On the Road to MAC Freedom Championship: Inside an Interview with Cole Millard and Hassan Mackey, Eastern Lacrosse players.

      After the past seven successful seasons, the Men’s Lacrosse team is ready for their eighth season. In preparing for their first season game at York, Cole Millard and Hassan Mackey were able to offer a few words.

      Millard, a junior who has been playing lacrosse since fifth grade, is a defenseman on the team. Leading up to the game in York, the teams’ defensemen made sure to study York’s offense through film and knowing Eastern’s defensive schemes by the back of their hand. Playing since he was two years old, Mackey mentioned that practice has been intense all week for the entire team. As a midfielder, they watched film and tried not to do anything too strenuous, as it could result in injuries.

      There will always be unforeseen circumstances as an athlete. I asked them if there were any obstacles leading up to this game in York. Mackey laughed, “There will always be injuries that you can’t help. I was injured two weeks ago but now I’m in the all-clear.” Since this is the start to a new season, another obstacle was losing their graduating seniors.

      “We knew we would be taking the places of the seniors,” Millard said. “We were ready to fill their shoes, or make shoes of our own,” Mackey said.

      Considering the game itself, I asked Millard what his feelings are before the game. “The night before everyone is nervous and you can’t stop thinking about the game. But once I’m playing on the turf for a couple of minutes, I’m in the zone,” he answered. Mackey, on the other hand, said he goes into the locker room to have some alone time in order to get into his focused state.

      Once on the turf, they’re excited to see certain players play for the upcoming season, and the York game especially. “Attackers are something to look forward to,” Mackey said. “Everyone should be excited to see [Colin] Piper. You could see what he could amount to when he was a freshmen, and now everyone will be able to see him dominate the field,” added Millard. Both agreeing that attitude is a large factor of winning, I asked the tricky question of how they handle losing. “If we lose we go back to drawing board. It’s in the past but all we can do is think about and fix it.” Mackey said.

      As an update to this article, they lost to York on Saturday, and we can assume they are back to the drawing board and are getting ready for their next game. Even though they lost, they are still filled with a fighting attitude, ready to conquer on their own turf. Millard exclaimed that despite the negative stigma the team receives due to the sport itself, he wants people “to give us a chance. We are not all bad guys.” They really admire the community sports bring to Eastern’s student body. “We want people to come to our games,” Mackey said, “We love seeing classmates and friends on the hill!”

      Let us fill the hill this lacrosse season, Eastern, and be sure to keep an eye out for numbers 45 and 22. We’re ready to support them on the road to the MAC Freedom Championship.

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