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Thinking Outside The Box

Mike Murphy is in his eighth season as an assistant coach with the Army lacrosse team. Under his tutelage, the Black Knights have consistently been ranked among the nation's top defenses, while he has also guided some of the most prolific goalkeepers in Academy history. A native of Beverly, Massachusetts, Murphy graduated from New Hampshire in 1996 where he was a three-year lacrosse letterman for the Wildcats.

Feb. 4, 2011

I hope Punxsutawney Phil is right…

As I ripped off the page for the month of January on my desk calendar, I got a little jolt of energy…UMass is 9 days away!  (might be sooner depending on the posting of the blog)

I was glad to get back to the blog last week, I was excited to let you know of what was going on with Army Lacrosse. 

In last week’s “episode” I mentioned that our hero’s were gearing up for a practice scrimmage with Stony Brook.  Well, the practice scrimmage went well.  I think both teams walked away feeling good about what was accomplished and realized that there is still much work to be done.

We started the day with some full field face-off situations.  It was good for Derek Sipperly and Nick Isnardi to work against Stony Brook’s duo of Adam Rand and Rashad Cureton.  Stony Brook is coming off a year where they were above 60% in face-offs.
Our pair of Black Knights held their own vs. the Seawolves.  I was pleased with our overall performance and think we are making an effort to improve every day.

We then broke into two sides of six on six.  Army’s defense vs. Stony Brook’s offense and then Army’s offense vs. Stony Brook’s defense.  Coach Alberici was very pleased with the defenses efforts.  By his account the Black Knight defenders performed well.  He was very pleased with the play of Bill Henderson and was very excited about the play of some of the younger less experienced defensive personnel.  Coach Diange was happy with the goal output put forth, but not pleased with the crispness in the execution of our offense.  Coach “Mac” felt the attack was a little sloppy with the ball and the midfield was a little slow with their off ball game.  I know both Jeremy Boltus and Garrett Thul were not pleased with the way that they played.  #2 and #9 are great competitors so week four may be a bit of a bear on the defense.

The two teams followed the six vs. six sessions with a full-field scrimmage, and then finished the day with some riding and clearing and extra man and man down.

Overall it was a good day, it was great to compete against Stony Brook, a team like ourselves advanced to the NCAA quarterfinals in 2010 and like us has high hopes for an even better 2011 campaign. 

Week four began on Tuesday night and the boys came out with a purpose!

The team had Monday off from practice, but we met at lunch to review Saturday’s film.  Remember the practice player of the week from my first blog…Tim Henderson was named the week 3 PPOW.  Congrats Tim! 

Week four means our preparation for the beginning of the regular season really gets ramped up.  Even though we have one more pre-season contest against Fairfield, the team is starting to move into regular season mode.  Monday lunch meetings, extensive film work, scout team implementations as well as the staff starting on UMass breakdowns.
We got together as a staff to watch some UMass Monday, though we have all watched a game or two on our own since we have been back in early January.  We know how tough an opponent the Minutemen will be, so it is important that we have our team as well prepared as we possibly can.

We learned some valuable lessons from our performance against the Seawolves, now it’s time to correct our mistakes, clean up our execution on both sides of the field and get better as a team.  The next step towards UMass starts with a good week 4.

Talk to you soon!

Coach Murph


Previous Entries
Oct. 14, 2010
Jan. 27, 2011

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