NYIT Men’s Lacrosse: A young team with big dreams
Go to a NYIT men’s lacrosse game and you might see the guys congregated together before the game starts. No, they’re not just talking strategy and not just pumping themselves up with pep talks, but they are actually also having a team prayer, right before the starters tunnel into the beginning of the game. This scene is the epitome of the Lacrosse team, a team that is not only ready to play, but also introspective, and a team that has high hopes to make it big this season.
NYIT’s Division II Lacrosse team has had a good start to the season but they have higher aspirations. The team hopes to make it to the NCAA Tournament, according to Coach Bill Dunn, who has been coaching the team for three seasons. Although the Bears have had some wins and some tough losses, both of which can be attributed to the large amount of new talent on the team, the team is looking to make it big this season.
According to Coach Dunn the team’s biggest weakness is their lack of experience playing at a collegiate level. The team, which consists of only 10 seniors and juniors out of 50 players, is indeed very young. When asked about the relative inexperience of his team, Coach Dunn says, “I think we’ll overcome that.” He emphasizes that the team, although sometimes intimidated by the large crowds and the overall atmosphere of collegiate level lacrosse, is developing rapidly into a strong cohesive group of players. He mentions how there have, thankfully, not been many severe injuries to any of the players. The team’sstrengths seem to be the flip side of their weaknesses, a fact that Danny McDermott, a defenseman on the team, says is because the team is young and “we’re all open to learning.” Danny, when asked about the teams other strengths, says, “We’re all really really individually talented, and when we come together as a team on the field, we’re the best.”
Players like Danny McDermott and Brandon Gamblin, epitomize the best of the Bears. They know that the team has some weaknesses but they plan on improving as the season progresses. The specifically cite that improvements can be achieved by making use of the time that they have at practice in order to perfect their skills. Coach Dunn says that the players “have to take the strategies from practice and use that strategy in the games.” He also says, “We have to take away the strengths of other teams and use our strengths.” The team is practicing hard to achieve this proficiency, with scheduled practices 6 times a week for two hours a day, which the players say is intense. Danny McDermott point out that, “We have to give 110 percent at practice.” The practices seem to be paying off, as Coach Dunn notes that many parents and spectators have pointed out the team is really developing.
Besides their serious competitive drive, the team is also a very cohesive unit. They have pasta dinners the night before games and traditions like a pregame prayer, which even Coach Dunn sometimes adds a few words to. Coach Dunn also says, “We have the best tailgate parties in the world,” citing the parents of the team members as great supporters. Teammates like Danny McDermott and Brandon Gamblin even have a pregame handshake, a prime example of the camaraderie this squad displays at all times.
Coach Dunn and the players encourage more students to make time in their schedule to see the team in action. After all, the team is currently ranked 10th in the country and hopes to move up the ranks as the season progresses. Coach Dunn tells his players that, “every game you play, you must bring your ‘A’ game.” So be sure to check out and supportNYIT’s Lacrosse team, Coach Dunn and his players will surely not disappoint! For a complete schedule and visit www.nyit.edu/athletics and the Lacrosse team page for all you need to know.