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Author Archive for jschlosser

Coaches Corner – Dunwoody Varsity Wins Against Druid Hills

April 17, 2016 12:09 pm
Coach Michael Sopko
Dunwoody Lacrosse went 3-4 in games this past week, including a program sweep of Decatur and a varsity win against Druid Hills. Good job to all of our players, we worked hard for these wins. Three varsity games in one week is a tough task but as a program we were able to do well.

As for the game itself our varisty program realized the importance of this game as far as region standings. Our message to our team before the game was to respect our opponent, make them play our game or up to our level, and in games like this we should be able to execute and finish at will. With that being said we also mentioned to our team that these focus points are not just going to happen but are a by product of sustained hardwork and focus.

In all we played well with real positives that came from the game such as dominating the faceoff x, team offense and being able to run our new plays, defense commitment to communicating, and goalie play.

Things we need to work on is running our plays correctly, defensive clearing, matching up numbers on unsettled defense, and subbing.

In a game like this we are looking for effort/execution and when your number is called it’s your time to shine!

It was a real team effort as all players contributed on Saturday and looked good playing the game. Going forward we have a huge region game this upcoming Saturday. This week it is important to have good practices. We have a real competitive practice plan for the week paired with a team focus. Come Saturday, Dunwoody will be ready to play, earn another region win, and extend our varsity win streak to 3.

Coaches Corner – Huge Win against Decatur!

April 14, 2016 8:37 pm

From Head Coach Michael Sopko:

It’s always a special game when you can walk away from me a home field after an overtime win, let alone a double overtime win.

At the beginning of the season I asked our players to make individual goals as well as team goals and I guarantee you that some of the players put on for their goal to beat a big-name program such as a Benedictine, Greenbrier, or Decatur. Today we were able to accomplish this task and also understand that this is something that we can do on a regular basis.

The game started out pretty slow with us quickly going down 3-0. At that point it was necessary to call timeout, regroup, and try to focus on chipping back at the score one goal at a time.

Face off and wing work was key in our efforts to tie the game back at 3 and ultimately take the lead. Huge goals from our offensive players propelled us to be winning at halftime. During half time we mentioned to our players that it would take a four quarter effort to beat a team such as Decatur and that we needed to focus and collectively come together in order to pull out the win.

Our offense did not take the foot off the pedal as we continued to score while our defense helped out with some stops and big clears. At one point in the game we saw one of the best fast breaks that we have run. It was a huge goal and gained momentum for our guys. This game can remind our guys about the importance of momentum and also the importance of support from all of our players, even those who may not participate in games because of our big numbers. Today these guys helped just as much as guys on the field as they supported our players when they came off with good jobs and high fives.

Going into the fourth quarter we had a lead but we knew that it would be tested. Before the fourth-quarter I mentioned that this is why we play the game, for big moments like this, for big players to step up and lead our team. The fourth quarter went back and forth as both teams changed possession. We had a chance to end the game with the ball in our control but ultimately Decatur earned the ball back with less than a minute to go in the game and were able to tie the game forcing us into overtime.

Plain and simple overtime is a golden goal and the first to score wins in a four minute period.

Again our message to the team was that we needed to perform well in this situation because it is a high-pressure situation in which mistakes become escalated so we need to trust in what we’ve learned, trust in our selves, and most importantly trust in our team and we will be successful. With that being said this definitely was the case in overtime as we were able to win both starting faceoffs, our offense was able to possess the ball really well, our defense came up with some big stops, our goalie has earned the reputation as being a force to be reckoned with in overtime, strategy’s of our coaches coupled with the effort of all players, we were victorious.

I will say that this is one of the biggest wins that I’ve ever had as a coach and it may be the biggest win for our program to date.

After the game it was great to see how happy our players were, how excited our fans were, and our wildcat pride chant echoing throughout our campus. Our program only goes forward from here as we look forward to a good practice and then a huge game on Saturday against another division rival in which Dunwoody seeks a two-game winning streak.

