Blogs and Commentary

posted 06.27.2012 at 4.26 p.m by Connor Buczek and Joey Leonard

Philly Trip a Learning Experience
On The Field and at Wawa

Connor Buczek Joey Leonard

Hey, what's up guys? Connor Buczek and Joey Leonard here to give you an update on the U.S. under-19 men's national team.

We spent this past weekend at the Hill School in Philadelphia, Pa., working together to build on the great start we had two weekends ago in Long Island. We arrived in Philly on Friday morning and started with a scrimmage against the Maryland Lacrosse Club on Friday afternoon. They were kind enough to come out and help us run a full-field scrimmage since it is difficult with a 23-man roster. They gave us a great look gave us the opportunity to work on many of the international rules.

The Philadelphia All-Stars proved to be a great competitor on Saturday night as they beat us in overtime of our exhibition game at Radnor High School. We played a sloppy game and came out on the short end of a great overtime game that we fully believe will help us improve in the long run.

This weekend was another great bonding experience that taught us the importance of strong team chemistry when games are close. We have built up these strong relationships on the field but, as we talked about last week, the stuff that we have done off the field has been just as important for making us a closer team.

We didn't have many of the luxuries over the weekend that we are accustomed to, such as Internet and television, so once again we had to rely on the company of one another to keep us entertained in our downtime. Believe me when I say that boredom was not an issue. Some of the personalities we have on the team could keep anyone entertained for days at a time. Story time became a staple of the weekend as everyone shared funny stories in the common room of the dorm. The common room was a great attraction considering it was the only air-conditioned room in the building. There were a lot of epic stories, but I think the consensus was that Ralph D'Agostino's (defense, Syracuse, #33) story about everything being "quite all right" (British accent) was one of the best.

Outside of the dorms, the great attraction was Wawa. For those of you who don't know, Wawa is a convenience store/sub shop. Most of the guys on the team had never been before so their touch screen sub ordering system was intriguing for us all. It's safe to say Wawa subs were eaten an inordinate amount of times for only being in Philadelphia for two days. I'm hoping the chain of stores is planning an expansion into the Ohio area sometime soon.

At this point we are all getting pretty excited as the countdown to Finland approaches single-digits in days. We have another great weekend planned for New Jersey starting on Friday. We'll check in again after that to give you guys an update.

Word of the Week: #Swerve
Song of the Week: "Kiss My Lips" (Remix) by Dev

Jay says it's the Indian not the arrow,
Connor and Joey

Follow the U.S. U19 team at as it prepares for the FIL World Championships July 12-21. The team plays a group of New Jersey all-stars in Mountain Lakes, N.J., on Sunday.