Recently, I’ve been doing a bunch of offensive players for the portfolio that I decided to commit at least two pieces for the defensive-mind players in us. I’ve been mostly, if not mainly, a defensive player in my lacrosse experience. My parents made me play goal because they thought that, back in 4th grade, it was the safest position in the game. I think they forgot that shots from 8 year olds get faster when they get older. For those of you who have only known me as a goalie in the game… I’ve had my share playing the field – yes, that’s correct! A slipped meniscus on my left knee in 2004 keeps me from being mobile these days.
During my early years in boarding school, there was at one point 4 goalies on the varsity level (!!) – I was that 4th goalie.
The coaches noticed the amount of “extra players” and would at times ask the extra goalies to pick up either a “shorty” or a “pole” and get in a practice scenario. Coach made me pick up a “pole” and get on a man-down unit or a wing play as an LSM. It made me understand the defensive unit as a whole but on a personal level, it gave me the chance to display the “things” that I wanted my close-defensemen to do when I got the chance to step in the goal. I kept the habits clean and very simple. I never “chased the stick” as I realized that the “poke-check” was one of the MOST overlooked and annoying thing that got under my opponent’s skin. Why try to get the “homerun” check when the gloves and forearms are actually part of the opponent’s stick? If an opponent was good at “hiding their stick” then what was exposed was their body to take, esp. a few “jabs” at the opponents ribcage disguised as a forehand hold!
Coach used me on a regular basis as an LSM and/or close-defenseman on a man-down unit. Like I said, I learned a lot, but I was more eager to get a chance in goal. But that is another story to come.
Senior year in goal vs. The Salisbury School. Sophmore year playing LSM/Close-D against The Hotchkiss School.
The following new artwork for the defensive theme:
“LSM” -pen & ink.
“On the Prowl” -pen & ink.
“Guardian 2” -pen & ink.
I’ve been postponing arthroscopic surgery on my knee for so long that every year I debate it, due to my doctor telling me that I would be on crutches or walking with a cane for a quite a bit of time. But who knows, if I do, maybe one day I’ll get out the STX Excalibur, on a titanium pole, that still sits in my parents place to this day!