After an excellent preseason, confidence is high in Saints lacrosse…
The men’s lacrosse side had a fantastic start to their year with one the most most successful preseason training weeks in club history. Led by Club President Angus West and Club Captain Graham Higgins, the Saints came back to St Andrews well organized and focused. With an influx of young talent — notable freshmen from North America including Henry Plagemann (Poly Prep), Stuart Gurman (Riverdale) and Chris Andrews (Lancaster Country Day School) —this year’s roster is the strongest in recent memory.
The Saints began preseason training with a rigorous schedule of twice-daily practices and evening fitness sessions. Morning practices were generally soft, focusing mainly on stick-skills and ball handling, while afternoon practices involved various full-field drills and scrimmages. Lifting sessions led by senior players added a dynamic element to training. The team’s energy and enthusiasm was evident at every practice as players brought an aggressive pace unusual for so early in the season.
New recruits to the club enjoyed getting settled before the onrush of Freshers Week and a new school year. The team gathered at senior players’ flats on most nights, enjoying American-style BBQs and cook-outs. Many freshmen lived with senior teammates until their university halls opened for term. Veteran players, including fourth-year Samuel McCulloch, third-year Mack Kelland, and third-year Andrew Shen, all helped the Saints make great strides towards becoming a cohesive unit for the regular season.
A scrimmage against combined players from perennial league contender Edinburgh City, the Glasgow Lions club team, and the University of Glasgow culminated preseason for the team. The Saints came out hectically, giving up possession in transition and playing scattered offense, but slowly settled into the form they had practiced all week. The third quarter saw a particularly promising run by the Saints as they managed to dominate the pace of play and capitalize on set formations.
The men’s lacrosse team is ready to begin a 2012-2013 campaign with renewed vigor and cohesion, setting their goals high on an undefeated season. Much work is still needed, but early practices have shown promise in a strong base of young talent and core returning players that will make this an exciting year. Vice-Captain Andrew Shen said, “This is the best we’ve looked in a while. It will definitely be a tough season, but I think we can contend with anyone.” This year opens a new chapter for men’s lacrosse, but one which they seem well prepared to face.