Oct. 1, 2012

PHILADELPHIA - The Saint Joseph's men's lacrosse team blogged throughout the preseason, regular season, and postseason to keep fans up to date with current happenings on and off the field.

Entry 15 - Will Farrell (5/10/13)
The final record for the 2013 SJU men's lacrosse season was 5-11. The season had some high points and some low points, from a heartbreaking 7-6 loss to Penn to a monumental program win against UMass. Our season came to end with a loss to a very talented Towson team. Although the 2013 season has ended, we are very much looking forward to getting back to work immediately to start improving.

This team says goodbye to 7 seniors: Brian Brinkmann, Steve Dunn, Ted Hospodar, Pat Kurowski, Kyle Mahoney, Chris Moffa, and Kyle Williams. This group consisted of talented leaders who will be greatly missed.

As finals wrap up, the team will disperse and continue to work hard to come back bigger, faster, stronger, and ready to compete in the fall season.

Entry 14 - Steve Dunn (4/12/13)
After a tough loss to a strong CAA opponent, Hofstra University, we were anxious to get back to work this week in preparation for our next opportunity against the University of Delaware. With two CAA games remaining, we still have our eyes set on one of our main pre-season goals: fighting for the team's first ever CAA playoff berth. Delaware is the next step at meeting this goal, and we are excited and energized to get back on the field against another tough conference opponent.

With only four games remaining in the 2013 season, we have stressed the importance of maintaining our high levels of focus and hard work. The Hawks will continue to emphasize winning "the next five minutes" starting at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday on Finnesey Field. We will also be recognizing 20 years of lacrosse at St. Joseph's University on Saturday by honoring the 1993 Hawks team at halftime of the game. Our team is excited to pay respect to the first players to ever take the field at Hawk Hill.

Entry 13 - John Winchell (4/6/13)
With only a few weeks left in the 2013 season, the team is very excited to make strides the program has never witnessed. We are currently coming off of one of the biggest wins this program has seen in a 7-6 dogfight against reigning conference champion UMass. Our team showed great poise and resilience after two tough losses to Penn State and Drexel by grinding out a hard earned win. Coach Wray emphasized winning "the next five minutes" and making the plays we needed to make without worrying about the outcome.

With a CAA victory under our belt, we have been practicing with great confidence and excitement to get our next conference win. Next up is Hofstra, another team that is in search of another conference win in hopes to getting one step closer to qualifying for the CAA tournament. It will be held at Ridley High School for the first annual Relentless Cup, an all-day fundraiser raising money for the Headstrong Foundation. This is an incredible honor for our team to help represent such a great foundation in the lacrosse community. With conference implications on the line, this game weighs of much importance in earning our second CAA win, putting us in good position to qualify for the CAA tournament, somewhere the program has never been. The team is up for the challenge and is working hard every day to make that happen. Go Hawks!

Entry 12 - Billy Annesley (3/12/13)
We finally approached our home opener on Finnesey Field after beginning the season on the road. After a very solid and energized week of practice, we felt that we could not have been more prepared and ready to go to battle with VMI. We came out with the hot hand and never seemed to lose our touch. It was an all-around solid day for us, as everyone played hard and executed well.

Following a great win against VMI, we took a short trip to Franklin Field to take on the University of Pennsylvania. We had a great few days of practice prior to the game and knew that we were ready to take them on. It was a long, hard fought game that came down to the last seconds, but Penn ended up squeezing out the victory, winning by just a goal. It was a very disappointing loss for everyone but we knew that we needed to move on to the next one, which was Wagner.

Going into Wagner, we were feeling very confident after a very positive and energetic four days of practice. After a slow first half, we came out at full speed in the second half and really executed what we needed to do to win the game. Everyone contributed, especially the "sideline," which has become a dominant celebrating force.

Mercer was next and we knew that we were in for a dogfight. After beating Mercer last year we knew they were going to come ready to play. It was a very close game and came down the final seconds. Mercer executed when they needed to which allowed them to pull out the victory in a heartbreaking loss. As disappointing as it was for the entire team, we knew we needed to put in behind us and get ready to take on Brown.

