By Michael Noble
On Feb. 12, the Palm Beach Atlantic University lacrosse team was defeated by its rival Miami University with a score of 7-11, and then again on Sunday by Georgia Southern University, with a loss of 16-15.
Team Captain Frederic “Fritz” Van der Grift said that their fundamentals need special attention.
“Missed ground balls, dropped passes and failed clears were all key reasons we didn’t come up with a win,” Van der Grift said.
The Sailfish have never won against Miami, a Division I school, but have come close every game for the past three seasons.
“The closeness of each game has proven to Miami that we are a legitimate threat to them,” Van der Grift said. “As a result, they take these games seriously, as do we.”
Also, Van der Grift said that the team has trouble “getting off the bus,” or properly getting ready for the game.
To eliminate the problem, the team’s head coach Chris “Suds” Southard has also created new routines for the team’s warm-up.
“So far, it’s helped, but the physical preparation is only half the battle,” Van der Grift said. “We need to come out better prepared mentally too.”
As one of the four team captains, Van der Grift has a prerogative to keep the team’s morale high, regardless of whether they win, loose or draw.
“Finding a healthy balance of seriousness, intensity, and fun with the sport is something I hope all of us can find,” Van der Grift said.
Southard offers Bible studies on Monday nights for the team, so they can grow in their faith.
“The brotherhood I have experienced on the team since transferring here my sophomore year has been the fundamental reason for why I have grown so much in my faith,” Van der Grift said.
With nine more games to be played, the Sailfish lacrosse team still has a long season ahead of them.
PBA plays Georgia State University on March 5, at Cardinal Newman High School in West Palm Beach. The school is located at 512 Spencer Drive off Okeechobee Boulevard.