Michelle Berthiaume

Social Media Director


At the beginning of every new season, the coach of any team has a big responsibility. It must rebuild its team due to whatever factors took away key players from last season. For Coach Mark Theriault and the men’s lacrosse team, this season is no different.

The team lost a key member from last year’s squad, would-be senior attacker Griffin Meehan.

Meehan said he did not return for his senior season for an array of reasons.

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“I’ve gotten quite a few concussions from playing lacrosse. And I talked to a doctor and it seemed that if I kept playing and kept getting hurt, I might seriously injure myself. Also, academically, I didn’t do well enough to actually play this season,” Meehan said.

He added that he simply stopped loving the game as much as he used to.

Meehan was a huge offensive contributor over his three years as an Owl. Last season, he led the team in points (89), goals (63), shots (155), and shots on goal (105). In the goals category, the closest behind him was senior attack Matt Schairer with 47.

Replacing Meehan’s offensive abilities was a concern for Theriault once the team found out he would not return for his senior season. But he said the team has done a good job making up for the loss.

“Even without Griffin, we still have a lot of different players that can score. We are trying to balance the offense a little more this year. We want multiple scorers instead of just having Griffin scoring a ton of goals. We just need to close that gap,” Theriault said.

The team has spent plenty of time trying to figure out how to close the gap, but they remain confident that it is possible.

“Obviously, losing Griffin definitely hurts the team. But it just means that other people have to step up to fill that spot. We have plenty of kids that are capable of doing that. We can’t focus on that loss anymore because that’s not going to help us win. We just need to move on,” junior midfielder Ian Hart said.

Griffin Meehan said that not playing lacrosse this season is definitely hurting him.

“I miss the guys on the team. I miss the atmosphere on game days and stuff like that. But sometimes in life, things don’t go exactly as planned,” Meehan said.

Meehan had a large impact on the men’s lacrosse team in his three seasons. But Theriault said that the loss of Griffin Meehan opens up opportunities for other players on the team.

“At first, we were concerned with replacing him. But I think our offense has five or six kids that can really put the ball in the net. That makes it really hard for other team’s defenses to stop our offense. They don’t have just one player to focus on anymore,” Theriault said.

He added that looking at his teams scoring so far, it’s been pretty well distributed.

“We are pretty balanced at all positions this season. We’re not relying on our offense to score a ton of goals or our defense to shut down other teams. If we can all play together and play as a team, we have a good chance to do some damage in our conference,” Ian Hart said.

He added that the team just needs everyone to be on the same page, on the same day.

The Owls began their season with two losses. Their first loss was against Bates College. The team lost in overtime, 7-6. In its second game, the team fell to Renesslaer in another heart breaker, 10-9. But the team came out firing in its third game, defeating Salve Regina, 21-7.

“We definitely got a reality check in those first two losses. We just need to play how we did against Salve Regina every game,” Hart said.

Theriault said that his players didn’t capitalize on some opportunities that they should have capitalized on in their its two games. But he added that the opportunities will keep coming.

Hart is used to creating opportunities for his teammates. He led the Owls in assists last season with 28. Hart said that creating opportunities is something that this year’s team needs to do for one another.

“Right now, it seems like they are trying to figure out ways to create opportunities for each other. As they play a few more games, I think you’ll see that they will be just fine,” Meehan said.

He added, “They have so many great players this year. Everyone from Ian and Ryan Hart to Matt Schairer to Taylor Jette to Matt Crimmins.”

Theriault said that it’s just a matter of time before the team comes together completely.

“We are just working on getting people into the right positions. We have a lot of new players that are getting some time. So everyone just needs to work on getting used to their new position. But now that we’ve got that first game under our belt, I think we are going to be fine,” Hart said.

Although he’s no longer a member of the Owls, Griffin Meehan is confident in his former teammates. He said that he believes that they will be just fine this season.

The team just returned from its spring break trip to Florida where it faced off against Springfield College. The Owls dropped the match to the nineteenth ranked pride, 11-6. Little East Conference play will begin for the team on March 31, 2012 against the University of Southern Maine.


Michelle Berthiaume can be contacted at mberthiaume@keene-equinox.com


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