MDI, Men's, New Jersey

Bieda Set to Captain Rutgers MLAX

0 Comments 12 January 2016

Scott Bieda, Rutgers Men's Lacrosse

PISCATAWAY, N.J. – Anyone trying to find Scott Bieda last week knew exactly where to look. Rutgers men’s lacrosse doesn’t officially start practice until Wednesday, but for Bieda, a senior attacker, it never really ends.

Semester break for Bieda simply meant more time to work on his game. So whether it was alone or with a handful of teammates, Bieda could usually be found last week on the F-3 practice field, making sure that if he falls short of any of his expectations for a season that begins on Feb. 13 when St. John’s visits it won’t be for lack of effort or preparation.

“It’s just kind of always been my thing to have that kind of work ethic,” said Bieda. “My dad has hounded me since I was young and sometimes he was tough on me when other kids were just having fun playing. He kept after me about the hard work and discipline. He told me it would pay off and I thank him every day for it. I don’t even think about it now. I just go out on the practice field whenever there’s time and that’s my mentality and that’s how my mindset is.”

Bieda has never tried to impress anyone with his work habits. But it’s impossible not to notice.

Just ask Rutgers head coach Brian Brecht, who has named the former Bridgewater-Raritan (N.J.) High School standout the Scarlet Knights’ only team captain for 2016. Bieda was one of four to serve in that role last year.

“When you watch guys play – in any sport at any level – you can see who has size and ability and a presence about them,” said Brecht. “But until you see someone every day in the locker room you can’t determine their leadership ability. Scott is one of the few who is dynamic as a person – his grit, his will, his dedication and his work ethic.

“I’d like to think that our coaching staff has done a lot to improve his game but truth be told he’s done a lot on his own. He’s the first one in the locker room and he’s the last one to leave. We talk about it all of the time. The player you want to become on the field is going to happen outside of practice. Just like the student you want to become academically happens outside of the classroom. That’s why he’s a talented student and that’s why he is such a talent on the field.”

The combination of Bieda’s talent and his dogged determination to improve have him on the cusp of school history. If he duplicates his season from a year ago, when he led Rutgers in goals (30), assists (28) and points (58), he will crack the top 10 in all three career categories for the Scarlet Knights.

“Rutgers lacrosse has a tremendous tradition. There are some great names if you look at some of the all-time lists,” he said. “It would be unbelievable to be in the top 10 of any of those categories. Since I’ve been here I always worked hard for things like that but never really thought it would happen.

“But honestly, I try not to look at it. I try not to look at stats and points. I just go out and play and if we win and I have no goals I don’t care. I’m a team-first guy. I want to see everyone on this team succeed and I want to see Rutgers succeed as a program. If I have half as many points as I did last year but we make it to the NCAA Tournament I did my job.”

Bieda knows he is being counted on to deliver for a team looking to build off a 5-10 record a year ago that included a 17-10 victory over No. 10 Ohio State to end the season, a one-goal loss to National runner-up Maryland, and a two-goal loss to Final Four qualifier Johns Hopkins.

“I came here with two goals my freshman year,” Bieda said. “One was to play and the other was by my sophomore year to get into the Business School. It was important to me to come to a program like Rutgers and being able to go to a Business School with a great reputation. I worked every day academically and on the field and it worked out.”

Bieda wound up playing in all 15 games as a freshman, starting 10. The 5-9, 165-pounder then earned second-team All-Big East honors as a sophomore. He was a First-Team All-Big Ten selection a year ago.

Bieda is also in the School of Business, being accepted his sophomore year. He currently sports a 3.3 GPA.

“A lot of what he has accomplished has to do with who he is as person,” said Brecht. “Not just on the field, but as a person. When he came here he was in the school of Arts and Sciences and earned his way into the School of Business, just like he wanted to. There’s a determination about him in the classroom and on the field.”

Being a co-captain as a junior and now the only one as a senior is a responsibility Bieda takes seriously. And, of course, something he works hard at.

“It’s definitely a privilege to be a captain,” he said. “You don’t just get handed to be a captain. It’s something that I worked for since I got here freshman year. I think it’s probably more the result of my actions than talking because people see I put in the hard work and the extra time and hopefully it inspires others to do the same.

“It’s been that way for me since freshman year. When I first got here there weren’t many guys doing extra work. Now that I’m a senior I see plenty of guys out there doing extra work, keeping the lights on. It’s something I’ve started and others have followed.

“The important thing, I think, is that I don’t think I’ve changed. I’ve just been who I am and I think that’s part of what makes a captain a captain. You don’t change to be a captain. You’re built that way. That’s who you are. So I haven’t changed who I am.”

No one – Brecht especially – would want him to.

By Tom Luicci


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