From the Field

From the Field

Graduate assistant John Ciavarelli gives us another great recap of the events leading up to the Dragons first win.


A big what up! to the Finest crew out there.  Hope everyone’s week went well. Let’s now waste any time in saying the Dragons checked one off the ‘W’ column with a hell of an effort in Albany on Saturday.  Last week’s practices were focused and the guys developed a nasty vendetta after last week’s one-goal loss to UVA. Competition was on point at every position and we had some guys step into new roles and other guys see an increase in their game-day responsibilities.  Kris Franklin and Andrew Vivian were sharing reps at X-Attackman all week and both showed their ability to distribute the ball through the attack and make necessary decisions in keeping our offense humming.  Other guys having outstanding offensive weeks in practice were Robert Church ( who went 5 and 2 in the game against Albany) and Kyle Bergman.  On Friday, we went for about an hour at Vidas doing last minute rehearsals of key game situations based on last year’s game versus the Great Danes. There was a relaxed feel at practice but the guys shot well and the defense was communicating effectively.  We hit the road around 11:30 and stopped for lunch at the Cherry Hill Mall.  The guys dispersed throughout the mall for some down time and to grab a bite to eat before our five hour bus trip to upstate New York.  Last year on our first road trip, the upperclassmen thought it proper to welcome the rookies on their first road-trip by having a little fun with them.  The concept is simple---fit as many rookies in the bus bathroom as possible under the premise they can regain their comfortable seats only if they come out, one at a time, and have a joke or story that can make the bus laugh.  Basically, there is a ‘Gladiator’ type judging system—the freshman delivers some tasty material and the bus responds with cheers or boo’s with thumbs up or thumbs down and decides the fate of the rookie.  He either is applauded for his witty humor and can sit back in his seat, or he is booed for his lackluster performance and returns to the bathroom where an average of five (it reached as high as seven) other rookies stood/sat/whatever they needed to do to fit while they ravaged their brains in an attempt to get out of the bathroom.  I won’t go into detail on this forum about some of the stories/jokes however, Mason Pynn delivered a wammy and immediately won his freedom and had the bus rolling for a few minutes.  Cal Winkleman, a late addition to the team who turned out to be a stellar addition, sang his rendition of Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” and also immediately won his freedom because it just takes balls to do that in front of 40+ guys you just met and with such grace.  We got to Albany around 5PM and checked into our Hampton Inn hotel and had a few minutes of downtime.  The rooms were sweet—shout out to the athletic department for hooking us up.  On Friday night we were treated to dinner at Andrew Vivian’s house.  His parents cooked us up a sick meal that included chicken francaise, beef stroganoff, pasta, fresh green beans and the most delicious homemade cake I think I’ve ever eaten.  Viv lives down a stretch of long dark roads in the middle of nowhere in upstate New York, but his house is absolutely amazing.  It’s built like an old farm house and was obviously very old but was in great shape and had what seemed to be an endless amount of rooms. Probably a pretty sick house to play hide and seek in as a kid. His parents welcomed us graciously and provided a great pre-game night to just hang out with each other and get the nutrients we would need beat Albany.  After dinner we returned home and guys did what they needed to do to get ready for the game in the AM.  Scott and I took a little trip to downtown Albany that night to mingle with the upstate folk and UAlbany students.  Not much doing there. Highlight of the night was a less than attractive girl with breath smelling like Copenhagen Straight and an affinity for Nascar.  She was aggressive and instantly enraged upon hearing that Scott and I had no interest in talking about the Daytona race on Sunday.  Gotta love being upstate. The next morning we all convened for “breakfast” and I put that in quotations because the spread was sorry.  The guys were forced to be creative in trying to get their pre-game meal to par but hey, there are starving kids around the world and this would have to suffice---but we all know how frustrating it is to wake up to a less than appealing breakfast choice.  It would have little effect on our effort during the game as the outcome suggests. It was absolutely freezing on Saturday morning.  During our pre-game warm up, it was snowing like crazy and the wind was blowing 20+ miles per hour.  The guys were loving it.  Everyone was hooting a hollering as we walked in twos toward the field.  Albany heard us coming for sure.  Their music selection was gross and sounded like they took local bands from around campus and posted their demos on their warm-up tape.  It was comical.  You all know the outcome of the game and the details within the four quarters; however, I will mention a few things.  We are continuing to find our identity as a team.  We should have ran Albany off the field; however, their scrappy helter-skelter play kept them in the game for a while but kudos to our guys, we overcame adversity and got the W.  We showed that in a game where the weather was a factor and the ref’s seemed to not quite understand the rules of the game (even making up that they heard timeout calls from our sidelines when we were yelling settle…I guess they sound the same?) the guys overcame obstacles, kept their composure and shut down the natives on offense and showed real firepower in our offensive end.  Hats off to Andrew Vivian and Kris Franklin in holding down the X position for the first few quarters before an adjustment on offense brought in Kyle Bergman to assume the role.  Kyle went lights out.  His presence on the field garners the utmost attention and he again proved why he is one of the most versatile offensive threats in the game today. Other standouts included Kevin Stockel who looked like the number 4 we knew before the knee injury. He was shaking guys up top and we all know what happens when Kev gets time and room for his left hand…see ya later. Brian Teuber’s persistence in the clearing game yielded dividends as he notched his first collegiate goal—it was special to see.  I was on the camera at the time and joked with him after the game, “Bro, I’m sorry I don’t think I caught your goal on film—I wasn’t paying attention.”  The look on his face was priceless.  After the game we had dinner with the parents and a few alum’s at Albany’s Alumni building.  It was pretty ironic—I couldn’t imagine West Philly’s Finest ever allowing someone else to have a meal at the Vidas Field House---but the food was great and everyone was relieved to have gotten our first win of the season.  On behalf of the team, I’d like to thank you all for your continuing support and I want to give a shout out to the guys running the website and twitter/facebook accounts because this has turned into something special and the guys are really excited about the exposure they’re getting and being able to interact with all of you.  We really appreciate everything you’re doing for us.  We have a huge week ahead---two top 10 teams, Nova on Tuesday and Notre Dame on Saturday.  We look forward to seeing all of you at some point this week and ending the week 3-1.  Back at yas soon!


- John Ciavarelli


Follow us on twitter @WPFLACROSSE tomorrow night as we'll be doing it live from the Main Line.