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Brown State Blogging: Bittersweet Ending

Editor’s Note: Please join us in welcoming Larken Kemp to the LAS family! Larken will be writing about Brown University Lacrosse this year with an insider’s perspective… he’s on the team! Alex Jones started the tradition, and now Larken Kemp is picking it up. Welcome to another Spring of Brown State Blogging!

Photo Credit: Greg Vasil

The book of Brown Lacrosse in the year 2014 is standard in that it had peaks and valleys, ranked wins, and humbling blow out losses. 14 games, that’s all the chances you are guaranteed in this sport, only heightening the importance of each and every one. Kirk Herbstreit weekly states the beauty of college football in that each and every Saturday can make or break a season, one missed tackle, interception, or untimely fumble can end a season/career.

The parity of conferences such as the SEC and Pac-12 multiply the importance of every opportunity to compete. Sure maybe I am a bit biased, but as someone who played football I will tell you that lacrosse takes that element and multiplies it exponentially.

Brown State Lacrosse, 2014 from Zach Caldwell on Vimeo.

Why? Because Lacrosse is not simply a test of athletic ability (are you faster, stronger, meaner) but rather it combines a mental factor with the necessity to gel and mesh as a unit. The beauty of college lacrosse is that the “little guy” can and will succeed more than the “brand name” schools as long as their units (offensive, defense, EMO, Downers) can evolve from six talented players to one scary-to-play-against entity. Isolation lacrosse can win you summer tournaments, but will undoubtedly lose you college games.

Where is this rant headed? I guess what I am trying to get at is that although this season did not end where we had hoped (the Ivy League tournament and beyond), I truly felt like we made huge strides both defensively and offensively to reach our team goals.

One goal here or there, a caused turnover, or a face-off win, and maybe I am watching tape on our next opponent instead of writing blogs and cleaning out my locker.

Season Recap

The 2014 chapter ended this past Saturday with a 12-8 victory over conference rival Dartmouth on Senior Day at Stevenson Field leaving our season record at 8-6 while 2-4 in the conference – good for fifth.

There were flashes of what this team could have been in a huge win over Princeton at home and retaining the Ocean State Cup this past Tuesday in a big in-state victory over a ranked Bryant team. The fact of the matter is that its wasn’t going to be easy seeing as there are currently four Ivy League teams ranked in the top fifteen of the polls. Thus for us to reach our goals of receiving a bid to the Ivy League tourney and beyond we were going to have to play nearly flawless lacrosse in our conference games.

While it may be cliché for any team that got sent home early to say that we were right there, it certainly felt that way tied 6-6 headed into OT with a ranked Yale team, or tied late with Penn. In reality that’s why you go to Brown, you take the challenge in knowing that conference games are going to be an absolute battle, there are no cupcakes and I don’t think anyone in our locker room would have it any other way.

Individual seasons that should be mentioned were Jack Kelly in goal, Dylan Molloy/Kylor Bellistri/Sam Hurster at attack, and Tommy Capone at the face-off X.

Next on to Senior Day and what it means.

One Last Hurrah!

Senior Day is a time to honor and recollect the careers and more importantly people that make up the Brown Lacrosse Class of 2014. However as I stood there applauding and cheering on some of my best friends and teammates in the wonderful ceremony prior to there final collegiate game, I couldn’t help but feel the weight of the moment in another light.

I only have three more shots to head into battle, hopefully accomplish individual goals, and be part of something bigger than myself: “a team.”

Looking Ahead

My college career is already one-fourth of the way over and I feel like I stepped on to College Hill a week ago. For me it stressed the importance of every practice, skill session, lift, and run to make yourself better so that when the 2015 season rolls around you will be ready to go. In reality you have to play every year like it’s “next year” because in the way too near future there will be a cubicle instead of a season to look forward to. The hypothetical cupboard will not be bare next year as we return much of our scoring and defense combined with the return of prolific scorers Blynn and Piroli from injury. I literally can’t wait for February 22nd.

The academic school year is beginning to wind down with the team focused on our studies and succeeding on our final exams. The summer months will be spent fine tuning our skills and focused on coming back in the best shape possible.

On a personal level I have to get surgery for a torn meniscus I suffered about halfway through the season that, although didn’t keep me out of competition, was a nagging annoyance, so I am excited to get back to 100%. Guess that’s a wrap for the 2014 season and this rendition of Brown State Blogging.

GO Bruno!

P.S. I apologize for the somewhat serious tone of this post, but I guess that’s what happens when you are forced to watch your conference, and the NCAA tournaments from the confines of your couch.