TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 07, 2012
Game week: Men’s lacrosse team unit breakdown
(First in a series)

The JU men’s lacrosse team opens its season Saturday against Towson at D. B. Milne Field on the JU campus (1 p.m.). This week, a three-part look at the various team units, attack, midfield and defense/goalkeeping.

Today: The attack

Strengths: The attack is still developing but has been showing good work ethic in practice. Coach Guy Van Arsdale believes he has a few players who are strong off the ball and able to finish off opportunities. The attackers so far have shown to be very good in transition situations and understanding what Van Arsdale and his staff are trying to do. The team will need the attack to act as quarterback to keep the tempo and it is an area that continues to improve. “We’ve got five guys who’ll be rotating through and all bring something different to the table so depending on what we need on a particular day,’’ Van Arsdale said. What that gives will be added flexibility to try as the team looks for ways to play to strengths. Lefthanders TJ Kenary and Ari Waffle both can shoot and be threat off the pass while Jimmy Trentini is a hustler known for taking care of the ball. The team will look to senior Max Gurowski to utilize his distribution skills while Owen Green has combinations of all those things. Van Arsdale said freshman Quint Miller has done a nice job of attacking the cage and using his size and speed to be a threat. The team still is searching for the right combinations of players. “There’s not a combination that makes sense at those pinpoint which isn’t all bad because it makes it tough to prepare and play against,’’ Van Arsdale said. “Everything we’re trying to do is new and they are trying to adjust to that and get comfortable with our sets and our reads. They’re working hard at that.’’

Weaknesses: The team continues to learn Van Arsdale’s system and “trying to figure out how we need to play the game.’’ The good news is that the things the Dolphins aren’t as good at yet are all things that they can improve upon.

Outlook: In the end, it appears it will be young players who will be making plays and some of the older guys will be called upon to show how them how to do that. At this point, according to Van Arsdale, attack is “a position where we have concern. We’re coaches so we’d like to see it develop faster than it is but it is heading in the right direction.’’

- Jim Nasella