After practice one day this season, Woodbridge senior midfielder Kyle Wright decided to pop one of his favorite videos into the VCR. His mother films every one of his lacrosse games, cataloging every assist, game-winning shot and helmet-to-helmet hit, and Wright decided to watch one that had all three elements: Woodbridge's first game of the season last year, against Osbourn Park.
In that game, Wright had two pancake-style hits, two goals and the game-winning assist, a pass to senior attackman Josh Bryce, who scored with 11 seconds remaining to give the Vikings a 10-9 victory.
Of course, Wright had to rely on his memory to fill in the aftermath, as an ecstatic crowd blocked out much of his mother's cinematography.
"Watching the tape, [Bryce] was wide open, he filled the lane perfectly and shot into the back right corner perfectly," Wright said. "You couldn't see the end because everyone was jumping in front of the camera. But, I love to go through [the tapes] and watch them to see what to do and stuff like that. And then I like to replay the hits over and over again in slow motion."
Bryce and Wright hope to create more highlights this year for Woodbridge, as both return to the team that last season won the Cardinal District title and advanced to the Northwestern Region semifinals.
Both Bryce and Wright were named All-Extra, all-Cardinal District and second-team all-Northwestern Region last season.
Bryce finished with 42 goals, including game-winning goals against Osbourn Park and Colonial Forge, and Wright ended the season with 38 goals and 17 assists.
"I've known Kyle for a long time, and we've been playing together a long time now, and a lot of times I think we know what the other is going to do," Bryce said. "If I start cutting, I know he has the confidence to throw me the ball, or if I throw him the ball, I know he's going to catch it. There's just a confidence level between the two of us. We trust each other."
Bryce, who has been playing lacrosse since the fifth grade, will be called upon to use his stick skills and accurate shot to provide the Vikings with offense. After leading the team in scoring each of the past two seasons, Bryce is much quicker after losing 20 pounds, and he also added a left-handed shot to his repertoire of moves and fakes.
"I used to not be as fast, and I've done a lot of stuff to try to get in shape," said Bryce, who is deciding between playing at Division II Queen's University in Charlotte or Division III Virginia Wesleyan University. "I'll get that quick burst of speed to get by a defender, I've done it many a time, but I'm not going to draw anybody outside and dodge them."
Wright already has made his college decision, committing to Notre Dame de Namur, a small Division II school in Belmont, Calif. Wright, whose game is predicated on speed and strength, won 70 percent of his faceoffs last season and believes he can do better this year.
In a practice accident with a teammate, Wright lost one of his front teeth and chipped three others and is hoping his hockey-player smile gives him and the team an edge as they attempt to advance through the regional tournament.
"To see how close we came last year, to make it to the semifinals in regionals, coming off a 5-6 season to go to 12-1, I know that we have the potential," Wright said. "I think we'll make it easily through districts, go to regionals, push through there and make it on to states."