By KEVIN BOILARD
The University of Mary Washington’s men’s lacrosse team tied a school record for wins last year with eleven, but head coach Kurt Glaeser is not satisfied.
“Our goal is to match or better last year’s record,” Glaeser said, who still sees room for improvement after last year’s impressive 11-6 finish. Glaeser thinks his team will find success as long as they “continue to play unselfishly and with determination no matter the score in a given game or win-loss record.”
The Eagles, after a mediocre 8-9 finish in their 2010 season, may have flown under the radar of some teams last season en route to their 11-win season a year ago. Glaeser doesn’t think the team will have that luxury this season.
“I think our challenge is tougher this year because we’ll have a target on our backs due to our success last year,” Glaeser said.
The loss of a few of last year’s key seniors may add to that challenge. Evan Weiss and Kohl Meyer were both incredibly athletic midfielders for the Eagles, but have since closed out their playing days at UMW. As seniors last year, the duo combined for 75 points, over a quarter of the team’s total offensive output. Both players have been a presence in the Eagles’ midfield for the past four years, but Glaeser is confident that his team can overcome the loss.
“It will be difficult to replace Evan Weiss and Kohl Meyer in the midfield but we have athletes there,” Glaeser said.
However, Glaeser also mentioned there will be a learning curve for the young, inexperienced midfielders who will be filling their shoes.
“The ‘Lacrosse IQ’ is still developing. They need repetitions and game experience,” he said.
One player who isn’t nervous about the departure of Weiss and Meyer is the team’s junior midfielder and captain, Sean Dacey.
“I think we’re going to have a good year,” Dacey said. “I’m confident that we have the personnel and leadership to put together another successful season.”
Dacey, who emerged as a dangerous scoring threat last year, finished with 25 goals and was tied for the team-lead with now-senior attackman Harry Snyder. Dacey and Snyder are both aggressive players that not only led the Eagles in goals a year ago, but also penalty minutes. Both players have been known for their ability to take over a game single handedly and at a moment’s notice.
In addition to Snyder, young stars such as sophomores Luke Dick and John Bohlinger, as well as junior Paul Tunick, will round out the Eagles’ attack unit.
Senior co-captains Will Devlin and Matt Vazquez will anchor the defensive platoon. Both Devlin and Vazquez are physically imposing defenders who aim to create a shut down defense with their athleticism and leadership.
The Eagles open up their season at Virginia Wesleyan College this Saturday, Feb. 11. A week later, the Eagles will have their home opener as they host Hampden-Sydney College on Feb. 18.