Men’s Lacrosse Grind

By William Masselli ~ Editor-in-Chief

Photo: The University of Lynchburg Men’s Lacrosse Team has been scrimmaging during winter break. Photo retrieved from https://www.lynchburgsports.com/sports/mlax/2021-22/releases/20211207it9b4g on Jan. 25, 2022.

Over winter break and throughout the off-season, the University of Lynchburg men’s lacrosse team has been working hard to replicate the success they had last year both academically and athletically. 

Head Coach Stephen Koudelka talked about his players’ successes, stating, “Last year we finished the season 18-3 and won the ODAC Championship for the eighth time and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the 14th time and ninth consecutive. It was a great year because there were so many obstacles in the way; COVID, testing, etc and our guys responded in an incredible way. 2021 was a great year for our program. As you know, we had an odd academic schedule this year so our guys were home for basically two months…all indications through our strength testing last week showed that our guys went home and put in the work. We are stronger than we were when we left campus and that should provide a great long term springboard for our success this season. Academically, we had our best fall GPA in program history – 3.24 and could not be more proud of the effort our guys put in. They have already set new goals of above a 3.3 this spring.”

Koudelka also said, “We have a very high standard for our expectations…the obvious goals are to win the ODAC Championship and win the NCAA Championship…with that said what we do over these next 97 days will determine our success. Each week is a new week and this week we are gearing up for our scrimmage with the 2-Time defending National ChampionUVA. That is it…one week, one day, one practice at a time and we know our guys will work hard to become the best version of themselves.” 

Ryan Kenney, a senior, opened up about his time on the team, stating, “Well, to start off, my class won its first ODAC championship which was such a great feeling and learning experience as this is something we expect and we tried to hold as a standard to win every year. Then making it to the NCAA tournament and going to the elite eight shows how strong of a program we are. Falling short in that last round was tough to take in, but it definitely left a bitter taste in our mouths heading into the offseason and coming into the fall and now the spring.”

Kenney talked about what he did during the offseason, stating, “This summer, I coached lacrosse and kept a stick in my hand everyday. I would do my own work for lacrosse and teach younger guys what I do and why. Then, I will lift in the run so it was nice to be surrounded by lacrosse all summer. Especially coming off last season, I wanted to make sure that my game broke to a whole new level. Academically, as being a senior now, it was all about making sure I was taking the right classes so I could walk across the stage in May, so this summer I took an excel class. This winter, I spent most of my time rehabbing because I fractured my wrist in our scrimmage against York this fall. That was a tough set back, but did not let it stop me from trying to get faster and stronger.”

Kenney talked about this upcoming season, stating, “I think it is one practice and one game at a time. Making sure that we are the best team possible and getting better everyday. We hold a standard that winning the ODAC is what this program does, especially when it comes to the win or go home moments. We need to to be ready to be the strongest and fastest team on the field when that whistle blows and this team does that. Our threat is ourselves challenging ourselves to be the best versions of ourselves every practice and every game.” 

Jeremy Johnson, a junior, worked diligently over the break. He said, “ I spent a lot of time in Wake Field House lifting weights and working on my stick. Took a lot of shots on the goal as well. I think the work I did over the break will position me to be a better version of myself compared to where I was during the Fall. Hopefully, this can help the team in whatever role I play.”

However, following his coach’s motto, there are some things Johnson wishes he had more time to improve. Johnson stated, “ My biggest goal over break was to get faster and quicker. An area that I wish I emphasized more during the off-season was my flexibility. That aspect of preparing for the season was overlooked by things like weight training and stick work.” 

If you are interested in following the University of Lynchburg Men’s Lacrosse Team, please visit https://www.lynchburgsports.com/sports/mlax/2021-22/schedule to see the team’s upcoming schedule.  

Leave a Reply

No widgets found. Go to Widget page and add the widget in Offcanvas Sidebar Widget Area.
%d bloggers like this: