Latrobe boys lacrosse makes fresh start
Before the season, the Latrobe boys lacrosse team became an officially recognized varsity program, an upgrade from club sport status.
This season also marks Pete Cuda's first year as coach of a young Wildcats team that includes 11 sophomores and four freshmen.
All in all, this season serves as an opportunity for a fresh start for the Latrobe boys lacrosse team, and after going 2-8 last season with a winless record in Division II, Section 1, the team is ready to run with that chance.
Now, with the first half of its season in the rearview mirror, Latrobe sports a 3-2 overall record and is tied for third in its section at 2-1. The noticeable improvement in this year's team stems from Cuda's focus on the basics.
“The thing that we've focused on most this year is really just enhancing and teaching the core fundamentals of the sport,” Cuda said. “I think that's really relayed into some of the success that we've had so far. There's a little more structure. We've definitely shown a lot of improvement.”
A crucial part of Latrobe's improvement can be tied to the emergence of senior goalie Sean Grosso, who had never played the position until this season.
“We needed a goalie, so he said he'd give it a try. He's excelled very quickly and has probably been the core of our defense,” Cuda said. “Not only has he been able to make a number of saves for us, but any goalie has to be the communicator and the leader, and he has done very well with those things. He's been acting as a leader on the team.”
In a similar fashion, the Wildcats' goal scoring has improved. After failing to score double-digit goals in any of the team's contests last season, Latrobe has already tallied 10-plus goals three times.
Senior midfielder Evan Kemp and freshman attack Marco Cuda have played key roles in the offense's success and are the team's top scorers. Junior midfielder Nick Hanna also has carved out a crucial role as difference-maker on the offensive side of the field.
Still, Latrobe's success and moving forward is tied to its ability to play as a single, cohesive unit, the coach said.
“The nice thing is, we don't have any real superstars or standouts, but we've got a lot of kids that are solid players who work really well together as a team. Everybody has been contributing. When everyone does their thing, we've had some positive outcomes,” Coach Cuda said.
“The thing I want them to focus on now is just improving. I want us to improve on working as a team and working as a unit. We've gotten to where we are now because we're working together as a team.”
Kevin Lohman is a freelance writer.