Lacrosse Captain to Defend New Territory

"It will be weird not having him in the house," added Spatafore, a New Jersey native who considers the Resch's to be his second family. "I used to go to his family dinners and I now call his brothers and sisters my brothers and sisters. I know they will still be there for me going forward."

With Spatafore being the team's vocal and emotional leader, Resch has served as the on-field tactician, constantly talking and helping underclassmen with the X's and O's of the game. The rest of the "original guys" remain intact as leaders, but with Resch gone, the team may see a few young players have their number called a bit earlier than expected.

"We are as mature as we have ever been, so our biggest challenge this year will be to replace Steve as a player," Hartnett explained. "I think this will open up some great opportunities for other defensemen. It's always tough to lose the guy who you match-up on your opponent's best offensive threats, but we will have to adjust."

Meanwhile, Resch is attempting to adjust to a schedule without lacrosse.

"I went to the team's first practice to see some people, and it just tore me up," Resch said. "I was so down in the dumps after I left because I wanted to play so bad. Lacrosse has always been my passion, but I've also wanted to join the army since I was a little kid, so this is my focus now. I'm definitely more excited than nervous."

Hartnett and Resch have made sure to stay in touch the last few months, and Resch hopes to catch the first handful of home games this season before deploying. There won't be any confusion from fans as to who is No. 4, because nobody will be wearing it this spring.

Resch plans to finish his degree after returning home in 2014, followed by pursuing a lacrosse coaching career. He is eager to carry on the principles and fundamentals gathered over the last few years in college.

"I want to coach lacrosse and be involved with it for the rest of my life," he said. "My time at Otterbein has taught me so much about the way I want to live."

Soon, Otterbein men's lacrosse will take the next step as a program with a push towards qualifying for the postseason. Regardless of how anything plays out in the future, we can all remember where it started ... . with the first member of the team, Steve Resch.

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