Trojan men ready for inaugural lacrosse season
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on February 15, 2013 1:47 PM
Nine days after standing through a bone-chilling rain and watching the Mount Olive College women's lacrosse team play their inaugural match, the men's team gets its chance Saturday afternoon.
The Trojans open their 2013 campaign against first-year program Young Harris (Ga.) College at Amon Field. Face-off is at noon.
"The team has come together as one very quickly," MOC head coach Michael Murphy said. "They have bonded with the common goal of competing on a national level right away. Leaders emerged quickly on and off the field, and they represent all four classes -- freshmen through seniors."
Murphy added the main difficultly with building a team from scratch is there is no foundation. You have to prepare the players for all facets of the program on and off the field, and Murphy considers it a "blessing to have input" in directing those same facets.
Mount Olive's 39-player roster has a mix of transfers from JUCO and former Division II member St. Andrews University, along with recruits fresh out of high school.
Junior attacker Daniel Shields, freshman goalie Rocky Bowman, junior midfielder Jake Duarte and junior defender Sean Shewey have shown promise in preseason practices. Shields and Shewey are two of 14 players who suited up for St. Andrews during the past two seasons.
Murphy anticipates putting a fast-paced offense on the field and will slow the tempo to get subs into the game.
"As with any young or inexperienced team, mental errors and needless penalties have the potential to stunt a very successful season," said Murphy, who spent the past three seasons as an assistant at Deep South Conference member Catawba, which climbed as high as No. 8 in the region.
"If we eliminate those, we have the potential to be very successful this season -- judging by first-year standards."
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