Men’s lacrosse season preview: The road to winning the conference

Captian Evan Downey pictured above. Photo by Hope Daluisio

Now that spring break is over, Cabrini’s men’s lacrosse season is in full swing. Their home opener was on Feb. 18 against the Haverford College Fords and ended with a 13-10 win.

“The first game went well, we came out strong but got a little too comfortable and let Haverford come back into the game,” senior captain Evan Downey said. “We are a young team so there is always things we can learn from each game.”

With a win in their home opener followed by two more wins the Cavs are looking forward to a promising season. The win against Haverford marks the team’s sixth consecutive season opening win.

“I think we played well for most of the game, the fourth quarter we kind of let up a little bit,” assistant coach and defense coordinator P.T. Ricci said. “We have a lot of new guys playing, a lot of freshmen and sophomores who didn’t see a lot of minutes. Overall I was happy with the effort.”

Being such a young team, captains Evan Downey and Steve Halko both work hard to help the new team members get adjusted.

“The biggest thing coming in as a freshman is getting the nerves out of the way,” Downey said. “Your first college game can be a very exciting thing and it can throw you off your game if you let it. The biggest thing I try to do for the young guys is settle them down and let them know they earned the time they are getting on the field.”

Compared to playing in high school, college lacrosse is a lot different. This season there are 17 freshmen on the team.

“As a freshman and being from out of state it’s definitely a little intimidating coming into a team environment where everyone is already so close,” freshmen Tommy DeLuca said. “But the captains were right there to help all of us the first day we got here. Myself and the rest of the freshmen have become really close with the entire team so we don’t really feel like new guys anymore which is great.”

The freshmen on the team are making the most of their time that they get playing including DeLuca. DeLuca was able to break his way into the starting line up as a freshmen, recording his first big defensive play in their home opener against Haverford.

“I think we did really well in our first few games,” DeLuca said. “We had a long spring break trip with a lot of time on a bus but we stayed focused the entire time and managed to play as hard as we could’ve each game.”

The boys grabbed their first away win against Lynchburg College, crushing the Hornets 13-7. DeLuca caused two turnovers to add to his previous two against Haverford.

Downey is starting off his senior season on fire with 10 goals in the first four games.

“The season looks bright for us we have a lot of returners on the offensive side of the ball,” Downey said. “Our defense is young but are very talented. We have a tough out of conference schedule that should prepare us a lot come may for the NCAA tournament.”

The season is looking promising for the team and they are eager to head towards the NCAA tournament. They are working on staying healthy and continuously practicing in order to grab more wins.

“Every year we prepare to win a national championship,” Ricci said. “Obviously you want to win a conference championship and you want to make a run in the NCAA tournament, so ideally we want to get a home game in the first or second round in the tournament and go from there.”