After a tough loss to Mercer we rebounded quickly and were back on the road up to Providence to face the Brown Bears. Brown started off the game very quickly, however we responded by going on a run of our own that kept us in reach at halftime. Brown came out in the second half firing and really took control of the game. Despite the lop-sided score, we kept battling and fought until the last whistle.

Entry 11 - Dustin Keen (2/20/13)
The anticipated sixteen game season has finally arrived here on Hawk Hill and we could not be more excited as a team. This sixteen game schedule is very demanding as we have games every weekend with some during the week as well. With two down, we understand that every game will be a sixty-minute battle and whoever makes the most plays will come out on top. Our first game did not go as well as we would have liked, but we did not hang our heads or complain. We took the game as an experience and learned from our mistakes and understood what had to be done. We knew that we had to work harder, practice harder and focus more if we want to compete. Every team we play is very good and every game will be up for grabs. After having great energy and focus all week during practice we felt prepared for our second game.

We left Friday afternoon for our second business trip of the season as we headed to a mutual site in Virginia to play High Point University. As we loaded the bus, we had one thing on our minds - get that first win. Every player was going to do anything to get that first win, and that was easily seen as we headed down south. We had a great pre-game dinner then arrived at the hotel. Coach gave out our room keys and our roommates for the evening. It was an early night for the Hawks, as we knew we needed rest because the game was going to be a battle.

As we loaded the bus Saturday morning for our quick ride to the field I could see a level of focus I have not seen before. We had a game plan ready and we would sell out to get this win. Game two was finally here as we lined up facing our opponents. We fought for a full sixty minutes against a very good team and came out on top. The game was back and forth for all four quarters and it was truly a team win. After the game we had a quick tailgate where we had food and saw our parents, then it was back on the bus. As we drove the five hours back to Philadelphia I saw many smiles but knew that no one was satisfied. We have fourteen more games and every one counts.

Entry 10 - Pat Swanick (2/4/13)
The hard work continues this week for the Hawks as we prepare for Lehigh. The anticipation is finally over and we cannot be more excited to face another opponent. Our time put in the weight room and on the track is on display as our offense and defense come together. Every time we condition, lift, or play, we focus on getting better and winning that session. The enthusiasm, confidence, and leadership in the locker room are at an all-time high starting with the captains. The preseason wrapped up this week with a quarter played each day and ended with our annual innersquad scrimmage. Although it was a close game, the Crimson team came out on top. We have put our work in all preseason and now have the opportunity, and privilege, to represent our school this upcoming season.

Entry 9 - Matthew Sarcona (1/22/13)
On our first day back on Hawk Hill, the team spent a day of pre-season bonding. After an introductory meeting with the coaching staff outlining the season's goals and expectations, we traveled to Wynnewood Lanes for some competitive bowling. We split up into teams and the winning team was to be exempt from Monday morning conditioning. After the scores were tallied up, it was determined that Brian Urban, Chris Moffa, Alex Hardwick, Mike Doc (Michael Dougherty), and Billy Annesley were victorious. After bowling, we were treated to dinner at J.D. McGillicuddy's.

We are now into the full swing of things, and Febuary 9th is getting closer and closer. The practice grind of the first week has been intense with early mornings for the offense on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. We have accomplished a lot in only the first week of practice, but we are taking it each day at a time. The phrase "Win today" echoes throughout our practices and we all believe that each day is important to our future success.

Entry 8 - Johnny Simanski (1/15/13)
We are finally now all back from Christmas break, and the team and the coaching staff could not be more excited. Although break was nice and relaxing, I know I can speak for everyone in saying that we were all itching to get back on campus to start working hard toward our first game, Lehigh.

During the next four weeks until Lehigh, we as a team will all be working hard both in the weight room with our training staff and also on the field to improve our skills with our coaching staff. We have just finished our first full day of practice and the atmosphere is truly amazing. Although the next few weeks will be extremely physically challenging, we know it is what we need to do in order to keep building as a program and have a successful season this year. Go Hawks!

