Sparked by the interest of senior youth sports ministry major Ryan Farr and junior community health education major Matt DiPietro, the lacrosse team is enjoying its first season of existence this semester.
“The biggest issue was getting the budget approved,” said senior communications major Nathan Cantleberry. “They had to revise the whole thing so it could be approved by the board. The team started back when there was still snow on the ground, holding practices down at [the Jewish Community Center].”
No one on the team had ever played before, so the first few practices they had to learn all the rules of the sport: logistics, such as, how to substitute on the fly; legal checking procedures; and how many players could be on half the field at once.
The club consists of a full team roster—each player contributed their playing fee—and has been practicing since February.
“Our following, of the Malone Masses, usually starts with the question, ‘…we have a lacrosse team?’” Cantleberry said. “After explaining a bit about the sport and telling them we have two home games at the end of the season, the response has always been roughly around the lines of, ‘Sweet, I’m coming to watch you guys!’”
The only injuries suffered so far has been Ethan Baker reinjuring his ankle at this past weekend’s game.
“The captain of Youngstown State came over to our squad after a game and motivated us by saying something along the lines of, ‘You guys are great for being in your first year as a program. When we started out, I don’t even want to tell you how bad we were! Keep it up. You guys played well,’” Cantleberry said.
For their most recent game, at Youngstown State, several groups of students made the road trip over to see the team play.
Senior Stacey Perry said, “It was a new experience and a lot of fun! I was surprised at how anyone would find enjoyment from playing the game with all the physical intensity of beating each other with sticks.”
A highlight of Saturday’s action was Jim Jacob scoring the first goal in the club’s history, burying the ball into the bottom left corner of the net. Another crowd favorite moment was Nick Rouscher removing an Akron midfielder’s cleat at the top of the box.
“It was very hopeful to see a bunch of guys excited about lacrosse and I wish them the best of luck winning a game sometime soon,” said senior political science major Phil Cordes.
Zane Sanders is a contributing writer to The Aviso.