First-year lacrosse program gets to 3-3
The Northwestern boys lacrosse program has come a long way in a short period of time.
Tiger head coach Marcus Janda and his team are now 3-3 in their inaugural season of play after beading Pleasant Valley 12-6 last Friday.
“It’s been going well,” Janda said. “We’re focusing on improving every day, every game. The first time we stepped out onto the field, we had eight guys out here that could barely put together a single pass, but we’ve really worked hard. We’ve had a lot of upperclassmen lead us. We’re trying to build this foundation from the ground up here.”
Northwestern began the season against Nazareth at home on March 23. The Tigers suffered a 16-1 loss to the Blue Eagles, but scored their maiden win two days later against another program Janda once coached in Scranton Prep.
The Tigers lost to Dallas 12-11 on March 27 before picking up their second win of the season in a 17-2 rout of Liberty on March 30. After losing to Southern Lehigh 14-7 on April 8, the Tigers came out four days later and beat Pleasant Valley last week.
What’s been most valuable for the young Tigers program is senior leadership, as they came off a 12-6 victory over the Janda was disappointed with how his Tigers played the first half in Friday’s lacrosse game at Pleasant Valley. However, Northwestern picked up the pace in the second half, scoring eight goals en route to a 12-6 victory over the Bears.
“Ultimately, I thought we played a pretty flat first half,” Janda said. “I was a little disappointed with how our team came out after a bit of a road trip.
“Hats off to Pleasant Valley. They played us very tight in that first half. That’s a pretty solid team over there and well-coached. I’m proud that we showed some resiliency. We bounced back after a flat first half and we came out swinging in the second half. We played more fundamental lacrosse and ultimately grinded out the victory today.”
The Tigers and Bears were knotted in a 2-2 tie after the first quarter while dodging raindrops on the evening. Northwestern held onto a 4-3 lead going into halftime and didn’t relinquish it once the game resumed.
“Zach Rosamaila really put the team on his back,” Janda said. “He does the stuff that doesn’t show up in the score book. He’s kind of a work horse for us; he does the stuff in between the boxes that’s not too glamorous, but it’s pivotal to win lacrosse games.”
“Taylor Weikert isn’t really a faceoff specialist, but he’s a guy that works hard. Those two guys in between the boxes were huge for us. In that first half our goalie, Tyler Lobach really stood on his head and kept us in the game when the guys in front of him weren’t playing the best lacrosse.”
In their inaugural lacrosse season, the Tigers now sport a .500 record as they near the halfway point in their 16-game schedule.
“I’m happy we’re a 3-3 team right now,” Janda said. “We’re trying to compete day in-and-out, so I’m proud with the progress we’ve made since the fall until now. We just need to continue to improve.
“I have two senior attack men in Cole Norman and Zach Anderson. They’ve been very instrumental for us offensively and having senior leadership like guys that have been around the game. In the midfield, Zach Rosamalia has been a work horse. The kid barely comes off the field and grinds every single day and I’m very proud of him.”
In addition to the offense side of things, defense is just as important for Janda’s squad.
“On the defensive end, we’ve had great performances from our seniors Tyler Lobach in net and Riley Nyce,” Janda said. “Our freshman long-pole midfielder Taylor Wikert, another work horse for us, has been doing great.”
The Tigers playing an independent schedule this season as the Colonial League does not offer lacrosse. They took on Moravian (4-1) Tuesday and will host Dallas Saturday at 10 a.m. at Northwestern Middle School.