The first season of the new era of IU lacrosse has ended.
This post is bittersweet for me. I will continue blogging on LaxRoads until after my trip to Thailand in June with the LAS boys. After that, turning it over to the team.
I can’t put into words what this program means to me. The friendships and bonds that we have created on and off the field are ones that I will hold onto for the rest of my life. 4 years of working towards a goal has finally paid off, regardless of our 2-12 record. The program is now set to take off, and the seniors can’t help but think we have a lot to do with that.
With about 8 minutes left in the 3rd quarter against Missouri, we called a play for me to take the shorty behind to X. As I started jogging down there, I looked up at the clock and my surroundings and thought “I don’t want this to be the last time I get to play competitive lacrosse. I love this too much”. I then split right because my defender wasn’t paying attention and I got lost in the game again. Here’s that play:
Remember that bond on the field I was talking about? I have passed the ball to Matt probably more than 1,000 times on man up. He’s the reason I have the amount of assists that I do. But if you take a look at that goal, my pass seemed like maybe it was a little wide. But Matt likes to catch passes with his arms already extended so he can shoot quicker. ON THE FIELD BOND.
Those are the things that I will miss. The little intricacies that you know about everyone that you can only learn by spending hours on hours on hours with them on the field.
With 2:32 seconds left on the clock in the 4th quarter, I ran to X again and stopped for a second and took a look around (why I kept catching myself in these moments? I don’t know). At that point, I knew the game was over, and thus, this was my last 2:32 left on the field. I thought, well I might as well take one last run to the cage and see if I can’t score. I came around the right side of the goal, took a shot and hit the pipe. That was the last shot I ever took for IU lacrosse. Fitting.
I was able to notch a goal in my final game. Here’s that experience:
Top shelf. What a moment.
There were only 3 seniors on the team this year, including myself. And I’d like to recognize my 2 fellow seniors.
Phil’s ride through IU lacrosse was one that I’m willing to bet no one else has made. Phil was a backup goalie for three years in a row. I can’t give him enough credit for sticking around the program for 4 years. He never got discouraged about playing time and was always there cheering us on when we needed him.
This year, Phil started out at goalie, but realized he probably wouldn’t get any playing time. So he switched to long pole. The first few practices I’m sure he’d tell you were a little rough getting used to it. But by the end of the year, he was either one of our starting close defenders or running a few shifts of LSM (due to injuries that plagued him through the season). An amazing story and I am glad Phil switched because he was one of our biggest assets and I was happy that my fellow senior was out on the field for his final year, even if it was at a different position.
I’d also like to thank Mr. and Mrs. Johnson for the work they have put in throughout our 4 years. They were the biggest help of anybody with literally anything we needed. Food for the way home, help with the banquets, barbecues, coming to every game, just anything that we needed help with they were more than happy to take care of. Myself and the team can’t thank them enough for the support they have shown us. Thank you!
It’s impossible to describe how much work our 2 year president has put into IU lacrosse. He is the main reason that we got Coach Tumbas to come to IU. Will took care of anything and everything. Places to practice, rec sports requirements, bus schedulings, every single logistical item that needed to be fulfilled, he did. Not to mention he was a 4 year starter on the field.
The leadership on and off the field that he exhibited is something you can’t replace. He was the life support of this team and is the most prominent reason why anybody outside of Bloomington, Indiana knows about the Hoosier lacrosse team. He has become one of my best friends and I have lacrosse to thank for that. I know his presence will be missed in the coming years.
Sorry, Will. Had to do it.
Coach Tumbas and assistant coaches, thank you for coming to Bloomington and making it your full time job getting IU lacrosse on the map. Every other coach that has been through here it has been a hobby for. Now we have stability at the head coach position and that’s where everything starts. I can’t wait to see where you bring this program. I can’t thank you enough for working closely with the captains this year to better the program. It has been truly special for me.
Teammates, I don’t really know where to begin with you guys. All I have to say is I will miss every single one of you and will hold on to our memories tightly. I am already excited to visit next year and catch a few games. Especially you soon-to-be seniors. I’ll let Gene Hackman speak for me. Start at 1:20.
I love you guys.