THURSDAY, JANUARY 19, 2012
Actions have Van Arsdale's attention
With about a week and a half of practice under its collective belts, the JU men’s lacrosse team has caught coach Guy Van
Arsdale’s eye not by what they’re saying, but what they’re doing.
“Our guys are putting their money where their mouth is in that they want to be good,’’ Van Arsdale said Wednesday. “They’re not just wanting it, they’re starting to make some commitment toward those ends and I think that’s important. I’m seeing some growth, seeing a good, strong work ethic and attitude.’’
Van Arsdale, in his first year as head coach of the team, says the flow of practice has been about what he expected.
“It’s how nature works,’’ he said. “In preseason at the very beginning there’s a lot of intensity because everybody is excited to be there. It can get tough when you’re out there every day working on the same things and some days can get a little mundane and classes are going on. There’s a lot of distractions from that focus on the field but it comes around, especially when you start playing other people then the intensity starts cranking up again.’’
Playing other teams begins Jan. 27 in Orlando, Fla., when the Dolphins scrimmage Notre Dame.
“Scrimmaging against Notre Dame when we do is going to be an asset because guys area already starting to realize we’re going to be playing somebody else and there’s a chance to test themselves and see where we are and are excited for that,’’ Van Arsdale said.
Sophomore midfielder Will Vogt, who handles most face-off chores for the team, agrees.
“It’s exciting looking forward to the season,’’ Vogt, who won 51.7 percent of his 259 face-offs last season, said. “Obviously, you’ve got to practice for the season and it’s a little anxious getting to the games but it’s only a week away until Notre Dame, it’s pretty close.’’
In the meantime, the team is using its time installing new offenses and defenses and has proven quite adaptable, according to Van Arsdale.
“We’re getting in a fair amount of our systems both offensively and defensively so we can start to fine tune those things,’’ he said. “That’s a credit to the guys that they’re picking up on some things pretty quickly. Now it’s a matter of playing together and getting better at it.’’
“It was a little sloppy in the beginning, but now everyone is coming together and we’re learning the defense and offense it’s cleaned up a lot,’’ Vogt said. “We’re moving fast and that’s what we’re supposed to do out there. We’re definitely getting better every practice, that’s for sure.’’
- Jim Nasella