Editor’s Note: Please welcome junior midfielder, Vincent Rubino of the South Carolina Lacrosse team to MCLA Fan. He is here to give insight on the lacrosse program and what life is like as a Gamecock Lacrosse player. He is a Maryland native who enjoys lacrosse, tailgating, and is always avid about growing the game.
Breaking the Barrier
It’s that wonderful time of year when students start arriving back in Columbia, South Carolina. Classes and football have both taken off with lacrosse on the verge of starting as well. The fall is a good time to evaluate and see where the program stands. As the Gamecocks begin, the team looks to put in work in order to “Break the Barrier” during the spring of 2014.
South Carolina has seen a flourish of talent sweep through Columbia over the past couple years. Slowly but surely the Gamecocks have grown stronger pushing at a chance to compete for the SELC title. USC has started to fortify Columbia, leaving visiting teams empty handed when they depart from the City of Dreams. Posting an undefeated home slate last year is only the start of a growing tradition Carolina looks to keep. In the past three seasons the Gamecocks have defeated 14 of their 16 visitors. Virginia Tech claimed victory in 2011 and Clemson narrowly beat USC by a goal in 2012. This past spring the Gamecocks redeemed their 2011 loss to the Hokies in dramatic fashion. The Double OT victory against Virginia Tech was a huge boost for the program. Not only was it beneficial for Carolina to defeat a nationally ranked opponent, but it gave hope to a team that has had too many recent one goal losses.
Over the last three seasons the Gamecocks have come up short by just one goal eight different times. Dropping one goal road losses to Florida State in Tallahassee, Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, and to their rival Tigers in Clemson twice has left the Gamecocks hungry for 2014. Just this past season Carolina lost three separate one goal contests to Wake Forest, Clemson, and SELC champion Georgia. All three teams competed in the SELC playoffs. USC looks to avenge a regretful 1-3 divisional record in 2013. But 2014 could be a breakout year for the Cocks. Carolina will host divisional foes North Carolina State, Wake Forest, and Clemson. With a favorable divisional schedule, the team can capitalize and make its way back to Atlanta in late April. Carolina saw their SELC playoff ticket ripped up in a matter of 24 hours this past spring when they dropped back-to-back games in North Carolina.
Full speed ahead is the approach for the Gamecocks as they start their 2013-2014 campaign. The team is not dwelling on recent short comings but using them to fuel the fire and ignite during the spring of 2014. The sky is the limit for South Carolina as it gears up for try-outs and Fall Ball. It has been nearly 20 years since the Gamecocks have brought a SELC title back to Columbia. It’s time to “Break the Barrier” and climb back to the top of the SELC.