The men’s lacrosse club, while not known to most Mason students, is a part of the long standing excellence of Mason athletics. Not only are the athletes exceptional in their abilities, but they also epitomize the diversity for which Mason is so well known.

James Ho/Lacrosse

While the program has been around for years, in the past four years, the team has become far more organized, putting together a team of top athletes from many different backgrounds.

“We are different from most teams in that we have many transfer students who played at Division I schools,” junior James Ho said. “These are guys who had the opportunity to play Division I lacrosse and I feel this gives us a competitive edge.”

In addition to the transfer students who add depth to the team, many of the players are former military members. These players are different from most athletes as they add the discipline and physical conditioning needed for a member of the military. And since the team is looking forward to Nationals, this type of discipline is needed.

“We practice in the fall and play a few tournaments and games, but our season starts in the spring, so we up our practices to three times a week,” James said. “We have around 40 guys who come out, but we only have around 25 travel. It’s competitive and only the best players get to start.”

Not only are these players diverse, but they are quite close as a team. All having come from the general Fairfax area, they knew each other before they even arrived at Mason.

“Around 75 to 80 percent of us played each other in high school, so we either knew each other or knew of each other,” Ho said. “Since we knew each other’s skills before [coming to] Mason, it made forming a team easier.”

Now they can consider each other best friends, having become so close that they do almost everything together.

“Mason lacrosse is really tight-knit and a lot more friendly than high school lacrosse,” said sophomore Sean Gambarani. “I was able to jump right in and be included. Now I am living in an apartment with three guys on the team. It is great.”

In addition to the hard work they put in, the players make time for some fun while on the field. The camaraderie among the team is evident as the members easily joke and tease each other, especially about interesting pre-game rituals.

“One of our players cannot be disturbed before a game,” said Gambarani. “He walks around with his headphones on and you can’t even touch him. He listens to crazy loud music and just lays down at the face-off, alone.”

Now the team has to prepare for its season, and considering past successes, this upcoming season is looking to be as promising as past ones.This past year, the team reached the conference final four and in the previous year, made it to the NCLL playoffs.

With the Chesapeake Region as strong as it is, the players have to work twice as  hard to compete at such a high level. But with the team camaraderie and experience, the players are confident that they will go far in their season.