The men’s lacrosse team is looking to another successful season, which officially begins Feb. 26. Last season, the team lost only four of 14 matches and took third place in the Ivy League. The News sat down with Jack Ambrose ’14, a defender from Westport, Conn., to discuss his lacrosse background, the responsibilities of the Bulldogs’ defense and the team’s progress so far.
Q: When did you start playing lacrosse? What motivated you to play?
A: I started playing when I was 10 because all of my best friends started playing lacrosse.
Q: What makes lacrosse so special to you? How did it affect your life?
A: The best thing about lacrosse is that it is a small community. The people you meet while playing lacrosse you always end up relating back to you. It is such a small world, so the connections that lacrosse provides are awesome.
Q: How is the offseason training going so far?
A: Our captain has set up all the practices for the team, so we have definitely been almost as busy as we are in the fall.
Q: How do you juggle lacrosse with your academic commitments?
A: It is true that there are some bad sides of this, but it is almost nice to be on that schedule every single day, to know what time you have to be at the practice, when you have to get your work done and so on. It is tough going out to practices on a daily basis, but it is a lot nicer to have a set schedule and not mess around.
Q: Do you have any personal strategies in your approach to the game?
A: Our team’s offense is really good, so it is nice to be able to practice against such a high level of offense every day. Besides that, defense is all about team. It is not an individual player that matters, but more or less all six players and the goalie should be communicating around the same page. What is really cool about our defense is that we care about the whole team.
Q: Why did you choose to play defense? Forward players tend to make more headlines.
A: Personally, it just worked out. I started lacrosse in high school, and there was a spot for me in the defense position. It is always nice to score goals but even nicer to stop people from scoring.
Q: What is the position of defense mean to you? Do you feel more responsible about your position?
A: What defense means to me is being able to stop someone from doing what they want to do. There is a ton of responsibility that comes with it because it is pretty easy to see which person is at fault when the other team scores. That responsibility to shut down the other team is a major part of the game.
Q: What was the most memorable, unforgettable match for you, either at Yale or back in high school, and why?
A: It was maybe at Yale. We had such a great senior class last year, and it was when we beat Princeton. I was not yet really into this Yale tradition … so it was really awesome for the seniors to beat Princeton. But hopefully, the most memorable moment has not happened yet.
Q: Your team will face Siena on Feb. 12 at Reese Stadium in an unoffical scrimmage. It has been a while since the Elis had an official game. How do you feel about this upcoming match?
A: Although it is a scrimmage, it is nice to finally play someone besides our own team. We have been working hard, so I would love to play. The outcome does not matter much for scrimmages but this is an opportunity for the team to grow, so I am really excited.
Q: The season will officially kick off in about a month. What are the team’s goals?
A: Everyone just really wants to do well. We do not have any specific goals but we had a great season last year with great players, so we want to do well like last year. We want seniors to walk away with something to look back and remember.
Q: The Elis were placed 13th in the preseason Division I lacrosse poll. Do you think the team can do better than this? What do you think you need to focus on improving?
A: I never really want to talk about ranking, honestly. Doing well every match is important. We need to keep team chemistry going and stay healthy.
Q: Who or which team do you consider as your biggest rival?
A: Whoever we play next, no certain team really.
Q: Does your number, number 2, hold any significance for you?
A: The coaches asked my first choice and I was able to get it. This player who left two summers ago was great. He was one of the best captains and I wanted his number.
Q: Lacrosse runs in your family. Your uncle, Joseph Crisco, was a goalkeeper for Yale from 1988-’92. If you ever have children, would you want them to play lacrosse?
A: Of course! I want my kids to experience lacrosse.