Men’s lacrosse to compete in Ohio for season opener

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The Vikings men’s lacrosse team is set to open their season against Ohio Wesleyan on Feb. 14.
This will the Vikings’ first-ever game against Ohio Wesleyan, who have the potential to be a tough first opponent.
Players and coaches alike, however, look for the game to be a great learning experience.
“This first game is an excellent opportunity for this team to prove itself on a bigger stage,” said junior mid-fielder Scott Davis. “Opening up against Ohio Wesleyan is an experience that we can only gain from, and I really believe that this team can return with a great win. Either way, I know that our team will learn more…about who we are and what we are capable of doing.”
In addition to gaining experience against tough opponents like Ohio Wesleyan, the team has been making the most of practices over the past several weeks, especially during the intermittent mild weather.
“Practice has gone well during the past few weeks,” said head coach Kyle Hart. “We have been fortunate to take advantage of warmer weather and practice outdoors a few times, which is always an added bonus this time of year.”
Practicing on an actual lacrosse field versus an indoor court has definite advantages, which will allow the Vikings to be more prepared to take on Ohio Wesleyan than otherwise.
In addition, the Vikings have returned almost all of their players from last year’s team, making it easier for the team to transition back into season play.
“Since we only had two seniors graduate last year and almost everyone returned, practice has been much more upbeat and productive,” said Davis. “We just finished up our third week of practice and things are really being put together on the field quite well.”
Davis said that as a returning player, he hopes to lead by example in order to keep a tradition of hard work alive on the men’s lacrosse team.
“I want for my effort this year to inspire others to work harder as well, especially the freshmen,” said Davis. “I believe that if I work my hardest and give it my all on every play, the freshmen will take notice and hopefully do the same.”
Davis’ ideals will hopefully influence the freshmen who are projected to fill important positions on the team this year. Coach Hart has been looking for newcomers to step up to the challenge of playing at a college level, especially against teams like Ohio Wesleyan. “I anticipate a great effort from our players,” said Hart. “We will have some new players in key positions and it will be interesting to see how they respond against a top competitor. Ohio Wesleyan is nationally ranked and has a long tradition of success, so this will be a great test for our young program.”
Ohio Wesleyan will be a challenging competitor because of the large athletic talent pool common in the Easter United States and because of regional differences in how the game is played.
“There is a higher skill level out East,” said Coach Hart. “Lacrosse players from the East start playing at a younger age, which provides a skill advantage as they progress; however, you tend to find better all-around athletes in the Midwest.”
The Vikings will rely on hard work and solid team chemistry to ensure the game against Ohio Wesleyan will have a positive result.
“Practices have been much more intense this year, and our defense has gotten more quality reps than in years past, so I hope we can hold Ohio Wesleyan to a low score,” said Davis. “Our team chemistry will help us to push through the difficult points during the game and allow us to excel when things are going our way.”
The game is anticipated to begin at 1 p.m. at Ohio-Wesleyan’s campus in Deleware, Ohio.