Nate Steinhoff a Steady Strength for Medway Lax

Christopher Tremblay, Staff Sports Writer
Nate Steinhoff, headed to the University of Maine next year, faced a tough mental hurdle sitting on the sidelines from injuries this year. The reliable center for Mustangs LAX was a key component of several wins this year.
Issue Date: 
July, 2019
Article Body: 

Nate Steinhoff began playing hockey at a very young age, but a few years later he started to watch his older brother Ben playing lacrosse and soon, it was something that he had to try.
“I had played one year of tee-ball and didn’t really enjoy it, so I was looking for something new,” he said. “My brother was playing lacrosse and it looked fun, so I decided to give it a try. Lacrosse is a much faster paced game that’s free flowing, and you can be creative.”
Having been a Tri-Valley League All-Star and MVP for the hockey team, Steinhoff is looking to do the same for the lacrosse team in his final season at Medway. On the ice, he was Medway’s leading scorer this past season and found himself second in scoring with 57 points (36 goals and 21 assists) on the lacrosse field.
“My goal coming into the season was to help lead my team into the post-season and past the (Division 3 Central / East) Sectional Finals and hopefully win a State Championship,” Steinhoff said. “Individually, I had picked up my scoring because we had lost a lot of talent on that side of the field and needed to fill those vacancies, but I still feel I could have done more.”
Last spring, the Mustangs earned themselves a number four seed in the tournament and cruised into the championship game with wins against Oakmont and Littleton, the number one seed, before running into Dover-Sherborn. The Raiders would go on and capture the title with a 16-8 win over Medway and eventually lose in the State Championship game to Cohasset.
Upon first joining lacrosse, where his dad was his first coach, he found himself playing midfield, a position that allowed him to roam on both sides of the field.
“While I like playing both positions, I was more comfortable playing defense as I felt that I’m more inclined at keeping people out of our zone, he said.
Ironically, when he’s on the ice, Steinhoff plays center for the Mustangs.
Having found his way onto the varsity team by his sophomore year, Steinhoff has been a dominant and very reliable player from his midfielder position all three years.
“He’s been a leader for us his entire career; one who leads by example and the younger kids look up to,” Medway Coach Chris Harvey said. “This year, he’s had some very key games for us like when he scored three goals against Westboro and added 5 goals and an assist in the Dedham game. He also is our top player on ground balls.”
Unfortunately, while his team has been having success this season it has been a somewhat frustrating one for the senior captain at times as he has been battling injuries. About three quarters of the way through the season he pulled his hamstring in addition to getting hit in the Bishop Feehan game that led to a shoulder injury.
“The hamstring injury was easy to work around. I could just take it easy and allow my teammates to do more as I sat back against some teams,” he said, “While during the harder teams I would tough it out and play to my ability to help the team win.”
While Steinhoff was able to work around his hamstring, the shoulder was a totally different scenario, which put him in as spot he was not accustomed to.
“The shoulder, I knew right away that I was in trouble as I couldn’t lift my arm above my head and needed to take games off to work with my trainer and do PT, so I couldn’t play,” Steinhoff said. “That was very difficult. The team went 1-2, and I had to just sit there and watch knowing that there was nothing that I could do. It drove me crazy, as I love being on the field helping my team in any way that I can.”
Coach Harvey concurred that senior captain is someone the team relies on heavily when he’s on the field.
“When Nate is healthy we can always count on him. He’s a steady player, who’s at the right place at the right time,” the Mustang Coach said. “He is a key and clutch individual and when the game is on the line we definitely want the ball in his hands.”
Before heading to the University of Maine, where he will most likely play club hockey, Steinhoff is hoping that he and his Mustang teammates can avenge last year’s championship lose. Medway will host Holliston in the first round of the tournament and once they take out the Panthers they will most likely, bar any major upsets, will have to hook up again with Dover-Sherborn in the Semi Finals.