Entry 7 - Kevin Barrow (12/12/12)
After returning from Thanksgiving break, everyone on the team and coaching staff has been excited to show off the progress we've made throughout the fall improvement season by partaking in our speed and strength tests. Both testing days went phenomenally well as our team averages for each exercise skyrocketed. The speed testing showed that we had all increased our agility and athleticism through working hard during all the speed sessions. In the weight room, a multitude of guys put up huge numbers exemplifying how well the overall intensity brought everyday helped us improve our strength.

Once the testing had concluded, we all knew the next big event on our minds was the Christmas Classic. The team was equally divided into two opposing squads for a full-length scrimmage. There was a lot on the line as the winning team would earn steaks and the losers would receive hot dogs at our Christmas party. The scrimmage proved to be a battle as both teams fought until the end, hoping to get the incentive.

The only thing left before our semester-ending Christmas party was our last team workout. With four quarters of extremely physically- and mentally-taxing events, the whole team had to push each other in order to get through the challenges as a unit.

Finally, after all the hard work, we came together at Coach Wray's house for our Christmas party. The great meal followed by a humorous gift exchange really showed how our team is one big family. However, even though we were all happy to finish the fall and winter with such good results, we all also realized that this was only the beginning. As each of us embark into break and return to our homes, we know we owe it to our teammates to keep working equally as hard and even harder, so once we return in the spring we're ready to accomplish our real goals and compete against our opponents.

Entry 6 - Rob Watts (11/27/12)
As we return from our Thanksgiving break, we are approaching the last few speed, fitness and strength sessions as well as our last full team practice of the 2012 fall semester. With the end of the semester approaching rapidly, we are confident with the progress we have made so far this fall, yet we are motivated to attack each day with a sense of urgency in order to be prepared to compete at our highest potential this upcoming season.

We had our annual Crimson and Gray Scrimmage before we left for Thanksgiving break which gave us an opportunity to compete against each other. This opportunity to compete late in the fall gives us a chance to see what we need to work on as a collective unit as we prepare to go home for winter break.

In the upcoming days we are very excited to participate in our end-of-the-semester testing. Our testing will consist of "max-outs" in the weight room as well as specific speed and agility tests on the turf. Following the completion of testing we will participate in one final scrimmage which will bring us to the end of the semester and lead us to the beginning of the final exam week. As a team we are excited about the chance we each have to improve our skills individually over winter break. We are aware that we must develop a diligent work ethic individually over the break in order to come back to campus in January prepared mentally and physically for our 2013 campaign.

From all of us at Hawk Hill, we wish you a happy and healthy holiday season.

Entry 5 - Brian Urban (11/15/12)
As the team is excited in getting ready for Thanksgiving break, it also reminds us of where we are in the semester both academically and athletically. Academically, we start to focus on the last of our regular tests and papers and prepare for our final tests shortly after we get back from our much-needed Thanksgiving break. At this point in the semester athletically, we are still working hard everyday - whether it's in the weight room, on the field, on the track, or out doing community service.

Coach Wray has instilled a competitive nature within all the guys on the team and it really has been evident. Now that everyone on the team has learned what is expected in the weight room, on the field, and out doing community service, you can see everyone striving to better themselves and those around them. We have certainly come a long way since the beginning of the year, and it's a tangible fact when we look at how much we have improved on our weight lifting cards or the gains certain players have made in regards to gaining weight and becoming overall better players. However, the coaching staff continues to push us and test us with our 300 yard shuttle running test, timed wall ball test, shooting efficiency test, and max. rep weight testing day that will be coming up before we go home for winter break.

As an upperclassman, I am excited for the spring and really happy with how well we have meshed together as a team so far. I'm also proud of how we have taken a competitive nature and the philosophy of striving for more and have taken it to the community service aspect of our fall improvement season. Recently, myself and nine other members of the team, as well as John Moran (Jack Moran's father), traveled to Manahawkin, N.J., a small area in L.B.I., to help out those who were affected by Hurricane Sandy. We were not instructed to go by anyone; it was just a group of us who were willing to help out. This one-day trip was organized by senior Kyle Mahoney who also has a house in the nearby town of Mantoloking. The people who we helped were very appreciative and gave all of us a sense of how serious this natural disaster was. It also made us aware of how fortunate we are as healthy collegiate athletes that do have a house to go home to for our upcoming break. I look forward to more community service events with my team as well as competing on the field and in the weight room as we better ourselves both physically and mentally for this upcoming season.

