With the final stretch of the season approaching, the Fords’ lacrosse team is preparing for the Inter-Ac tournament. After a series of impressive performances this season, the Fords gained valuable experience against other top-ranked teams.
“The season started with our non-league games, the majority of which were against top-25 teams in the nation,” Sixth Former Sam Gerber said. “Coach Dawson schedules these games to prepare us for the competitive Inter-Ac schedule later in the spring. Our goal is to play our best lacrosse in May, and we feel that we are beginning to do so.”
Similarly, pressure is nothing new for them. Their unique way of facing it helps contribute to the continued success of the team.
“Coach Dawson has preached the mentality of ‘no big games’ all year. This means treating every game the same no matter the opponent. We will continue to have this mindset heading into our final games of the season,” Gerber said.
Gerber wants to aid the team in its endeavors.
“My personal goal was to do everything I can to put our team in a position to reach its goals. I want to make sure we walk off the field of our final game knowing we left everything on the turf,” Gerber said.
While Fords’ lacrosse has proven itself time and time again as a formidable program, the team identity is something that changes.
“With every new season comes a new team with its own identity,” Gerber said. “At the beginning of the spring, we consistently sent the message to our team that we needed to find our identity and that it wouldn’t necessarily be the same as previous teams. I can confidently say that we did find our own identity, which is a team that does all the aspects of lacrosse that don’t require skill very well: getting ground balls, riding the ball back, and giving our best effort in practice and in games.”
Another facet of Haverford’s achievements is the sense of unity that the team shares.
“One thing that’s great about Haverford School lacrosse is that we expect everyone to contribute, including underclassmen. Whether you are scoring goals, running scout team, or getting excited for your teammates, everyone in our program plays a role in our team’s success. This has a ripple effect and is one of the reasons Haverford lacrosse has such a strong history; when the younger guys become leaders of the team they will expect the same from their peers and their underclassmen,” Gerber said.
This transition of leadership is inevitable but the next generation of leaders are prepared.
“When it comes to a passing-of-the-torch moment, I don’t really see one other than after our last game of the season. The seniors, certainly the captains, have led this team all season and everyone on the team looks up to them,” Fifth Former Wills Burt said. “The juniors know that this is their time to listen and learn and do everything in their power to come out victorious at the end of the season. When it comes to the point where it is time to pass the torch to us, we will be ready because of everything we have learned from the seniors. Our goal is to win the championship at the end of May. I couldn’t think of a better group to lead us to this goal which hasn’t been accomplished since 2017.”
“We’ve had tough losses and games we wish we could have back, but it’s the way that these guys responded to adversity that [I] and the rest of the seniors are proud of. “Sam Gerber ’22
For senior leaders such as Gerber, these last games are bittersweet. Nonetheless, they continue to reflect on their tenure on the team and improve.
“I’m very proud of how this team has overcome adversity throughout the season,” Gerber said. “We’ve had tough losses and games we wish we could have back, but it’s the way that these guys responded to adversity that [I] and the rest of the seniors are proud of. As leaders, our goal is always to leave this program better than we found it, and we are still working to do so as we head into the final stretch of this season.”
The culmination of the team’s hard work has brought them far through thick and thin this season. Despite challenges, forming a new identity, and other factors, one thing remains the same for Fords’ lacrosse.
“Our team goals remain the same every year: compete at the national level and most importantly win an Inter-Ac championship.”Sam Gebrer ’22
“Our team goals remain the same every year: compete at the national level and most importantly win an Inter-Ac championship,” Gerber said. “We have put ourselves in a position to do the latter and now we just have to go out and execute.”