Men’s lacrosse season preview

Senior Eddie Hill will be one of several players to carry the offensive load for the Hawks this season.

Andrew Hart & Megan Julian, Herald Contributors

Graduating a class of seniors is not always the easiest thing to do, but when you say goodbye to six players and your leader in points and assists, the job does not get any easier.

However, the Hawks are building the 2018 spring season off a 9-8 2017 campaign when they finished fourth in the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC), headlined by their top two returning goal scorers, sophomore Jude Marzec (32 goals) and senior Eddie Hill (30 goals), and an experienced defense.

When asked what separates this team from previous teams, Head Coach Marty Kelly referenced the 17 freshmen on the team and how there are a lot more newcomers seeing time than in the past. Kelly also explained that “there is a lot more youth starting this year.”

As far as expectations for the 2018 season, Kelly said that he expects the team will be pretty good. As always though, he explained, “our goal is to win the conference every year, and that’s tough.” Besides making it to his fifth conference championship game, Kelly just wants the team to get better every week and make a smooth transition into the season with their classes and other school related activities.

In terms of any players that have a chance to step up this season, Kelley referenced everybody. Besides the incoming freshman, Kelly stated the fact that the team has five captains, and that he holds a lot of expectations on and off the field for them. In addition, Kelly noted that he looks forward to seeing his players mature.

“There are a lot of sophomores and juniors that got time last year, and I’m looking forward to seeing the maturity in them,” he said.

The team seemed electric when they walked onto the field Tuesday evening for practice. Their energy was contagious once they heard their warm-up playlist blasting through the speakers. The boys cheered knowing that practice had to be high energy, but controlled. Gabe Reale, a freshman attacker, is confident in the team.

“We are a pretty young team but we have a lot of freshmen that could do a lot of damage on the team this year. There is not a lot of upperclassmen, but I feel we can have a positive winning season,” said Reale.

Reale’s plans for the season are to be a consistent player on the second line and scoring goals. During practice the team’s passes were crisp, focusing on their throwing and catching techniques.

Tim Mullane, also a freshman attacker, looks to stay healthy this season and benefit the team in any way that he possibly can.

“Statistics don’t really matter to me,” he said.

He wants the team to take the season game by game. He feels the team has a lot of depth and talent to go all the way this year and overall the team is looking to make it to the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) championship. Mullane says he is looking forward to playing on a new team this season and believes it will be a lot of fun.

“Everyone on the team wants to be here,” Mullane said. “It’s the best when everyone wants to play their best and enjoys what they are doing.”

Reale is looking forward to playing alongside his brother, junior Danny Reale, again this season.  

“It’s a big thing,” he said. “I didn’t get to play with him much in high school and now that I get to play with him again it’s pretty cool.”

At the end of practice, the team zeroed in on playing strong and aggressive in a scrimmage against one another. With the practice coming to an end, each player wanted to give everything they have knowing that tomorrow was the beginning of their new season. Even though the competitive edge between teammates is present, the atmosphere the team has built thus far seemed positive.

The boys are looking forward to their first game of the season. They play here at Bayside Field on Wednesday, Feb. 28 at 4 p.m. against Lasell College.