By Emma Meakim
SCRANTON, Pa. -The KU men’s club lacrosse team has fallen just shy of winning the Keystone Conference Championship. Now, they have their sights set on taking the lead next season.
The Golden Bears traveled to Scranton University on April 30, where they lost to the Electric City lacrosse club 9-3 in the championship game. Despite this loss, the Bears found success this season, with an overall record of 7-2.
“It was a tough loss, but we know how it feels to lose now and will be back next year,” said sophomore attacker AJ Robinson, who found the back of the net once Saturday and is the Golden Bears’ leading scorer.
In terms of next year, the Bears will lose six seniors, who are all defensive players. Rising defensive captain Jakub Szemiako said that filling their cleats next season will be a challenge.
“The loss of our seniors is huge,” Szemiako said. “We lose a lot of experience and talent.”
But Szemiako said that means there will be many open positions in the lineup. “We are going to love the competition that stems from that,” he said.
The team is also looking to make changes for the 2022-23 season, all geared toward trying to win the Keystone Conference Championship next spring. These changes are to be implemented by the new executive board, recently elected by the team.
Rising President Brock Azeff plans to make major changes to the team’s practice schedule.
“I would like to make different practice times that better fit around my teammate’s class schedule,” Azeff said. Currently, the practice times only allow for half of the team to be able to attend practice.
He said he would also like to make changes to the game schedule. He wants to push for Friday night games, instead of games on Sundays. He thinks this will help draw more fans.
Off the field, Azeff would like to see more team bonding opportunities for his teammates. He believes that building a team culture is essential to his team’s success, especially because they do not have a coach.
Rising Vice President Rob Wood said he also wants to make changes to the practice times. He said he is looking to move practice to earlier in the day, and to have it take place on the turf field. Practices are currently held on grass, even though all games are held on turf.
In addition, Wood would also like to see changes to the off-campus training program. “I would like to have required team lifts and team swimming pool hours,” he said.
Other board members also said they want to make changes, too. Secretary Seth Shoemaker said he wants to build the team’s social media presence, and Treasurer David Peele said he wants to see team equipment purchased in a more timely manner.
Before COVID-19, the KU men’s lacrosse team had won the conference in 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019. The team’s leadership said they are now focused on winning the Keystone Conference Championship next season and returning that title to KU.