The Spring break trips are always a great team bonding experience. Being able to get on a flight and fly to Florida with the guys is a nice change of pace when you’re in the middle of a season that is typically dominated by the bitter cold and a few feet of snow. On top of that, having the opportunity to stay in a house with 15 of your teammates for a week just brings the off-the-field relationships to a whole new level and that transfers to on-the-field chemistry. One of my main reasons for coming to play lacrosse at Keene State College was Coach Theriault’s philosophy on respecting his players’ space outside of lacrosse. He’s not the kind of coach who is going to fight you into committing all of your time to the team, and he is great at encouraging us to pursue other interests that we have. He is a coach who is all about the experience for us both on and off the field, and it’s nice to have a leader like that. That being said, this motto makes the trip all that more enjoyable when we get down here.
We treat the entire week like a business trip, but we are lucky enough to have time to enjoy our vacation as well. We have free time throughout the week, and a lot of guys do different things. Some go to Disney world; some go to the outlets; some to the beach and some just hang out at the houses. The houses are a great way to travel with the team because we can go to the grocery store that first day and people can buy food to cook for the week if they need to. It’s always funny to see how little 40 guys know about cooking, and I’m pretty confident that people would be shocked by how many burgers and hot dogs we go through within the week. Also, a good amount of our families will make the trip down to support us so a lot of the guys will have time to go out and enjoy the sunshine state with their parents and hopefully enjoy an actual meal other than grilled meat on their mom or dad’s wallet.
As far as lacrosse goes, we practice once a day and we play two competitive games as well. This year we played Hamilton College out of the NESCAC conference on Tuesday. They are a team we have never beat and we all felt that this was the year to break that curse, especially after the hot start we had to our season and being ranked number 16 nationally. The hardest part of the entire trip, however, is acclimating from the 30 degree cold to the 90-degree heat, and unfortunately, I think that caught up with our short roster. We were down three goals at halftime, and the second half we definitely put on a show to make it interesting. We at least have that to hang some pride on. Our second game was on Thursday against Nichols College of the Commonwealth Conference.
Keene State has never played against Nichols, but looking at the games that they have played and what we have accomplished, we felt pretty good about our chances going into it. In fact, I think we over-looked them a bit and let them hang around as it ended up being a closer game than it should have been. Thankfully, we won 14-10. It was far from our best performance, but a win’s a win. I have done this trip when we left 0-2 and it was miserable, so it was nice to pull that one out before the flight home. For now it’s back to the cold, but another great spring break trip is in the books for Keene State lacrosse, and I’m already psyched about what we might book for next March.