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No Pain, No Gain
Men's lacrosse players shrug off injuries
By Tim Wacker

For UNH senior Eric Klotz, four years of college athletic competition ended in early May in front of about 100 or so parents and fans and a few passersby who stopped to watch Boston University dispatch the Wildcats 13 to 5 in the Pioneer Collegiate Lacrosse League quarterfinals.

Lacrosse can be a humbling sport.

"I definitely wish I could have played in front of bigger crowds," says Klotz, an attackman for the UNH Lacrosse Club. "But I've played lacrosse my whole life. There is just something about it. It's kind of like hockey, only it's played in the air."

Any sport where "attackmen" sling rock-hard rubber balls around at head level is going appeal to a select audience. But players like Klotz aren't in it for the glamour. The game may look chaotic, they say, but it's poetry in motion to the players.

"I love the team element more than anything," says Wildcats sophomore midfieldman Michael Maloney. "It's a lot more fun working as a group than working as an individual, and there are a lot of great guys on the team."

Both players shrug off the danger involved. The conference semifinal, a 14-5 victory over UConn, was stopped three times for player injury, and Klotz says a long list of injured players may have cost them the BU game. For both players, the team comes first, even off the field.

Klotz noted that the team is a club sport at UNH and the players have to handle the business end of team play, including booking flights and hotel accommodations. That's OK, says Maloney, because that just brings them all closer together.

"When I signed up I thought this would just be a bunch of guys that got together because they liked to play lacrosse," he says. "It's more than that. It's a team sport, and it's really fast, and I just love it."

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