Entry 4 - Joe McErlean (11/06/12)
Joe McErlean here checking into the Hawks lacrosse blog for the freshman class. Since arriving on campus three months ago, the college experience has been everything I expected and more. The competition on the field and in the weight room is definitely on the next level. I was anticipating this new high speed pace so adjusting to the obstacles wasn't too difficult.

The guys on the team have played a pivotal role in these first three months. Everyone has helped make my classmates and myself welcome, starting from Day One. They are constantly encouraging us to reach our potential and teaching us how to be better - in the locker room, the weight room, and especially on the field. We are absolutely a family, and I couldn't ask for a better group of friends to be with everyday.

Away from lacrosse, the classroom is the most important part of the day. The amount of responsibility and accountability has increased tenfold since high school, and time management is definitely going to be my most difficult hurdle in this first semester. Classes are challenging but interesting so the work is well worth it. In all, I love being a member of the team and working hard day in and day out with the squad. I can't wait for the Hawks to turn some heads on the field this spring!

Entry 3 - John Moran (10/26/12)
The fall improvement season is the time when we sharpen our skills and continue to develop what we have learned from fall ball. Moving away from everyday practices, the fall improvement season focuses on our ability to become more fundamentally sound players with our stick skills, as well as making monumental strides in the weight room and on the track.

As student-athletes at Saint Joseph's, we pride ourselves not only in academic and athletic achievement, but also in community service. During the fall improvement season, we volunteer weekly as a team at various sites that are in need of support. It is a great way to reach out to those who are in need and to give back to our surrounding community.

The fall improvement season is ultimately the most important and challenging season that we will endure. Every member of our team brings industriousness and enthusiasm to every lift, conditioning, and skill session, which not only upholds our team's values, but also creates an atmosphere of competitive greatness. This is the time where we slam our foot on the accelerator and not the brake. As a team we will build on our successes and carry that momentum into the spring!

Entry 2 - Chris Moffa (10/19/12)
Coming off our season last year where we saw great improvement, we understood the effort needed as a team to continue moving forward as a successful program. We lost a great group of seniors, but have had an equally great group of committed, hardworking freshman who have bought into our system join our team.

Our team is looking forward to the upcoming season and want to continue the success we got a taste of last year. We have been working hard throughout this fall season. We just finished fall ball, where we practiced 6 days a week, capping it off with our outing at Headstrong and the inter squad scrimmage, after the Alumni game. We have now entered the fall improvement season where we continue to get stronger and faster, lifting 4 times a week and running 2 times a week. This is where we are going to separate ourselves from our opponents. While they are slowing down, we are speeding up. We look forward to the season and are expecting great success and hope to have the support of our family and friends as we look to conquer the CAA.

Entry 1 - Brian Brinkmann (10/1/12)
The first month of fall ball has flown by and we are greatly anticipating the Headstrong tournament on October 6th. The Headstrong Foundation is something that we are all very happy to be associated with and we try to help in any way we can in the fight against blood cancer. This fall has been an extremely busy one with practice six days a week and lifting and running sessions mixed in. I think as a team we have really pulled together and being on the field everyday with each other has helped to speed up our team chemistry and maturity.

Ending last year on a three game winning streak and getting out first win in the CAA helped to boost everyone's confidence coming into this season. We are encouraged by the strides we have made but know that we need to keep working hard and improving each day to achieve our goals for the 2013 season. We scrimmage Marist and Mount Saint Mary's on October 6th at Ridley High School so please come out and support us and the Headstrong Foundation. We will also be having an alumni game the following weekend October 13th followed by an inter-squad scrimmage here on Hawk Hill and hope to have a good turnout of family, friends, and fans!

Go Hawks!