Playing on Home Turf

Wednesday March 22, 2016 was a historic day for the program. It marked the first time a home game has been played at Dunwoody High School on the field behind the school.  There was good turn out from both students and parents/fans.  Unfortunately, St. Pius walked away with the win 11-1, but Dunwoody never gave up and it was encouraging to watch the amount of hustle exhibited until the final whistle was blown.

David Wachtel sets up the play during the first game played at Dunwoody High School vs. St Pius

David Wachtel sets up the play during the first game played at Dunwoody High School vs. St Pius

 

The first game played at Dunwoody High School vs. St Pius

The first game played at Dunwoody High School vs. St Pius

 

 

 

Coaches Corner

All players that came on the trip to play Benedictine were respectful and played hard for our teams. In all it was a very successful trip that showed that our program is capable of participating in this type of event for years to come. Both teams lost but the team work and effort that was exhibited at the games will help ensure our future success this year as a program.

The Junior Varsity played a tough game against Benedictine, losing 7-0. Even with a loss like this it was great to see new players getting a chance to play due to our low numbers. Our JV has developed so much over the season and it is great to see our new JV players mixing with JV players who have been playing lacrosse for a longer period of time. This group of players constantly demands hard work and focus, while having an understanding side as they are invested in each other, making sure each player is on the same page. One thing that the JV team needs to work on is moving the ball around the outside of our offensive set and also learning the responsibilities in our defense. Once again it is great to see our young players stepping up and getting playing time for our JV in hopes that their next game will be better and ultimately one day they will be a part of our varsity.

Our varsity game was great even with the loss. It was one of the first times this season that the coaches were able to see the direct coloration of our hard work and effort in practice translate to the game. In the first quarter the score was 5 to 1, Dunwoody. This game represents the kind of start that we need game in and game out. Defense and offense were both making plays, helping us to go into half time with a score of 10-6. In the second half Dunwoody was able to sustain our lead until the last two minuets of the game.  Going into the fourth quarter it was 14-9. In the fourth quarter Benedictine got hot offensively and was able to make a come back, ultimately winning the game 16-15. In all a loss was not the result we were looking for although we could take multiple positives out of the game such as; six different scores, seven different players with an assist, new players making an immediate impact, offense and defense taking pride within their units and rising up to the occasion collectively, and lastly the correct execution of team plays which we called in critical situations.

With a loss, moral and players attitudes tend to become more negative, but in this case I believe that all of our players understand why we lost the game but more importantly understand that if they play to their full potential then we can compete on a very high level. Things that we need to work on still are; team offense/defense, riding and clearing, extra man offense, extra man defense, two minute offense, two minute defense, and most importantly hot to close out a win. I believe that after this game our team is more focused and determined to achieve these goals and continue to grow and get better.

As a program we are looking forward to today as we take St Puix at home at March 22nd at 5:00pm. This  marks the first day in program history that the varsity lacrosse team will play at Dunwoody High School. I look forward to a big crowd and support from our community as we take on our cross town rivals. Look for Dunwoody to play to a fast start, play good defense, and scrap hard for every ground ball as well seek victory.

Go Wildcats!!
Coach Sopko
Dunwoody Lacrosse

UVA head coach shares thoughts on role of club lacrosse in player development

This open letter to parents from Dom Starsia, UVA Head Coach, first appeared on Lacrosse Magazine website – http://laxmagazine.com/college_men/DI/2014-15/news/112514_dom_starsia_a_second_letter_to_parents

Dom Starsia: A (Second) Letter to Parents

Dear Parents,

Let’s call this letter No. 2.

I wrote to you previously nine years ago, when I tried to describe the relationship between a parent and his son’s college lacrosse coach. I received enough encouraging feedback to attempt to address an issue that has grown exponentially in our sport during this period of time since — the role of the club program in your son’s development and his recruiting at the college level.

There seems quite a bit of anguish and misconception surrounding this topic in the lacrosse community. Let me begin by saying that one of my chief concerns over the growth of the club system is that it would certainly seem to favor those who have the means to participate. Those who can afford to join the most expensive club program and meet all of the affiliated costs of equipment, travel, tournament fees, etc., clearly have an advantage over those who cannot afford this same exposure. When you combine that with the availability of repeating a year and/or moving to a private school, those expenses and subsequent advantages become considerable and obvious.

