improve on.”
Despite the rough edges, the players believe they have the one key ingredient to future success in their season, chemistry. Dylan, who is a four-year player on the team, says in the time he’s been on the team this is the only time he’s seen this chemistry and hopes for the team to win games.
“The team has several great qualities that really stand out. One of the best qualities is that we can all rely on each other.” said Dylan, “The whole team is friendly with each other, and we have great chemistry, which we should use to our advantage on the field and work the ball around, and not just shoot the ball right when you get it.”
With the hard work the boys have been putting in their fourth game, unfortunately it ended in a loss against the Eagle Academy for Young Men II with a score of 8-9. In the first two quarters the game seemed to be in favor of Midwood with a score of 4-2, but as the last quarter hit, the opposing team gained the goals that got them the win.
Despite the loss the boy’s lacrosse team still keeps their  heads  up and continue to work  even harder for their  next away  game  against Bronx High School of Science on  April,7,2014.
Many of the players see the boy’s  lacrosse  team  as  more  than  just  a  team , but  as family . Many  have  learned to  stay  focused  and  juggle  all the  hassles  of  high school life  to  maintain their spots  on the  team after  new requirements  from PSAL requiring  athletes to have at least   90% attendance in  school and passing most of their  classes. Even  with this  load the  boy’s  see  it as  worth it  for the sport they love .
“ Lacrosse is much more than a game, it’s  a brotherhood,” said middle fielder Uzair Ahmad ’16, “Being  a part of  this  is  really  special because it is  truly an American  sport . There is no other sport as historic.”
The players are passionate about the sport  and  would recommend it to  any other  young  men  who  are  interested  in  playing  a  contact  sport. “ You have  to be dedicated  and  know if you love it or not,” said defense player, Donald Ceus ’15,”Once  you pick up  the stick you will know if you are  destined to play lacrosse.”
With more games ahead of them the boy’s lacrosse team are looking forward to the uphill battles and  will work hard and help  each  other as a strong unit.

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