What a lame post title! oh well.
We now continue my 4 year journey of IU lacrosse with sophomore year. Make sure you read freshman year before reading on. At the start of sophomore year, there were a lot of questions with our team. The first came in the summer as to whether or not Coach Karweck was going to stay with the team. It’s a nerve-racking feeling as a player when your coach is tentative right before the season. I wanted so badly to continue getting better as we were able to crack the top 25 the year before. It’s hard to continue onto growth if you don’t have a leader and coach who knows what he’s talking about. Coach Karweck knew what he was talking about and fit well with us. News came in that not only was he staying, but he would most definitely be there for junior year as well because he was getting his masters in Kinesiology, a 2 year program. Good news.
Other big news this year was the announcement of the switch in conferences. We moved from the CCLA to the GRLC. I believe we made the switch because the teams in the GRLC are more centrally located to us, and it made sense from a monetary standpoint. The overall competition is better too. We were in the CCLA division that had neither Michigan or Michigan State. Our conference games included: Buffalo, Pitt, Purdue, Miami of Ohio, West Virginia, and Ball State. Not the highest level of compeition. Our move to the GRLC meant playing Illinois, Lindenwood, and now Wisconsin, 3 teams scratching the surface of the top 25.
Unfortunately, there were a lot of good freshman that didn’t remain on the team after our first year. That’s the reality in the MCLA. It’s tough to keep a sturdy group of guys. Luckily, we brought in a freshman class that was able to pick up where we left off. Fall Ball was going and underway.
It’s tough as a sophomore. You aren’t old enough to be considered an upperclassman, but you are older than the freshmen. One harsh reality is that if a freshman is better than you, you probably aren’t going to play. This is true for any class, but by junior year normally the kids who don’t play drop out. I wanted to play. Even if I didn’t play sophomore year, I would have tried to stick it out all 4 years to gain some PT. I was nervous because I didn’t know whether or not I was going to be given a chance to establish myself. Ultimately, I ended up making the switch from attack to middie. I had played attack since 5th grade so I wasn’t too familiar with the position, but really, how hard could it be to dodge against a short stick after being used to long sticks?
This season we had a considerably harder schedule with Illinois, Utah, Lindenwood, and Michigan State on there. We got stomped by those teams but at least won the games we were supposed to, including handling Purdue with ease. The score ended up being 8-5 but it was 8-2 going into the fourth and we put our subs in.
Our off the field gear was a vast improvement compared to the year before. We didn’t get sweatsuits or travel suits freshman year, and both of those items were on cue for sophomore year. However, no new jerseys so we were stuck with these old things again. The only thing we got new was the pair of game shorts. Nothing too exciting about them, a basic side panel design with the iu trident on the right side and number on the left.
Brine Defts ewwwwwwwwwwwww. At the time I didn’t mind them. Gloves have come a long way. As you can tell I rocked ankle braces that year. The extra support helped me cut faster, but after a while I could tell my ankles were becoming weaker. I never had ankle problems before so I decided to ditch them.
Eventually, we made it into the GRLC tournament. Nebraska wasn’t able to make the trip so we got there only to play Illinois in the second round. Earlier in the year we had lost to U of I 16-5. We showed up in Champaign in negative degree weather to find out we were playing at an elementary school. The field was smaller than regulation size and was on a slope with thick, uncut grass. They proceeded to tell us there was a scheduling issue with the other field and this was a last ditch effort. Easily the worst playing conditions I have ever faced. I’m fairly certain they were more embarrassed about what we had to play on than we were about the score.
The tournament game was completely different. It was close for most of the game and we eventually ended up losing 13-9. I was able to notch 2 goals, including a behind-the-back, but it wasn’t enough. It was bright for the program, though, as we went into next season with our heads high. We were looking forward to a lot of bright things to come for the next year.
Junior year to come next week.
Look out for the Thursday gear post
Practice tonight at 10 pm
Ball State game: Friday, 8:30 pm