While I believe the demographic for participation in our game has slowly begun to broaden and diversify, many of the club programs would seem a reach back to unfortunate stereotypes. Read More→

Alex Schlosser, Signs with Division II Powerhouse and #1 Nationally Ranked Adelphi University

DHS  Senior Lacrosse Player, Alex Schlosser, Signs with Division II Powerhouse and #1 Nationally Ranked
Adelphi University

Adelphi Lacrosse

Back Row - L-R Principle Noel L. Maloof, Head Coach Evan Goldberg, Amy Schlosser, Joe Schlosser, Coach Ellery Miller Front Row- L-R Hannah Schlosser, Alex Schlosser

Back Row – L-R Principle Noel L. Maloof, Head Coach Evan Goldberg, Amy Schlosser, Joe Schlosser, Coach Ellery Miller
Front Row- L-R Hannah Schlosser, Alex Schlosser

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 21, 2014

On Wednesday, April 23, 2014, senior Alex Schlosser will become Dunwoody High School’s first lacrosse player to sign a national letter of intent to play at a premier NCAA school.

Alex will be signing with Adelphi University, currently nationally ranked #1 in NCAA Division II lacrosse. The university, located in Garden City, is one of lacrosse’s most storied programs located in the game’s original lacrosse hotbed of Long Island, NY.  Alex will be the first player from Georgia recruited to this school. Head Coach Gordon Purdie had this to say about Alex: “Alex has good wheels and grit. Grit can’t be measured, not many players have grit.” Read More→

Long Island LAX Summer Camp Announced

Although we’re just about to face-off the 2014 season, this is the time of year when Coach Goldberg gets many inquiries about summer lacrosse as parents begin to think through vacations, camps etc. The Stix Board and the Coaching Staff are committed to making Dunwoody Lacrosse one of the premier Lacrosse programs in the state.  As such, we have enhanced our Summer and Fall programs as well as our Off Season Conditioning program over the last two years   For this upcoming summer, the coaches and board have weighed the numerous options and decided that one team camp and one tournament presents the best opportunity.

Read More→

Rise And Shine (Welcome To The Grind)

Rise and Shine (Welcome To the Grind) Get Ready for 2014 Boys – Expect To Win!

Inspirational Swimming Video Featuring Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte, Ian Thorpe, Cesar Cielo, Alain Bernard, James Magnusson, Nathan Adrian – (via YouTube Swim Fan)

Although this features primarily Michael Phelps as he prepares and trains for the sport of swimming, the message clearly translates into any sport – even Lacrosse.  Be inspired. Read More→

Fall Practice and Coaching Staff

Dear Parents & Players:

I wanted to take a quick moment to introduce our fall coaching staff.
We are very fortunate to have the assistance of four highly talented
individuals to help polish our skills and understanding of game
concepts. While not every coach will be present every Saturday, it
looks like we will have at least three coaches at most practices
(except for this weekend and another later this fall). Aside from this
Saturday, I will not be present in a coaching capacity. While I may
come out and watch a few practices, the coaching responsibilities will
be split between these individuals: Read More→

DHS Boys’ Lacrosse Has New Practice Field

Thanks to Joseph Keen, the Dunwoody Boys’ Lacrosse team will have a new place to call it’s own for practices.  As part of his Eagle Scout project, Joseph is planning to install a 16 foot high net and high-speed shooting area behind the current baseball field at Dunwoody High School.  He will need to raise approximately $3000 from local donors for this ambitious project.

Joseph Keen, DHS Lacrosse player, preparing to fertilize the new field area he is helping to create for his Eagle Scout project.

Joseph Keen, DHS Lacrosse player, preparing to fertilize the new field area he is helping to create for his Eagle Scout project.

As we all know field space is precious around Dunwoody and this new practice area will greatly help out the team!  A big THANK YOU goes out to Joseph Keen, His father, Joe Keen, John Hydrick, and all the team members and parents that came out on July 27th to help Bartlett Tree Experts clear around the edges of the new field. Read More→