“We’re very young,” said new head coach Tom Schlappich (who was the assistant to head coach Jan Bonanza the past three years). “We lost most of our top players in Ethan Pcolar, Ryan Burchell, Peter Behnke, goalkeeper Dan Lichenstein, Drew Waldron, and had major injuries to Josh Dugan and John Quinn before last season began, so it’s almost like a new team this year and we’re hoping to raise the bar a bit -- hope for little victories -- impressing upon the young guys to focus on those little things that can make us better.”
Schlappich will be counting on a core of returnees from last season in junior attacker Will Purdy, senior defender Ben Smith, junior midfielders Matt Quinn and Lucas Canino, plus promising sophomores Quinn Halligan and Sal Mazzella. Add to the core junior keeper Ben Eckerson. “It’s not going to be an easy season, playing some outside-the-area big schools plus our regular schedule (one game each against Section 9 opponents), but there’s no other way to improve than to play the good teams,” added Schlappich.
The Huskies got off to a slow start on the season, dropping a 10-2 decision to Washingtonville and 13-3 to Clarkstown North. One of the bright spots has been Purdy, who scored both goals against Washingtonville and had two against Clarkstown, with the other goal going to Kieran McInerney. Highland keeper Eckerson had 40 saves in the two games.
The New Paltz boys were winless in their first two seasons and new head coach Ron Constable (replacing Barry Lipsius) is hoping that the few returnees mesh with all his younger players and that the Huguenots can get that first win under their belt.
“We’ll just give every game our best shot, be more competitive than the past two years and just keep developing good lacrosse players,” said Constable. This year’s core group are junior captains Thomas Hull and Andre Shatalov, plus senior keeper Noah Lynch and jack-of-all positions senior Shane Murawa, and freshman midfielder Aodhan Fogarty.
And like with their counterparts at Highland, the season is off to a slow start, despite a five-goal outburst from Murawa in the 13-6 loss to Middletown (Fogarty scored the sixth New Paltz goal). Lynch had 12 saves in the loss. The Huguenots also dropped a 10-2 decision to FDR, with Fogarty and Shatalov scoring and Lynch knocking down 10 more shots.
And like with the boys’ team, the New Paltz girls are struggling just to be competitive, but do return almost their entire team from last season, led by senior attacker Charlotte Bloom, sophomore wing Katie Capulli, junior wing Jordan Berger, junior home player Maris Logan and third-year keeper Alexa Hartmayer.
And again, like their male counterparts from New Paltz and Highland, the Huguenots dropped their first two games of the season: to Middletown 10-3 and Burke 10-4. Jordan Berger, Capulli and Mia Goldman scored against Middletown, with Hartmayer making eight saves; and Berger scored twice against Burke, with Capulli and Bloom garnering the other goals. Hartmayer had seven saves against the Eagles.
All three teams are 0-2 after the season’s first week.