Yesterday began with my parents hopping (they did not actually “hop”) in with Debi and me, for the 2 hour and 45 minute ride to Kutztown, PA for the Lakers’ regular season finale against the Golden Bears of Kutztown State. It was great to have them along for the ride and to experience a somewhat momentous day, in that it would be Diana’s last regular season PSAC game. These PSAC road games are always dangerous, as the rigors of bus travel across the state of Pennsylvania can adversely effect performance.
We arrived in Kutztown, with enough time to have an early lunch at the Kutztown Tavern. The place is cavernous inside, and very nicely appointed. More importantly the food and service were excellent! We did not imbibe, though the beer selection was pretty tempting.
Prior to the game, my parents got to meet most of the “Laker Nation” who had made the trip. We stumbled upon a “small world” moment, when we discovered that my Dad plays tennis with Judy Rescott’s uncle Fred (Ken’s brother), who lives in Northport, near my parents – and should be returning to the court soon, as he is recovering from a calf injury! Once again I was honored to be interviewed by the legendary voice of the Lady Lakers, Ed Greenway, just before game time.
There were no signs of the team having left their legs on the bus, as Mercyhurst came out of the gate quickly and never looked back on their way to a convincing 21-10 victory at Andre Reed Stadium (any of you Bills fans remember Andre Reed?). A balanced offense (11 different Lakers found the back of the net!) and tenacious defense all over the field, were central to a terrific all around effort, and a great way for the Lady Lakers to head into the postseason. They have now won 8 games in a row and have been playing better and better.
About midway, through the second half, Diana left the game after a collision. Thanks to the many who reached out in concern (another example of the wonderful Laker Family, taking care of their own!). Though she did not return to the game, she is fine. So once again, we were all treated to seeing many players get into the game, and once again, I saw “the future” of the Mercyhurst Lady Lakers – the one that doesn’t include Diana. I got that same strange feeling I had in Edinboro. I was again taken by the enthusiasm coming from the sideline, while the substitutes were out there, playing hard, looking good and gaining valuable experience that will serve them well in the future.
The post game visit was brief before the Lady Lakers had to get back on the bus. It was nice to see everyone visiting with the players (and not just their own). It was especially nice, for my parents to have some time with their favorite Laker. I thought of the many times, Diana had no family at these moments. I felt bad about having missed those moments, but happy, knowing that there was always a kind member of the Laker Family, to put a caring arm around her. As they piled onto the bus for the 5 plus hour ride back to the Hurst, I thought how much nicer those 5 plus hours would be, having just won their 8th straight game!
Next up is Millersville at Tullio Field on Tuesday, in the first round of the PSAC Playoffs! As May, approaches, I am reminded of “Lawson’s Law of Playoff Lacrosse” – “You have to play your best lacrosse in May”. This Mercyhurst Lakers team is starting to play their best lacrosse, and right on schedule, May is almost here.