Much has been made of the changes the Black Wolves made on the defensive end during the offseason.
On offense, however, the faces have remained the same. For Reilly O’Connor, that consistency is a key to success.
“The main core is still here from last year so it’s just another year of chemistry and we hit the ground running against the Swarm,” he said. “It’s a lot of fun being with this crew. Training camp was phenomenal and obviously game one was great. We’re just looking to keep building and keep improving because I believe we have a phenomenal team here and we can do a lot of successful things this year.”
The forward had a career year last season, his first in New England, with career-highs in points (51), goals (18), assists (33) and loose balls. However, O’Connor is quick to credit his teammates and a balanced approach for his success.
“There are a lot of great players around me, so they draw attention, so my success is because of those guys,” He explained. “It’s not saying ‘I want to get X amount of goals, I want to get x amount of points this game.’ It’s just playing the game, letting it come to me and playing with confidence because I think I’ve shown I can do it. It’s really making the most of my opportunities and doing my job on the offensive end.”
O’Connor, who had a successful collegiate career at Georgetown before being drafted seventh overall by the Calgary Roughnecks in the 2015 NLL Entry Draft, also knows giving back to the game is just as important. He currently coaches at The Hill Academy in Ontario, working with high school student-athletes as well as programs outside of the school, teaching the game to kids who are just learning the sport.
“At the school, it’s really competitive and intense, where with the younger kids it’s a lot of fun,” he said. “The main thing with them isn’t wins and loses, but developing them as better lacrosse players.”
With coaching as a passion, O’Connor is looking to parlay both of his careers into one eventually.
“I want to play in the NLL as long as I possibly can and then hopefully I can shift right into coaching in the NLL because I think it’s the best lacrosse league in the world,” O’Connor said.