The weather in Montclair, New Jersey has been inconsistent to say the least. Inches of snow have accumulated, melted and come back for seconds causing brisk, damp conditions for the students of Montclair State University. These less than ideal conditions are nothing new for the campus community who has come to expect both extremes of the thermostat in the spring semester.
With the spring season disappearing, the Red Hawks athletic program is forced to postpone or even cancel many of the early events including 10 games that were canceled in the month of March. With the new standard of weather set, many wonder why the athletes get rushed into a season bound to be filled with scheduling conflicts. But with the short amount of time to meet a certain amount of games in order legitimize the season, the Red Hawks take any chance to jump on the field.
The men’s lacrosse team is no stranger to postponements having only played two games in March. Although the interrupted schedule could break a team’s momentum, the delays have not changed the focus of senior captain Luke Nealon on getting the team ready to play.
“We’re trying to get everyone to buy in and want to be here,” Nealon said. “We feel that we have the energy with all our guys, we are just trying keep everyone focused on the task ahead of us.”
The Red Hawks won their last appearance 10-9 against Sewanee. The team is making the most of the extended break.
“Every team practices and has games Monday through Saturday,” said senior captain Tyler Monahan. “We have to do what we can, whether it’s before practice, after practice or on an off day.”
The team remains optimistic about the coming games as junior Matt Haemmerle believed.
“This week gave anyone who was banged up time to get healthy again,” Haemmerle said.
The young Red Hawks lacrosse team is 3-3 on the season and at .500. The team is looking for the underclassmen to make their presence felt, according to assistant coach Shane Carmody.
“We are a young team with guys who don’t have much playing time, so we are trying to get them familiar with playing big roles and contributing to the team,” Carmody said.
If Mother Nature cooperates, the team looks to develop these young players, as they play five games in the next two weeks.
The Red Hawks have allowed 51 goals in the four games played, trailing by nearly 20 in the goal differential. The team is aware of the need to tighten up the defense.
“The best defenses we’ve played with or against have consistency,” Nealon said. “Getting it across to the younger guys that it’s an everyday battle, consistently getting better at the little things.”
The Red Hawks’ offense looks to help out their back end.
“We need to clean up our sticks and maximizing our opportunities,” Carmody said. “If we can stop committing turnovers it takes the pressure off the defense.”