FRIDAY, APRIL 06, 2012
JU still searching for consistency as season winds down
Photo by Eddie Gard
Photo by Eddie Gard
Ten games into his first season at the helm, JU men’s lacrosse coach Guy Van Arsdale still seeks some consistency from his team.

To that end, when the Dolphins play host to Canisius in a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference battle Saturday at 1 p.m., Van Arsdale plans to keep getting looks at the roster.

“We’re trying to still find the right combinations,’’ Van Arsdale said. “We’re getting 26, 27 guys on the field every game, probably more than anybody we play. Some of it is still trying to find a consistent combination. We just haven’t been consistent or find guys who are able to consistently perform in a way we feel we can count on.’’

Van Arsdale says the look-sees will continue through the remaining three regular season games and MAAC tournament.

“No question,’’ he said. “We have a core of guys who do a great job of that but it’s finding those last couple to really solidify the lineup. We keep going back and forth and see flashes in some guys.’’

In Van Arsdale’s opinion, getting on the field starts with practice habits.

“Guys earn their shot in practice,’’ he said. “Not just with your effort but with your ability to get it done in practice, that’s what gets out there. Guys who can execute and do it consistently, those are the guys getting the shots (to play). People talk about ‘well, he’s a gamer’ and I’ve always been of the philosophy that I’ll have no idea if a kid is a gamer until he’s a practicer. Once he’s a practicer, we’ll find out if he’s a gamer.’’

The players who are getting in this week’s game will find the usual rough and tumble tussle with the Golden Griffins (2-5, 1-2).

“It’s the MAAC,’’ Van Arsdale said. “From top to bottom you look at the seven teams and there’s like two goals separating form best to worst. It’s one of those games that every time you line up in the MAAC, it’s going to be competitive and it’s going to be good.’’

The Dolphins should be wary, according to Van Arsdale, of Canisius attack men Simon Giourmetakis and Travis Gibbons, both of whom are adept at putting pressure on the cage.

Giourmetakis leads the team with 27 points (22 goals, five assists) while Gibbons has 20 (15/5).

JU, of course, will rely on its one-two punch of midfielder Cam Mann (36 points, 15 goals, 21 assists) and freshman Ari Waffle (30/22/8). Given Van Arsdale’s assessment, the defenders, led by Jake Ziegler (25 ground balls) will have their hands full.

“We’re going to have to play well to win,’’ Van Arsdale said. “We’re going to have hard and put 60 minutes together and we’re going to have to play well on the defensive end.’’

The game can be seen on asun.tv.

- Jim Nasella