Men’s Varsity Lacrosse Team Cradles Their Way To A Victory
by Cristian Trandafir
On April 13, Northside’s varsity men’s lacrosse team faced off against Lincoln Park in a highly competitive conference match. The team was still relatively shaking heading into the game. As Michael Pete, their previous head coach, resigned right before the season started, leaving the team in an uncertain situation. Would they have a coach and be able to play as a varsity team, or convert to club status? Who would schedule practices? Would there be conditioning?
Before these questions were answered by the hiring of Coach Dan Applebaum, the team was completely self-run. Nick Grott, Adv. 809, Joey Reynolds, Adv. 809, and Eric Hu, Adv. 803, held team meetings after school. They were able to get a hold of school equipment and practice outside on the Northside field. They also held conditioning in the weightroom with permission from the P.E. department. The team saw many new members come and many old members go, due to the tentative scheduling, lack of a goal to work towards, and complete uncertainty in whether or not there would be a coach. A form asking for a new coach was sent out earlier in March, but went unanswered for weeks. Alex Menczynski, Adv. 806, signed up for the position in an effort to save the team. Being 18 and a previous varsity member, he thought he would be a good fit. “I don’t know how I didn’t get the job,” said Menczynski. Luckily, Coach Applebaum was hired just in time to fill the empty spot and properly coach the team through this season.
The match against Lincoln Park started with a face-off. Grott won the first face-off, going for a solo-blitz play by running and juking the opposing enemy team out in an attempt to score an early goal. He managed to get an open shot, but the ball was swatted away by the opposing team’s goalie. The Mustangs gave up possession of the ball to the Lions, but maintained a solid defense. The Lions managed to alleviate some of the pressure with their team coordination, and the game switched into a back-and-forth pace. Players went for short passes and possession of the ball flip-flopped with each aggressive play.
The first goal came from the Mustang’s side, with Grott shooting the ball into the top left corner of the Lions’s goal. They retaliated quickly, though, and after the next face-off, fired shot after shot until eventually, they tied the game. Throughout the first and second quarter, the Lions kept the pressure up and played hard, smart, and aggressively, and kept the body checks to a minimum to avoid getting penalized. Before the end of the half, the Lions scored twice more, putting the score at 3-1 in their favor.
The last half was the Mustang’s time to shine. With the weather dropping below 40 degrees and the sun starting to set behind the Northside building, the team kicked it into high gear during the third quarter. By playing behind the Lions’s goal and maintaining possession, the Mustangs were able to create opportunities for many shots on goal. Cadeline Meyer, a joint member from Disney’s lacrosse team, scored three times. In the fourth quarter, Hu scored twice and Reynolds added a goal of his own. Grott scored the final goal of the game, earning the Mustangs a 7-3 victory against the Lincoln Park Lions. Hu said, “I am glad to have one more win under our belt. With the start to the season that we had, I am proud our team is still able to take victories.”