With the losses of seniors Jimmy VanDerKar and Brett Quillia, the Spartan lacrosse team had some holes to fill for this season. The additions of defensive coach Brian Kingsbury and freshmen Kevin McCarthy and Dave DeGhetto should help fill the void, according to head coach Dave Wiezalis.
“He has a tremendous amount of wealth in coaching knowledge in the defensive end,” Wiezalis said of Kingsbury. “He has a lot to bring, a lot to share. It’s just a matter of how much the guys can absorb.”
Junior attackman Korey Counos praised Kingsbury as well.
“It’s finally starting. Our defense is starting to show up because of Kingsbury,” said Counos. “He brings a lot of vocals to the team. We need a vocal leader. If we keep working at it, and listen to our coaches, we have a very good shot at the conference title this year.”
Wiezalis said Kingsbury is part of the answer to defeating Mount Ida in the conference tournament. Another part of the answer is attackman McCarthy.
“Kevin McCarthy, by far, is probably one of our top freshmen,” Wiezalis said. “He has already proven himself on the field to be an assist leader, as well as a points and goal leader. He just has the skills to get immediate attention.”
McCarthy said his focus is to contribute to the team as much as he can this season, whatever he can do to help win. He noted the change of game compared to high school, saying that it is bigger, faster and stronger. He added that he thinks the team is looking better in every game.
Junior midfielder and last season’s goal leader, Mike Martinez, applauded McCarthy’s start to the season.
“I had four goals, and I think he had assists on two or three of my goals,” Martinez said. “He’s a freshman and a starting attackman. He’s a really good player. I’ve had chemistry with him since day one.”
Last season the attack was saw flashes of brilliance by Mike DelDotto, and Phil Barry. The midfield was a mixture of Jake Rick snagging the ground balls left over from Van Der Kar, and Martinez finding his corner and embarrassing opposing goaltenders. Another major factor to the Spartans this season is going to be senior defensemen Jason Jakimer and Patrick Duffy. The core of this defensive group is senior goaltender Mike Mamunes.
“Our goal is to keep all the shots on the outside,” said Mamunes. “Coach expects me and Dave [DeGhetto] to stop all those shots.”
The Spartans were 6-1 in conference play last season, and have already opened up this season with a 1-0 record in the conference, 1-2 overall. Mount Ida rolls into town on March 28, an early matchup of what could be this year’s conference championship contenders.