The Emerson men’s lacrosse team is coming off of a tough 5-11 season, but according to players, the Lions are ready for the tasks ahead in the new year.
Head coach Dan Gold is going about things a little bit differently than his usual status quo.
“This year, how we’re defining success is more along the lines of playing our best and putting our best foot forward every game,” Gold said.
Gold has been a part of the Emerson community for over seven years now. He attended Goucher University during his freshman year of college, and then transferred to Emerson.
He played lacrosse for Goucher then continued to play when he transferred. After Gold graduated, he was offered the head coaching job and has made an effort to improve the program ever since.
“I think the best thing is how he connects with the team,” junior captain Daniel Terry said. “He has a good relationship with all the players.”
The lacrosse team has now been in preseason training for a month, and according to Gold and assistant coach Matt Ulrich, they like what they see, including new sophomore transfer Tyler Burnam.
“He's a talented player, and he has a high lacrosse IQ out there,” Ulrich said. “He's a great player to work with at practice, he's always looking to do more and I think adding his skill will help elevate the rest of the players.”
In the past, the Lions’ defense has been an area of concern, but according to the two coaches, they are comfortable in their own third of the field.
Burnham, Terry, and senior Graham Finley will be leading the defense this year, according to Gold.
“We’re a young program and we don’t have all the resources that a lot of other programs do, especially the programs in our conference,” Terry said. “We’re just trying to turn the program into a winning culture.”
Senior Conor Judge said the schedule this season should favor the team.
“We want to get the ball rolling and win a few games, considering the first nine games are all very winnable games for us which is something we've never seen before,” Judge, a communication studies major, said. “We had a five-win season last season which is good for us, and obviously every year you want to do better than that. So my expectations are to come out flying this season.”
The Lions are not only optimistic about their first nine games, but they are also confident that this is the year they will win their first New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference game, according to Gold and Ulrich.
Both coaches have marked April 2 on their calendars, waiting to for their chance to play Massachusetts-Maritime Academy, now a part of the NEWMAC for lacrosse.
The past two years the teams have matched up, Emerson has traveled south to MMA’s windy field along the Cape Cod Canal. This year, the Lions will be hosting the Buccaneers, and they said they believe that they are better than they have been in years past.
Emerson will open up their regular season play on March 8, when they travel to Rivier University.