Men's Lacrosse Prepares to Face-off in Spring 2010
The Auburn University Men's Lacrosse club has begun practice in preparation to build on last year's undefeated regular season.
Junior midfielder Anthony Generotti said he thinks there's not as much pressure this season because of the undefeated season.
"I feel that there is a fair amount of pressure every season, we have been a contender for the SELC title for the past few years and definitely have a target on our backs," Generotti said.
Despite the perfect regular season, the Tigers fell to Florida State University in the SELC tournament and failed to reach the Men's Collegiate Lacrosse Association tournament.
Junior goaltender Alex Barnes said losing in the SELC semifinals last season shouldn't have an effect on this season's team.
"Losing is never fun, but I'm not thinking about that," Barnes said. "We've got to move forward and focus on this season."
Barnes is stepping into the cage to fill the shoes of former goalie Alex Crawford.
Crawford led the Tigers to the SELC tournament semis the past two seasons, including an upset victory against the University of Florida in the 2008 quarterfinals.
"There's not too much pressure that can be added to the goalie position," Barnes said. "I'm just excited about the opportunity to get on the field and help our team have another successful year."
There are many new faces around the lacrosse field this season.
Auburn Media Relations intern Scott Kemps will be helping the defense out from the coach's box.
"Getting Kemps to coach defense this year was huge for us," Barnes said. "It's hard to run an efficient practice with only one coach for O and D."
Kemps came to Auburn after coaching and playing at three schools in the past three years.
He and head coach Stephen Stock have a difficult task coaching a club team.
"Coaching a club team is different than coaching a varsity team, due to the fact that our interaction with the team is rather limited due to conflicting class times/practice times, etc," Kemps said.
Generotti echoed what Barnes said about more coaching helping with the flow of practice, but added that returning players have picked up the needed leadership roles.
"Senior attackman Mike Hoffman has been a great asset to our teams success in the past," Generotti said. "He is a key returning player."
Barnes said he is excited to see his defense play against the top lines of the Tigers' opponents.
"This year's D is looking solid we've a ton of talent new and old," Barnes said. "I'm really excited about the new guys stepping in this season, and I think they have the potential to shut down any offense we come across this season."
Auburn will travel to Orlando to participate in the third annual Face-off for a Cause.
The Tigers will take on the Gators Saturday, Feb. 13.
"I am looking forward to the game against UF and in Orlando on the weekend of Feb. 13," Generotti said. "The game is part of a tournament in support of the Wounded Warrior Project."
The Wounded Warrior Project benefits those who have served in the Armed Forces and have been wounded in combat.
Each team competing in the event will be paired with a wounded veteran as an honorary captain.
Barnes said he is looking forward to the game on Feb. 19 against the University of Tennessee.
"Being from Nashville I've got my eye on the UT game," Barnes said. "I grew up playing with a lot of those guys and it's always a good game."
Auburn begins its season Jan. 30 against Vanderbilt University at 3 p.m. on the city fields on Shug Jordan Parkway.