Lacrosse looks to build on last year’s success
By Meredith Tombs, Staff Writer
The 2015 team boasted a Gettysburg record for the longest winning streak at 20-1, losing only to Lynchburg in their final game in the post-season. The Bullets acquired the Centennial Conference title for their incredible 2015 season, and this year’s team is looking to continue that momentum.
Last year’s post-season experience remains a great motivator for the 2016 team. “By playing deep into the playoffs last year, our team [this season] can carry over confidence and experience playing in big game situations,” said senior co-captain Mike Distler.
“The most important thing our team is looking to carry over [from last season] is definitely the work ethic and sense of team that we created last year,” said senior Geoff Davis. “The culture and attitude on the team is important, and if we’re going to be successful, we will need to continue to create that mentality on the squad.”
Co-captain Davis was recently named a Division III Preseason All-American by Lacrosse Magazine.
The team lost ten seniors from last season, and is working to integrate twelve first-years into the 2016 squad.
The returning players are excited to work on cultivating a positive attitude and successful season with this year’s team. However, eventually attaining those successes will require a little bit of rebuilding in the meantime.
“We graduated a bunch of key seniors last year who led the team and created a great culture,” said Davis. “We’re going to have to overcome some inexperience at some positions this year and really come together as a team.”
Distler agrees. He said, “The seniors last year were huge contributors to our overall success as a team. As a senior now, I believe it is my duty to lead the team [this season] as they did last year.”
A scrimmage last Friday allowed the Bullets to continue cultivating teamwork and leadership on the field. Gettysburg hosted St. Mary’s College at Musselman Stadium on Friday, Feb. 12.
While no scores or statistics were recorded at this scrimmage, it provided a great opportunity for the team to practice all the elements of their game in preparation for the upcoming season.
“The scrimmage last Friday…helped highlight what we need to work on in order to be successful,” said Distler. “On the offensive side, we need to get better at moving the ball faster and more accurately, as well as communicating.”
“Getting to play someone else for once was great, and it was good for some of the younger guys to get out there and get some experience,” said Davis. “Overall, I thought the scrimmage was a good building block, and showed that we have a lot of potential and room to grow in the coming months.”
In mid-January of this year, the Gettysburg Bullets were ranked sixth in the U.S. Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association/Nike Division III Preseason Coaches Poll. Lynchburg, who bested Gettysburg in their final game last year, was ranked at the top of the list.
“We are very optimistic about this season and as long as we do what we are capable of…we will go deep into the NCAA playoffs,” said Distler.
Gettysburg will host the season opener this Saturday, Feb. 20. Come support the Bullets at their home game against Messiah at 1:00 pm on Shirk Field at Musselman Stadium! The team has been preparing all week for this matchup, and would love your support as they kick off the season.