Since I last posted, I have been pretty busy. It begins with, but is not only about Lacrosse. On Wednesday, I tuned in to Quinnipiac at Bryant, as I was very eager to check up on Desiree Kleberg and Katarina Henselder, both of whom are former FLG Players and Coaches, and have now taken their considerable talents to the Quinnipiac Bobcats. I am always a little surprised at how excited I get when I see players that I know, up on the big screen (the beauty of casting from the computer to the TV!), playing in college. The young Bobcats, were a bit slow out of the gate and were never able to fully recover, though they did pull to within 2 goals for a final score of 14-12. Dez had a very good debut, providing a real offensive spark while scoring three goals! Kat did not get to play, but knowing her, I am sure she is working hard to prepare herself for when her opportunity comes, so she can help her team. I expect that Quinnipiac will make great strides this season.
Wednesday evening, I attended a Coaches Meeting for the East Meadow PAL (Police Activity League). The prospect of not coaching at all this spring, was troubling me. When I reached out to the PAL, and explained my situation, they told me to go to the meeting. I walked into the building in Eisenhower Park and the memories of coaching both of my kids, through their years of Youth Lacrosse, came rushing back. Most (though not all) of the faces have changed but the agenda was pretty much the same. It felt good to be back there. I have completed two online US Lacrosse Courses and have brought my Certification up to date and am really looking forward to being back out on the field!
Saturday morning, I was able to get my second look at the Syracuse Lady Orange, this time against Albany. The Great Danes were game, and never stopped battling, but were somewhat overmatched by the Orange. Interestingly, SU employed a high pressure backer zone defense and a beautiful motion offense with a weaving type action up top, against Albany. I only mention it because, I had not seen either of those things in their game against Stony Brook. Syracuse is a fun team to watch. They are talented and innovative, and they play with an exciting and creative flair.
Before I get to Saturday afternoon/evening. I have a few observations. Women’s lacrosse is faster and more furious than ever. Though the rules strongly favor the offense, I have been impressed with how much, really good defense I have seen. And yet, the scores of games have all been high. I have seen three “time and room” shots, all of which resulted in goals (2 for USC and 1 for Northwestern). This is a new thing in the women’s game, and I think it is here to stay. Hofstra used a Defender inside the Draw Circle and she dominated against USC – I don’t recall ever seeing a Defender take Draws at that level. Finally, when Hofstra fell behind and then lost the ensuing Draw (I know I just said she was dominant), they ran their Goalie (who had played brilliantly BTW) to the bench in favor of another field player, like they do in Hockey. This was the first time I had seen that tactic used in women’s lacrosse. One of the great things about this game is that it is always advancing and evolving. It’s exciting to see it.
Later on Saturday, I drove up to Cold Spring Harbor High School for the Semi Finals and Finals of the Nassau County Division 2 Wrestling Championships. A great event, which I always enjoy attending. This year was made even more special, because the Clarke Rams had 7 Finalists, 5 Champions and a total of 11 All County Wrestlers on their way to the Team Title! I have so much respect for all of these athletes and their commitment to this most difficult and unforgiving sport. It was great to be there to see Coach Leonard and Coach Leonard Jr. and all of the Rams (past and present) and their supporters, have it all come together. Three of the 5 Champions, won in dramatic fashion, scoring points late to gain the victory. Such a satisfying evening. But, some of the greatest wins, weren’t in the finals, but in the wrestlebacks and the consolation finals. My lasting memory, will be of the Ram wrestlers running off the mat into the embrace of their coach(es)!
It was a busy week. And the season is just getting underway!