Bumpy road for club lacrosse leaves season limited to three games
Matt Gad—Sports Writer
A losing culture with the men’s lacrosse club came to a head this spring as the team was only able to play three games and also had to deal with the starting goaltender quitting right before the season began.
Sophomore, biochemistry major and club president Chanpasith Phongthachit, who was unable to play lacrosse before because there was no lacrosse team at Derby High School, decided to step up and fill the vacancy in goal since he had played the position during his soccer career.
“I was a goalie in high school, but for soccer,” he said. “So it was a totally different mindset and all, but my reflexes were good since I did face-offs last year and I stepped up because no one else did.” Phongthachit said he saw it as an obligation to move into the position of goaltender this year when they needed someone because he was the club president and remained committed to the team and the sport.
“I felt like it was my responsibility as the president of the club to step up into that position and I enjoyed it,” Phongthachit said.
The team went 1-2 this season. Playing Bridgeport on March 22 and winning 12-8, falling to Central Connecticut State 22-4 on March 24 and 12-3 to Westfield State April 2.
They had a ten-game schedule, but games against Stonehill, Central Connecticut State, New Haven, Bridgewater State, Worchester Polytechnical Institute and Worchester State never happened, as the team was forced to cancel them due to varying reasons.
“Kids got hurt or had other commitments that came up during game times,” coach Casey Trasacco said. “I thought we’d have 18-20 kids [on the team] but we ended up with 14. We had fall ball [and] I had meetings during the fall, but kids decided they had other things that they had to take care of.”
Trassacco, who also coaches on the football staff, took over the club this season, and, after seeing how this spring went, he wants to continue to build up the program from scratch going forward.
He played on the team in 2012 and graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Recreation and Leisure and a Master’s degree in Sport and Entertainment Management and said there is a bit of a culture change that needs to take place.
“The [former] coach wasn’t there all time so kids could come and go as they pleased, and you’re not gonna be successful doing that,” Trasacco said.
In a recruiting effort, he said he has contacted local high school coaches to let their players know that, if they are coming to Southern, that there is a club team here. He used to coach at Wilbur Cross High School in New Haven, and is familiar with a lot of the schools and programs in the area.
“We’re just trying to turn the whole program around; there’s a new executive board and new coaches. Basically, everyone left and this is program is basically starting from the ground up and it can only get better from here,” Phongthachit said.
Since Trasacco is an assistant with the football program, he said it has become easier to secure field time and things of that nature. The NCAA programs have priority over the athletic facilities, but since he is a coach on one of those programs he said he is aware of things such as practice times.
“Working on the football staff, I know when they’re going to be using the turf,” he said, “and I’ve spoken with other people in athletics to keep everything running smoothly. In the past, the previous coach would kind of get into it about field time and no one wins in that situation, especially not at Southern… the football coaches all went to Southern and it’s one big family.”