Hampton lacrosse hopeful for the 2018 season

Randall Williams | Sports Editor

Being the first HBCU to have a Division I lacrosse program is a big deal for Hampton University. Still, it’s safe to say the team has struggled since the program began in 2016. The Pirates have won just a single game in their first 13 matches.

However, this is not a talent issue. Hampton has gone out of state to recruit all sorts of different players. Stellar athletes include Kier Johnson, Jonathan Napier and, most recently, Carter Boone.

In their first year, the team struggled both offensively and defensively. On the offensive side, they failed to score more than five goals in every game of the year, while also giving up 15 or more on defense.

To better suit the defense, the coaching staff went out and recruited standout goalie Kevin Mondy. The following year, things got better on both sides of the ball.

“I’ve always used lacrosse as a therapeutic getaway from the world…but last year, sometimes, I got lost in that,” Mondy said about how the defense struggled. “We didn’t communicate or trust each other the way we should have, and it showed in the scoreboard.”

In their only W, the Pirates’ energy was completely different than it had been in past games. They faced adversity after being down 3-0 in the first quarter.

“In those moments, it’s so important to keep faith and really just move on from your mistakes,” the Pirates’ Preston Randolph said.

Randolph was winner of Most Improved Player of the Year last year and said, “Winning will start when we begin to become a complete team, when people pick each other up and when we follow the game plan that is given to us.”

After their game against the Firebirds, the Pirates have 11 games left. Five will be at home.

When asked what Hampton fans can expect from the games, Mondy’s response was straight to the point. “We went out and recruited some very fresh talent,” he said. “So I expect us to have a more competitive spirit and to find that drive to win.”

Randolph chimed in as well, saying, “No one wants to come to the game and watch us lose. It’s not fun for anyone involved except the opposing team.”

With more practice and more bonding, the team is sure that not only will they get better, but they will produce more W’s in 2018.