Men’s lax team expecting improvement next season

The men’s lacrosse team improved in some areas this season, but with most of the team returning next season, they’re planning to do better.

In a season that saw the Castleton men’s lacrosse team go through growing pains under a first-year head coach, the team ended the season making the playoffs as the six seed, but falling in the first round to Plymouth State 17-4.

Although the Spartans garnered one less win than a season prior, there were still bright spots including a slight improvement in the offense from a season before posting 133 goals this season compared to 129 last season.

“The biggest takeaway from this season should be that we can compete with the top of our conference as we did in the first half of almost every game, we’re just missing numbers and disciplined decision making. I think the biggest missing piece to the team going into next year in order to take that next step will be learning to be more disciplined and moving the ball faster to get better looks,” said sophomore Preston Kozlowski.

Kozlowski was tied for fifth on the team in points with 19. Looking to next year, he and the other four top five scorers will be returning as well.

However, even with the Spartans seeing slight progression in offense, the team did see regression on its defensive side of the ball with 267 goals against compared to the teams 234 last season. 

But next year the team looks primed to improve on that as goaltender Chase Strychaluk now has a full season of experience and majority of the team returning next season. 

“In my first year, I realized that as a team we do get gassed quick due to not having nearly as much depth. In terms of having a full year of NCAA experience now, I’ve learned that you need to be consistent and not get down on yourself, especially for me as a goalie. We can compete with everyone, but it needs to be for 60 minutes,” Strychaluk said. 

With only one player guaranteed leaving due to him being a graduate student and because the seniors have an extra year due to COVID, the team looks primed to take a step forward having another year under new coach Ed Stephenson and having another year of chemistry together. 

“Despite the results of the year we had, I feel as though we can take a big step next year because we have so many guys returning and we have another year under coach. I think that we can hang with teams and are very close to breaking through to be a team that can get some of those close games to go our way instead,” said senior Hunter Sarro, who will be returning using his COVID year of eligibility 

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