Last season’s Msgr Farrell lacrosse team had high expectations. Throughout the season, there was a sense that something special was going on with the team. After being moved down a division from the previous year, it seemed as if the Lions had their new division “in the bag.”
“Our goal is to win three championships this season,” stated Coach Steve Lyman last season. Coach Lyman repeatedly preached that goal to the team all season long.
However, after a 7-6 loss in the Staten Island Shootout, and a 6-5 loss in the CHSAA championship game to Mt. St. Michael, the Lions failed to achieve their goals. It was a heartbreaking loss for the Lions, who had such high expectations before the season began.
But this is a new season, one in which the Lions will have an almost entirely new offense. Gone are Eric Birkhead and Advance All Stars James Vitucci and Eric Reiman. Despite losing those key scorers, the Lions still have the same expectations for 2012 as they did in 2011.
“I expect us to come up big where we had fallen short last year, which means winning the Staten Island Shootout as well as the CHSAA Championship,” said senior goalie Joe Lio, in a group with James Anderson, Mark Rini and Vin DiMare, which is returning to play their third and final year on the varsity.
The Farrell defense is expected to be their strength in 2012, paced by Anderson, DiMare, Kevin Will and Connor McManus. Despite losing their top scorers from 2011, Rini is expected to carry the Lions’ offense, with help from Mike Cambria and Anthony Locascio.
This season there will be 20 seniors on the team, which should help with leadership and set an example for the younger Lions. In addition to the numerous seniors on the roster, there are a number of underclassman who expect to have an impact for the Lions.
“I expect sophomore Paul Pizzo and freshman Kevin Buono to have a big impact on the scoreboard as well,” said Lio, who believes strong play by underclassmen will determine the Lions’ fate in the playoffs.
For the Lions to win in 2012, team chemistry, as well as unselfish play and focus, will have to be present. If that happens, the players are confident they can achieve their goals.