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Men’s lacrosse ‘can only go up from here’

The men’s lacrosse team is looking build off of the beginning of their season and use the experience that they gained to solidify their presence on the field.

“Our goals were to see where we were standing from training camp, try to see what we need to improve on and to get the work ethic in place,” said coach Mac Huckla.

The Buccaneers fell to the SMU Huskies and the St. Francis Xavier  X-Men, with a total of 35 points against and 12 on their opening weekend; despite this, coach Huckla seemed unphased.

“We came out of the gates kind of sloppy, not picking up on the ball,” he said. “Near the end of the game you could see that the strides were common, and our [defence] system was starting to work.”

“Overall, this weekend, I’m happy with the performance—but there are also a lot of negatives that we can take away and make positives out of at this week’s practice,” added Huckla.

The team has been growing in size over the last couple of seasons, and this year’s team is primarily first and second-year athletes.

“We’ve gotten a lot of new guys in, which has been great and really shows the growth of the sport,” said third-year player, Logan Van Cingel.

Van Cingel also said that the upper-years on the team are strong leaders and will help the rookies to stay in line.

“That’s what we can expect from the veterans, is to kind of keep the heads of the younger guys up and make sure that they keep their noses clean,” he said.

Both Van Cingel and Huckla said that they used this game to see where all of the pieces of their puzzle fit.

“[These games were] kind of a tester, we put some guys in some positions that they’re not necessarily used to,” said Van Cingel.

Van Cingel said that their goal from this was to gain clarity on who’s going where and who’s in what position.

Early in the season, the team has been struggling with injuries. Although somewhat disheartened, the team feels they can push through using some of their newer, younger players.

“Hopefully it also comes as a shock to the guys, to make sure they keep their heads up,” said Van Cingel.

“If you keep your head up, you can keep your eye on the game and can avoid getting wrecked and put in the dirt.”

With Josh Stuart sustaining a broken jaw from the game against SMU and Kaileb Bastarache, with an ongoing knee injury, potentially out for the remainder of the season, the team has had to reorganize.

“It’s a big kick to the stomach, but I’m confident with nine weeks left, we will be okay,” said Huckla.

“We can only go up from here.”

The Bucc’s played against Mount Allison this past weekend, outscoring the Mounties 16-14. Team member Zach Dunseith played in his first game of the season and contributed to the effort by scoring three goals.

The UNB Buccaneers can be found playing the Saint Mary’s University Huskies in an away game on Sept. 24.

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