Well, it’s here. It’s lacrosse season and I love being a stick chick.
Sadly, I showed up for the second half of the game. But it is better than missing the first game entirely, and it always nice to see new faces out on the field (or new names, since you really can’t see anyone behind the face masks, protection right?).
For the part I caught, the Sooners have things going for them. The new, refreshed, young lines have put the Sooners at an advantage. Yet, the new, fresh, young players do not have the consistent stamina in order to keep moving during the game.
The most important part of the game is the transition position after a poor play, a scoring play, whatever the case may be, it is important to maintain strength.
Your opponent can see a exhausted demeanor, they will feed off of it. Momentum is going to be key, and switching possessions powerfully can be your best ally, or can be your worst if those variables are not included.
For the freshman out there, the power and motivation is strong and it is palpable. This week, I didn’t keep stats so I don’t know the exact numbers and the stream of playing time for the newbies, but seeing the same numbers with new faces, shows the freshman are keeping it lit.
For the senior players on the team, leadership is ultimately key. Last season, the team had four strong captains which dominated the leadership of the team, dominated the playing time on the field and ultimately were the driving force for resonating wins against teams like SMU.
This season, the momentum gained in the middle of last season needs to find its way back to the team.
The driving force behind wins in lacrosse is redemption, and this season the team is not playing strong opponents who have burned them in the past, with the exception of SMU. The burning hatred for the Mustangs runs deep for the older players on the team, and needs to resonate with the younger ones.
DEPTH CHART BRINGS GREAT THINGS TO THE TABLE.
Oklahoma meet St. Greg’s for the second year in a row on Valentine’s Day.
I want this to be a PSA for the team, next year I would like to spend my Valentine’s Day another way. I love you all, but let’s hope my Valentine is not on the team next year.
Offense was finding its grind, between the midi’s and attackmen on the field, but the most important part of the offensive strategy is going to be the transition to the line of scrimmage for the defense part of the team.
As for the depth chart, there are five people this season against being three players deep last season. The depth is going to be important, especially if there are players which are talented enough to be taken in and out. It will help with tiresome players, it will help keep energy high, and it will keep players happy with more running on and off the field.
While the Sooners are missing key offensive attackmen and midi’s this season, their holes will be filled but not to the expertise the former senior and teams captains brought to the table.
While the seniors will be missed, there are plenty of sharp players who are gearing up for the run of their final season. Between Dylan Ikkala and Dylan Reeves, there are plenty of situations where the pair can score. They could be the next powerful offensive gig, and could be what gets Oklahoma through the season.
The most important variable of the team is going to be the face-off midi who looks to take now-assistant coach Ryan Thyrring’s tiring position of scooping the ball up for a completion of 70 percent.
Right now, the position is up in the open between an array of players. The one thing holds true: there is no one prepared to take Ryan’s place. It is going to be a huge hole in the strong beginning strategy for the Sooners. It is going to be absolutely imperative for Oklahoma to fill the hole, and it is going to have to happen before traveling to Dallas to see SMU.
Preferably — it needs to happen before traveling to Ft. Worth this coming weekend for two straight games against TCU and Iowa State.
DEFENSE IS GOING TO BE KEY.
Defense on the other hand will need the most work. Scratch that, the goalies will need the most work. Slapshots are the most common way for an offensive player to make a goal, and it will be imperative for the young Oklahoma goalies to find their strides against teams early in the game. Not late, because by then, it’ll be too late.
To look back on last season’s defense in the same game, on the same day: St. Gregory’s scored TWICE. This season the novice lacrosse team was able to score EIGHT times. EIGHT. While the Sooners were able to hold up a large two-digit score, it doesn’t matter when a team with minimal subs is able to come out there and score as much as they did.
The Sooners are missing their long-stick Defense Maddy Dye already, and they are a whopping three games in. Oklahoma needs a strong d-pole to take control on the defensive side of things and a prominent figure to be able to slash an opponent when necessary (or even just for fun, thanks for that slash against Tulsa Maddog, it was sick.)
Players like Ian Johnecheck are going to be missed. Although he did not have huge plays last season, he was a strong force that was able to lead the team.
Rob Sweeney, Damon James, Joey Schimea and Michael Bone are the experienced players which are going to make an impact. The defense needs to step up and they are going to be the ones who will need to lead it.
HERE’S MY ASSIST:
The team should know I don’t score goals, I help them get there.
After all, I am part of the team and still awaiting my number. Told Coach I was looking for no. 1 but we will see.
The Sooners are starting out the season at no. 3 in the northern LSA conference.
That’s not bad after their crushing loss to Texas in the second round of the playoffs last season.
It’s time to wipe the slate clean. The Sooners beat SMU LAST SEASON, Oklahoma had miserable losses in the rain LAST SEASON.
Resting on the previous seasons does not make this season any better. So leave it behind. Full of great players, plays and even more memories.
I will never forget 15–8 Oklahoma against SMU: it highlights my lax career.
It is time to make a new chapter, it will be exciting to start clean.
Offense is there, defense is there. Now it is time to make it the best it can be.