The men’s lacrosse team kicks off the spring at home this weekend with its first NESCAC match against Hamilton. The Cardinals are coming off a good season (12-5, 8-2 NESCAC), finishing second in the NESCAC but falling in the conference semifinals to third-seeded Amherst. The squad lost 12 seniors, including many key difference-makers, to graduation, but has brought in tons of new talent, including transfers, walk-ons, and a huge first-year class. Going into the season, the team will rely heavily on its seniors, including the four captains: Kevin Campbell ’15, Matt Prezioso ’15 (who led the team in, goals, assists, and points last season), Nate Ryan ’15, and Mikhiel Tareen ’15, along with strong sophomore and junior classes.
The Argus caught up with Campbell, a defenseman and long pole midfielder, about lacrosse’s 2015 prospects.
The Argus: How has the preseason gone?
Kevin Campbell: It’s gone well. It’s really cold right now, so it’s hard to play out there, but it’s nice to finally start playing. We’ve been playing against each other all fall and it’s nice to have coaches there to organize practice.
A: What was the feeling at the end of last year?
KC: It was pretty defeated. We thought we were going to make it much farther than we did, and we had all these seniors who worked their whole four years for it and we just didn’t play well in the final game. So it hurt, a lot, but it’s also motivation for this year for us as the seniors now to not let it happen again.
A: So what are the team’s goals this season?
KC: Our team goal is to make the NCAA tournament. We haven’t made it since we’ve been here. We’ve never made a play past NESCACs, so that’s the main goal for our team right now, to play every game, out of conference or in conference, as well as we can, because it would be cool to play in the national tournament.
A: You guys lost 12 seniors. How is that going to affect the team?
KC: We lost a bunch of seniors and a bunch of key contributors, but we brought in a bunch of new kids and there are lots of kids stepping up, so it’s going to be hard at first. But it actually will be kind of cool because no team will know what to expect from us, like they have the past few years. We have new kids, juniors, transfers, and freshmen, who will be playing big roles.
A: How important is the freshman class?
KC: We have a few transfers and a bunch of freshmen who will contribute as well. Probably four or five key contributors. There’s going to be a few new defensemen and also offensive players, but the shape of the squad will come with the season.
A: What’s the goal for the Hamilton game?
KC: Last year, we squeaked out a victory against them in overtime, down two men, so our goal is to come out and actually play the game to how we know how to play. We didn’t play that well last year, and we want to start the season off on a better note.
A: As a veteran and a captain, what do you see as your role on the team this season?
KC: Just as a leader. We have a bunch of new kids coming in, a bunch of new kids playing, and I’ve played for three years now so I kind of get the feel with the coaches. And the gameplay in the NESCACs is high tempo, so my role is to make sure all the new contributors aren’t too stressed or overwhelmed with the speed of the game, and just let them know that they can play in this conference.