Matt Borelli, Staff Writer-
With the winter being as harsh as one could remember, the Southern Connecticut State University men’s lacrosse team was put at a disadvantage with training for the upcoming season, but that is no excuse.
“We have been at a kind of disadvantage in regards to the weather so far this off season, but that’s the case for every team,” said William Wezenter, one of the captains on the team.
A student led group founded the men’s lacrosse team in the fall of 2009. The team is a club sport and anyone could play for either the A or B team.
The B team is more for beginning players, while the A team is for the student athletes that have played lacrosse either while in high school or in a youth town league.
“I am a senior at Southern and I have been playing for ten years,” said Eric Collins, an E-Board member for the club sport and also one of the captains.
Though being a club sport, the team competes against a high level of talent from other schools. Central Connecticut State University and the University of New Haven also take part in the Pioneer Collegiate Lacrosse League Division II conference, along with other institutions from all over the east coast.
There are eight divisions all together and Southern has match-ups this season against three of the top 10 teams in the nation.
“What is cool is that you could be playing a team that could lose to a high school team one day and the next you are facing off against varsity level teams with a lot of talent,” said Collins.
With a 12 game schedule and only two games being played at home, the Owls may be at a disadvantage, but the team is together for the long run and can withstand anything for a successful season according to Wezenter, a founder of the program.
“There is a lot of talent amongst our roster,” said Wezenter.
“We just try to get everyone to mesh well with each other and have fun at the same time.”
The program is also in the midst of a search for a head coach.
Eric Lacharity, who also serves as the advisor to the program, is listed as the interim head coach.
Tim Albert, a former player, also helps out, as does Rich Gurkee.
To sign up for the club team, you can contact Wezenter or Collins along with Kahlil McGee and Frank Gagliardi.
They can immediately get you signed up and ready for play for either the A or B team. The roster right now is at about 36 players and the program is eyeing more.
“I like the camaraderie that comes with being on a team,” said Collins. “You get to hang out, go on road trips together.”
The lacrosse season opens Saturday Feb. 26 with a scrimmage at Mitchell College.
March 6 opens the regular season with a date with rival University of New Haven, which the players are hoping for a big turnout from the Southern community.
“There will be posters all over campus and as players we will get the word out to the Southern community,” said Wezenter.
The home opener for the Owls is on April 2, when the Maine Black Bears travel down to the club sports field (rugby field) for a date with the Owls.
If you are not willing to work hard, if you are not willing to give it your all, if you are not willing to compete-then the Southern men’s lacrosse team is not for you.