By Victoria Mickens — STAFF WRITER
When you go to a Hofstra men’s lacrosse game there is no doubt that you have heard the name Brian von Bargen being broadcasted throughout James M. Shuart stadium this season. Von Bargen is a senior midfielder who has contributed greatly to the Pride’s current 8-4 overall record, 2-1 in the CAA.
The Wantagh, New York, native just celebrated his 22nd birthday on March 30 and has been playing lacrosse since he was in first grade. Although basketball and football played major roles in his athleticism, von Bargen always had a passion for lacrosse.
“[Lacrosse] really grabbed my eye so I just stuck with it,” von Bargen said.
Yet, he also mentions that he misses football, especially when he watches NFL games. He received multiple football awards throughout his time at Wantagh High School.
To ensure a solid finishing season, von Bargen has actively worked to improve his strategy, technique and overall fitness. Yet, he has seen the most noticeable results in his mindset and overall focus.
“Just going out the way I want to,” von Bargen said about his approach to this season. “Last year was tough, [finishing the 2015 season at] 5-9. Just having the focus and this is my last year of lacrosse so I might as well give it my all.”
His current stats can attest to this as he has scored 24 goals this season with 29 points and five assists. He’s currently the third-best scorer on the team with the fourth-highest total amount of points.
Von Bargen was motivated by the lack of performance from seasons before and he evaluated his performance to work out all of the problem areas.
“The focus from the summer after that loss [in the 2015 regular season finale] I worked hard and I really just developed my game and really focused on what I needed to be good at,” said von Bargen detailing most of this work during the off season, which was a mental endeavor.
The 22 year old didn’t have it easy when he first started his college career with the Pride. Von Bargen scored 15 goals across his first three years in a Hofstra uniform.
He credits one individual who helped him break out of his shell prior to his senior year.
“Coach Jimmy … he has all different and new tactics and he helped me out,” von Bargen said. “[Coach said] just keep going and maybe when I’m not really on my game they say to keep focus and keep fighting.”
There is a lot of camaraderie amongst this pack of athletes. In fact, most of them live together in a house and spend most of their time with one another. Von Bargen finds himself closest with two fellow players in particular, senior Sam Llinares and junior Josh Byrne.
“We just get along and we get each other,” von Bargen said. “It’s all about being good guys. They stick by my side through thick and thin and just always [have] my back.”
Von Bargen values the bonds he’s made with his teammates. Although he does not even hesitate for a second when asked who his biggest inspiration is.
“My dad. He played football at C.W. Post and just his work ethic and the way he [carries] himself. He comes to every game,” von Bargen said.
During his time on the field, von Bargen focuses on the task at hand and shuts out most of the background noise.
“I go game deaf [when playing] other than the coaches and the sideline I don’t really hear anything,” von Bargen said. “I don’t really get affected by the crowd, the big thing is the sidelines. The sidelines energy is something I pick up on. It’s always fun playing in the rain getting out there, so it was good.”
Von Bargen is very comfortable with balancing school and lacrosse as a senior pursuing a major in criminology. Yet, the biggest challenge he faces this season is coping with competing in the remaining time left before his colligate career ends.
“Just coming out and playing a good game [is most important] because it’s a ticking time clock and I only have so many left,” von Bargen said.