Men’s lacrosse team keeps working toward playoffs
Bobby Martinez – Sports Writer
Prior to their matchup against rival Central Connecticut State University Blue Devils [CCSU], Anthony LoRicco, head coach for the Owls men’s lacrosse team, said, he is excited to see how this season plays out, but the bad winter has caused some setbacks that can affect the flow and chemistry of the team, but thinks his team will make it through just fine.
“Chemistry comes with the result of experience,” said LoRicco. “We have all of about, four or five outings on the field up until this game [CCSU matchup] due to the winter. I think we know the talent is there. We haven’t been able to capitalize on the chemistry such as, these guys knowing how each guy plays on a consistent basis.”
LoRicco added in regards to their matchup between the Blue Devils, “Now, whether we rise to the hugest challenge so far which is against CCSU, it will be interesting to see how these boys are going to react.”
And that they did. It was a close game in the first quarter, both teams neck-and-neck, but the Owls squeezed away after the first quarter with a 4-3 lead. The second quarter was no different. The Owls scored a season high, five goals in the second quarter and took control from there on out winning the game, 15-12. The Owls improved to 1-2 in the Pioneer Collegiate Lacrosse League [PCLL south division] and 1-3 overall. As for the Blue Devils, they dropped to 1-2 in the PCLL division and 3-4 overall.
One of Owls captains, Christos Kehagias [midfielder] who is sidelined for the remainder of the season after suffering an anterior cruciate ligament [ACL] a few weeks ago, said his team played a very good game and managed to control the entire game.
“We were up the whole time,” he said. “The team is coming together and getting better-and-better, game-by-game. The offense is attacking and scoring how they should. They want to score, and they can at will.”
But losing a player like Kehagias affects the team as far as on field presence and leadership. A senior, whose energy and speed on the field makes it hard for the opposing team to matchup against, will be back on the field next season where at the moment, is waiting on x-ray results to determine whether or not he will need surgery.
LoRicco said injuries can happen to any player, it’s a part of sports and teams have to adjust. He also added, “Not one individual scenario represents the bigger picture. Unfortunately as a team, we have to deal with all sorts of adversity, whether its work or school. These kids work hard in school and play hard, and these kids can get injured. It’s a tremendous loss. But it also creates an opportunity for someone who may have been inspired the way Christos works so hard and gave such a great effort every time.”
Despite this club still trying to find its identity since opening up in 2009, LoRicco, who took over as coach in 2011, has seen rock bottom these past few years by tallying up a record of 3-40. LoRicco still has high hopes for this program due to the young talent on his team he said.
With a 3-8 record last season, LoRicco said there are numerous things he has learned as a coach from last season, heading into this season and believes this programs future is very bright.
“In keeping with what I find unique and interesting about this program,” said LoRicco, “is that it’s heavily student involved. What we’ve done differently this year from last year, is, reaping the benefits of the continued involvement of these students. A lot of groundwork has been laid earlier in the year to get better numbers, better participation and enthusiasm throughout the team. I think our depth is growing through the commitment that these boys are making to have a competitive lacrosse program at Southern and its starting to show.”
The Owls have five games remaining in the season and hope to make the playoffs for the first time in club history.