With the start of the season already underway, the Patriots are looking to bounce back from a rather rough previous season. They look to do that behind a new coaching staff, new players and a new culture.
The team looks to return to past Patriot lacrosse glory form this season and get back to a winning mentality. After a disappointing output last season with a 5-9 record, they bring in new talent to try to fix that. New players include sophomore defenseman Anthony De Leon and sophomore midfielder Matty Koplan. Senior midfielder Alec Yassin is playing for the first time since his freshman season, and senior midfielder Ben Blutstein returns after a two-year absence, last playing in his sophomore year.
The Patriots began their season with a scrimmage at Loudon Valley on Mar. 9. The game started fast as the Patriots took a 6-4 lead, with tallies from senior defenseman Aaron Strauss and junior midfielder Evan Mclaughlin. As the first half was coming to a close, Loudon Valley scored two goals that allowed them to tie the game up. The Patriots got key contributions from their new players, junior midfielder TJ Douglas and junior attackman Ben Bloch, during the first half. “It was fun to be out there with my teammates for the first time this season, and even better to get a goal in my first varsity game,” Bloch said.
Douglas, who started lacrosse as a freshman, is an example of how maximum hardwork and effort can lead to great things. “When I first started I wasn’t very good, but with all of the help I received over the last two years, I was able to get much better and be in the position I am right now. Being on the varsity team now shows that anyone can do what I have done if they have the right mindset,” Douglas said.
As the second half began, the Patriots committed costly penalties that allowed the Vikings to get the man advantage and convert on their power play opportunities to take the lead at 8-6. The Patriots were never able to rebound, falling to Loudon Valley 10-8 in a hard-fought battle. “I thought for our first game of the year it was a good game. We obviously need to learn from our mistakes and get better, but that will just happen naturally over time as we continue practicing and playing more games,” De Leon said.
De Leon, who made the team as a sophomore, has been playing lacrosse since he was eight and has wanted to play lacrosse for the Patriots since then. “Going to the community days every year, and seeing the players just made me want to be like them. Hopefully I can be that person for other young kids in the area,” De Leon said.
The Patriots next matchup is Mar. 19 against Rockville, but that was too late to be covered in this issue.