Men’s and Women’s lacrosse teams get big wins
By Gerald Lima
The men’s lacrosse team starts the season of strong with a record of 9-1, including a 3-player Hat Trick by sophomores Anthony Perrotta, Matt Speciale, and Vincent Ferraro in the 19-7 win over Centenary College Saturday March 29 to extend its winning streak to seven games.
“Attack, middle, and defense are all solid,” Head Coach Shelley Sheiner said.
Sheiner has had much success with the program, and it continues to succeed, as the Cougars are still undefeated at home with only four home games left.
“Right now, honestly it doesn’t mean anything,” Sheiner said. “It’s one game at time and, we keep playing to win. We don’t care about winning streaks, we care about winning the next game, and that’s all we care about.”
Despite the seniors lost from last season, the Cougars right on track to tie up its winning record of last season 15-3 or improve its record.
“Strong start is real credit to the seniors,” Sheiner said. “The key factors have been the senior leadership. We have great senior leadership with Richard Cheifitz, Zach William, and Joe Voto our three senior captains’, but all my seniors including Daniel Vitale, Dino Vitale, John Amalfe, Marc Zolchonock, and John Marcelli.”
The Cougars had no conference games in the first half of the season, but going into the second half of the season the Cougars have seven games remaining, which six of them are conference games.
“Conference games are coming up, and we are just focusing on winning,” Sheiner said. “The plan is to win the conference, and go to the NCAA tournament.”
Sheiner said in an earlier interview young guys need to step up, and one of those guys was Attacker Matt Speciale that leads the Cougars in scoring with 26 goals, and adding 10 assists.
“Key to our success is to play more minutes,” Sheiner said in a pervious interview.
Sheiner received a congratulating handshake from his mentor Steven Jacobson after the win at home against the University of Scranton.
“I will not [be] coaching if not for this man. Gave me my starting coaching job,” Sheiner added. “Our seniors stood up today. Scranton is a great team, they been an NCAA tournament team. This was a great win getting them at home.”
According to Sheiner, the Cougars won’t change its plans from last season since it just keeps working.
“Yeah that’s it,” Sheiner said. “We are what we are. We had a strong start last year too, and we were 13-1 at one point. The focus is one opponent at a time, and play turnover free lacrosse.”
The Cougars look to keep the home-winning streak going on Wednesday April 2 against SUNY Maritime College at 7p.m.
Meanwhile, the women’s lacrosse team started the season strong with a four-game winning streak, and since hit a bumpy road dropping three of its last five games.
“We have been talking a lot about consistency,” Head Coach Jordan Trautman said. “For us our challenge is consistency, and coming out every practice, every game and performing in the way we know we can. Sort of finding our consistency and our identity. We are continuing to improve every single day.”
Trautman in her second season in the lacrosse program has the cougars with a record of 6-3 halfway through the season.
“This year everyone on our offense is a threat.” Senior captain Ciara Mastrodomenico said. “We have all sort of players, who can score, catch, and throw. Every single one of our players is threat on our offense and defense wise too. There is a lot more communication, and we are a little more together this year.”
The Cougars 15-12 win over Fairleigh Dickinson University Monday afternoon was an important win for the team.
“We just came of a lost in Arcadia,” Trautman said. “I think for just momentum and confidence in believing in our system. Its good to bounce back, and have a big win like this.”
The Cougars second half of the season consists of six conference games, and three of them being at home.
“Conference play goes up a notch. Trautman said. “The kids focus, and the level of intensity and competiveness in practice and in games definitely goes up and I think the kids recognize that.”
Sophomore midfield/defender Jordan Blanda is the cougars leading scorer with 26 goals, and adding four assists and 30 points.
“We are very balanced on the field,” senior captain attacker Julie Knodt said. “Every single person is a threat on the field, off the field, and everywhere they are.”
Knodt has scored 14 goals during the season with a combination of five assists and 19 points.
“We move forward,” Trautman said. “Taking steps forward, but definitely taking a more competitive mentally.”
According to Mastrodomenico the win over FDU was huge.
“This was a huge win for us,” Mastrodomenico said. “It is a big confidence booster and it’s an important win for us.”
The Cougars are ready to keep pushing all the way to then end, and according to Trautman they aren’t giving up and will just keep on improving and do what they are doing because they are a strong team.
“We needed this win,” Knodt said.
The Cougars will kick off its first conference game at home against Rowan University Saturday April 5 at 1 pm.