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By Galen Gemperline   After four months of practice with new head coach Coady Adamson, Western men's lacrosse team is hopeful and excited for the upcoming season. This year, they’re going to implement a more aware and team-oriented style of play. Adamson took over the head coaching position at the beginning of fall practices. He is a former collegiate All-American, as well as an indoor player for several teams in the Western Lacrosse Association in British Columbia. "He brings quite a bit of experience,” senior co-captain Tanner Amell said. “And a more current style of play.  He knows the techniques that have been working best recently." Along with new styles of play, Adamson brings a win-first mentality to the team. "It goes without saying, we're always thinking of playoffs,” Adamson said. “Winning side of the ball, winning record, winning season, always keeping playoffs in the back of the mind. If we're not thinking playoffs, we're not really playing at all." After finishing last season with a 3-3 record and 1-3 in conference play, this year's team is looking to turn that around and has adopted the play-to-win attitude of their coach. "This is kind of a redemption year for us,” Amell said. “Last year was unfortunately cut a little short. We want to make it back to conference finals and win those."

The 2018 Western men's lacrosse team after a January practice at the Wade King Student Recreation Turf Field. // Photo courtesy of Western men's lacrosse
As a defender, Amell is striving to lead the team in forced turnovers and ground balls. Efforts like that are what the team is looking for out of its veteran defense. For a successful season, the lacrosse team will need its defense to set the standard. "They're going to be the leaders for sure,” Adamson said. “Our offensive, our IQ, ball movement and field awareness isn't there yet. It’s nothing that can't be taught, there are just bad habits that need to be tweaked." Having a strong defense is an important part of this year's strategy that involves a collective team effort. "We've set the team up for a more structured approach, where everyone has to touch the ball, versus a couple superstars," junior co-captain Benjamin Cole said. Last year, 57 percent of the team's goals came their two star attackers, Tate Brumsickle and Joe Finnell, both of whom graduated. This leaves Cole as the team's highest-returning scorer. "I've been blessed in the past with some amazing teammates and have just been able to feed them the ball," Cole said. "But this year, I'm looking to step up, score more and make things happen off the ball." Joe Finnell, who has returned as an assistant coach for the 2018 season, hopes Dominick Lopes, Elliot McIntyre and Marcus Capidilli will step up in the midfield and attack positions, joining Cole to create dangerous offense, while maintaining a strong defense that can help lead the team. "This is the year of seeing who is going to step up,” Adamson said. “Nothing is really set in stone in terms of offense. It’s kind of an open a door for whoever is going to step up."


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