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May 17, 2015; Annapolis, MD, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels attack Jimmy Bitter #4 has his helmet knocked off in a check by Maryland Terrapins midfielder Henry West #38 and defender Mac Pons in the first quarter of the NCAA Quarterfinals at the Navy-Marine Corps Stadium in Annapolis, MD.

I love playoffs. The NCAA lacrosse tournament has been in full swing for the last few weeks and I’ve been fortunate to document it for a variety of clients new and old. The action and emotion is on high as it’s win or go home. I’m drawn to little moments that show a different side to competition and the athlete. This definitely isn’t one of those moments.

Finding peak action is part skill, intuition and luck. There was a surprising number of photographers on the sidelines for this game and they were lined up shooting on the sideline opposite the benches. It’s a decent way to shoot the game because you can freely roam the sideline, the problem is everybody is shooting from that side. I like to roam and go where others aren’t shooting, so I made my way over to the bench sideline and just waited for North Carolina to come back down on offense. Bench side you can’t run behind the teams easily so you have to go all the way around. Lacrosse is a very fast game, sure enough the Tar Heels caught a break and were fast approaching, but missed the shot. North Carolina #4 Jimmy Bitter brought the ball out from behind the net and it looked like he had all the room in the world, until both defenders closed in. You could feel the hit and knew something big happened. Maryland went on to crush UNC to advance to the Final Four.

Being on the sidelines with other photographers, my competitive spirit comes out and I want to make the best photo of the game, to do that you have to take risks.

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