Men’s Lacrosse intersquad game energizes team

Featured Image: Grad student Mark Sprague poses from the field at the Battle of the Beach. Raven Denton | Courtesy

As players for the Men’s Lacrosse team waited in Pearce Suite, the anticipation was high for the draft of their Battle of the Beach intersquad game.

This is hardly a new concept; in years past, this has been an annual tradition for the team. “In the past prior to Covid, there had been an annual tradition of having intersquad scrimmage,” junior attacker Carter Dukes said.

The team knew that only seven players would be chosen for one of two Battle of the Beach teams, with the remainder being placed in the bucket to be randomly distributed. No player was left out of the 48 student roster, with undrafted students being distributed based upon their position.

Slowly the numbers dwindled down until all players were separated into their respective teams, Team Jones and Team Faiella, each named for their respective coach. To add to the event, alumni, coaches and special guests called the remaining drafts. Celebrations were heard with each new announcement, before they settled down in anticipation of the next and final announcement. Those not able to attend were invited to follow along through the team’s social media.

With the teams divided, all eyes turned to preparation for the upcoming match.

Volunteer Assistant Coach Sam Jones and the rest of the coaching staff organized this scrimmage with the intention of building energy. “We were planning to set up some fun things to look forward to in the fall,” Jones said, “Reigniting an old tradition seemed like a great option.”

With all minds aligned, Team Jones and Team Faiella met separately to talk strategy and practice. Each team organized several sessions where they could go in and work on their strengths and weaknesses. Both coaches noted that this was a unique situation. The focus shifted away from what each team could capitalize on in the other team and more focusing on what they could control. Team Jones found this preparation paramount in their performance. “We walked through plays and scenarios. This led to us being coordinated as a team,” junior attacker Jackson Dinger said. 

On game day, each team was chanting and hollering, creating an exciting atmosphere for the face-off. The same energy swept across the teams and spectators with the start of the match. 

Team Jones came out strong, putting in six quick and decisive goals, supported by sophomore Jeremiah Madriaga, who was dominant on the face-off.

The Team Faiella countered with an unrelenting onslaught, but were continually denied for the majority of the first half by Team Jones goalie junior Zack Tucker. Despite great strategy and strong plays, Team Faiella only scored three points in the half. 

“Things looked desperate at first,” Assistant Coach Tom Faiella said. “But we didn’t flinch in the face of adversity leading into the second half.”

Team Faiella found themselves tackling the overwhelming odds of a 10-3 deficit, but with new strategies and a will to win, they steadily closed the gap on Team Jones. Goal after goal was put in, as Team Jones struggled to score their own. But, as time dwindled and the score settled at a close 13-10, Team Jones emerged victorious. 

The teams found themselves in mutual celebration over a fun and successful event, with more lessons learned about each other and a fresh energy to bring with them into the spring. 

The team hopes that in the future there can be more university-wide involvement. “The event has already been planned for next year looking to engage all manner of students, faculty, staff and alumni,” Jones said. Jones hopes that this will continue running well into the future and is excited to see what it could look like in 10 years.

The Men’s Lacrosse team starts their season next semester on Feb. 10 when they head up to Washington, D.C. to play in a scrimmage against Catholic University. 


By: Rowan Stuart