By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 10/7/12
Freshman defenseman Mac Weiss admits he didn’t know he would be waking up for 6 a.m. practices when he became one of the first to commit last year to Arcadia University’s new NCAA men’s lacrosse program.
But this morning, after his Knights debuted as a Division III program with a 7-4 victory over Richard Stockton in the opener of the Division II-III day at the 6th Annual Nick Colleluori Classic at Ridley High, the Pennridge grad was fine with the early wakeup calls.
“I was not aware of the 6 a.m.’s when I committed,” said Weiss with a smile. “But everyone here works hard and plays hard.
“It was so exciting to come from nothing to something. We came out and won our first game; we were surprised and excited and nervous at the same time. It was so exciting to be out here competing.”
The Knights are fielding a team with 30 players, 26 of whom were freshmen recruits by head coach Drew Delaney. The squad also has several transfers, including junior goalie Cory Sonderschafer, a Central Bucks South grad that previously played at Division II Chestnut Hill College. The other goalie, freshman Mike Tappen of North Penn, also was one of the first recruits.
Weiss said that the goalies and defenders meshed well today and the attack seemed crisp.
“Just having a chance to play a different team – not our own offense against our own defense – we don’t know what other team was doing,” he said. “Then again, they didn’t know what we were doing.
“We were able to play our game. It was cool because we worked on so many things and did so many drills to bring to a real life scrimmage I think we did great; we did well on clears and face-offs. Everyone was flying around and our movement on offense was great.
“I was happy to see it all come together.”
Delaney, formerly an assistant at Washington College and D2 Limestone, was thrilled to see his team win its opener.
“We had a lot of 6 a.m. practices to bring 30 guys that had never played together in a short time,” he said. “It was exciting to see them play against another opponent and to see a lot of things we worked on actually work in the game.
“What was exciting was that with the new rules it was very difficult to learn everything; the plays, the clears …” he said. “To see them respond to new restarts and take advantage of running all the things we have been working on so successful after 15 practices was exciting.”
Delaney said his first recruiting class will serve as the backbone for the new program.
“This first group took the chance and they are the ones to establish the team,” Delaney said. “I think our second class will be even stronger because of their work
Delaney also was pleased to be a part of the Nick Colleluori Classic. He said his team enjoyed selling t-shirts and fundraising for the tourney, which has raised over $1 million for blood cancer research and development.
“I think the biggest thing is being a part of an event that is such a big thing in the lacrosse community,” he said. “It was our chance to give back and raise money for the HEADstrong Foundation.”