I had the chance to talk to Senior Long Stick Midfielder Patrick Crane’14 about Wheaton Men’s Lacrosse team’s season so far. The Lyons have gone 4-8 as of April 18th, in what’s been a season of breathtaking wins and close losses. The first part of the interview was done before the team’s game against Massachusetts Maritime Academy on April 16th where the Lyons won 8-7 after a double overtime. Following the team’s stunning double overtime win, I asked Pat a few more questions.
It’s been a tough season for you guys. What’s worked and what hasn’t?
It really comes down to something as simple as playing Wheaton Lacrosse. When we have played within ourselves and executed the gameplans we have in place, we have been in a position to win the game. When we have gotten away from it, we have struggled. We pride ourselves on playing a tough schedule out of conference, and while its always hard to lose, you learn a lot about what kind of team you are and it helps prepare us for the intensity of the NEWMAC.
How important are these last four games?
Every game is a championship game for us from here on out. If we win the rest of our games, we have a very good chance of getting into the NEWMAC tournament, which is always our goal.
Why should people show up for upcoming games?
If anyone has ever caught one of our games, they already know that a Wheaton Lacrosse game is a fantastic watching experience. For those who haven’t, it’s an incredible sport to watch and there are few better places to watch a game than Nordin ’80 Field.
Any predictions on the season from here on out?
We take games one at a time, so I can only tell you about our next game (At Mass Maritime on Wednesday the 16th), but we are looking forward to the challenge of playing a conference rival at their place in a big night game.
As a senior, have you passed on any words of wisdom to some of the younger guys?
I’ve been lucky to have some great classmates in Colby Shields, Cam Hanlon, Billy Scott, Jesse O’Neil and Harrison Bramhall who are all great players and leaders in their own ways. We just try to communicate what it means to be a Wheaton Lacrosse player, and to honor that every time you put that name on your jersey.
Where do you see this team going in the next few years?
I see this team making a splash not only in New England but in the NCAA’s. The talent level has risen each year I have been a part of this program and with the addition of the new field, the program really is making the step to the next level. It will be a very exciting time to be a Wheaton fan.
The team had a big win against Mass Maritime after double overtime. Care to talk a bit about that? Was it just something where everything clicked? Did you change things up or did you just play Wheaton Lacrosse?
That was quite a game. MMA came out fired up and we weren’t playing our best and we went into halftime behind. At halftime, Coach Lockard challenged the whole team to show him what we were made of, and from the second half on we played some of the best lacrosse of our season. The key for us was playing within ourselves and supporting one another. Nothing felt better than rushing the field after Teague stuck the shot. One down, three more to go till playoffs.
On a final note if I can remember correctly even though your senior year is winding down, your lacrosse career is far from finished, you accepted a coaching gig in the UK.
I have, I will be a Local Development Officer for the English Lacrosse Association next year. Lacrosse has given me more than I ever could have imagined; friends, opportunities, and memories that I wouldn’t change for the world. When I got the chance, I jumped at it. I’ve been coaching my entire college career during the summers at select camps and for the Connecticut cardinals select lacrosse teams, so this was the next step. My role is helping coach at an assigned club and growing the game in the surrounding area with public clinics, school visits, and camps. It’s a great chance to give others the great experience I had from lacrosse, and a great chance to see and experience Europe. When I return, I plan on attending grad school and if I can, coaching at that school as a grad assistant.
Here’s your chance to say something nice about someone. Who’s the hardest working guy on team?
I can’t say I’d pick any one person. That has been a great thing about the team this year. Regardless of records, this is a team that has been very close, stuck together through adversity, and has worked insanely hard both on and off the field. Our lifting and running test numbers at the start of this season were the best of any Wheaton team that I remember. This group has been committed since Day 1 to raising the bar of what is expected for Wheaton Lacrosse, and I think that when the dust settles and my career here ends, I will be able to say we were successful.