Buczek: Putting a Cap on Big Red Season
Hey guys! When I last checked in we were beginning our playoff run as we prepared for Maryland in the first round of the NCAA tournament. We were able to take down the Terrapins and schedule a return trip to Byrd Stadium the following week to play Ohio State in the quarterfinals.During our preparation for Ohio State, a major weight was lifted off of our shoulders as our exams ended. This allowed us to focus solely on lacrosse for the remainder of the season.
After defeating the Buckeyes we had a meeting set with Duke in the national semifinals at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pa. During this journey throughout the playoffs we experienced many of the perks of making the playoffs, including new gear from our sponsors, police escorts, and a great speech by former Philadelphia Eagle Vince Papale.
Our sponsors, namely STX, Nike and Cascade, always take great care of us throughout the year and the playoffs were no exception. Prior to the first round, STX and Nike gave us a chance to try out some of their new lines of gloves and elbow pads throughout the remainder of our playoff run. Cascade outfitted the team in their new line of helmets known as the "R." Also, Nike hooked the team up with the new Huarache cleats that the team wore against Duke. Finally, upon arriving in Philadelphia, Nike again showed its support with a great care package that everyone on the team received at breakfast. I'd like to send a special thanks to our sponsors for supporting Cornell Lacrosse.
Upon arriving in Philadelphia on Thursday afternoon, our first stop was at Lincoln Financial Field. We were able to walk out on the field and get our first look at the surface and stadium that we would be playing in while a media-day took place around us. This was followed by an opening dinner with all four of the Division I final four teams. ESPN's Paul Carcaterra hosted the event and Vince Papale (the former NFL player who was the basis for the movie "Invincible") was the keynote speaker. Papale spoke about the determination and strategy that it takes to accomplish your goals.
The next day we had a practice set at Lincoln Financial, but because of rain we had to move to the Eagles' indoor facility. We all wanted to get out on the field and test out the grass surface with our new cleats, but didn't mind saving our sticks from the rain and playing in the practice bubble. After a short walk through we returned to the hotel to finish our preparation for the Blue Devils.
Ultimately the game didn't turn out as we would've hoped but we were certainly proud of the effort that we put on the field. Ending a season is never easy, but saying goodbye to 16 great seniors makes it that much more difficult. Now that the 2013 season has ended we are excited about the squad we have for 2014 and are looking forward to getting back at it together next fall. Thanks everyone for reading and supporting the team throughout the season.
Have a great summer,