Men’s lacrosse aspires for success after facing losses

Hannah Mason, co-sports editor

After ending their 2014 season with a record of 6-12, the men’s lacrosse team is determined to have a winning season in a classy and efficient way, according to junior captain EJ Reynolds.

“Classy as in we want to help the community and play with high sportsmanship, and efficient as in production with our time and to not waste opportunities,” Reynolds said.

According to head coach Dan Leipert, the team came up with about 15 goals at the beginning of the season. Some of these goals resulted from team bonding, improving on clearing the ball and playing four quarters to the best of their ability. Leipert said that he feels the team has been playing better as a unit, as a result of facing tough losses early in the season.

“I think the guys really understood from day one [that] supporting each other was going to  [have] be a direct relation to our success,” Liepert said. “I think we had to go through some tough times to find out who we [are]. I think a couple close losses, that were really heartfelt to the guys, triggered something that had to happen.”

The Titans currently stand with a record of 4-4 and are in third in the southern division of the Central Suburban league. The men’s first win of the season came against York on April 4 with a score of 7-6. According to junior captain McLain Murphy, this game was significant because they accomplished one of the team’s goals by playing hard for all four quarters fully.

“We played four quarters to a full extent, which we haven’t done in years past,” Murphy said.

According to Reynolds, he felt an a eye-opening game was the men’s 6-17 loss to New Trier on March 19. Murphy expressed that South was neck and neck with New Trier the first half, but lost their grip during the second half of the game.

The men are most looking forward to their game against GBN, which will take place on April 30, according to Reynolds. Leipert echoed that statement, adding that the team has been preparing heavily for the game by watching films of GBN’s games and focusing their practices on how they can beat them.

“Right now [Glenbrook North is] ranked third in the state and [they’re] definitely a team that we can match up against well,” Leipert said. “They play very aggressively, but we move the ball really well, so I believe when we play them we’ll move the ball around their defensive aggressiveness to their back weaker side. It’s a game the guys want to win really bad, too. I think the combination of us with a good game plan and our guys’ heart, it’s a game we will win.”

This being his second year as head coach, Leipert believes his bond with the guys has increased and that is reflected on the field. According to Reynolds, Leipert is someone he can easily communicate with and has made the program more organized. Murphy agrees and enjoys having the same leadership and routines this season.

“He recognizes what’s going on the field, and he’s definitely gotten better at calling time outs, [and] calming us down,” Murphy said. “He’s improved so much over the last year, I would say, in just recognizing what our talents are and applying, say, a new offense or a new play based on our talents and what we’re strong in.”

The men’s next game will be played on the turf on April 25 against Barrington.blaxweb