Youthful Hun Boys’ Lax Gaining Experience; Looking to Get Over Hump in Tight Games
Showing some inexperience, the Hun School boys’ lacrosse team found itself trailing Princeton Day School 7-4 in the third quarter last week in the annual meeting between the local rivals.
But with the game seemingly slipping away, the Raiders summoned some youthful energy to make a spirited rally, scoring the last three goals of the period to even the game at 7-7.
Hun forged ahead 8-7 in the first minute of the fourth as Iain Alexandridis found the back of the net. The Raiders, though, never scored again as they dropped a 9-8 nailbiter to PDS.
In assessing the setback, first-year Hun head coach Don Green saw the game as a valuable learning experience.
“We showed tremendous composure; we haven’t been behind and able to come back yet,” said Green, who is using a number of freshmen and sophomores in key roles this spring.
“So the fact that we were able to do that and be competitive in a tight game was great to see. It is building and that is our goal for this year. We want to build for the future, having the seniors help the young guys and start a tradition.”
Green pointed to senior midfielder Mark Burke as a veteran who is really helping the Raiders.
“I have really been impressed with Mark Burke; he has really stepped up as a senior captain and a leader,” asserted Green of Burke, who tallied three goals last Saturday as Hun topped Mercersburg Academy (Pa.) 12-3 to improve to 5-4.
“He is playing as hard as anyone I have ever seen and his leadership is showing through.”
Burly junior midfielder Zach Bicho has been giving Hun some hard work in the critical face-off area.
“Bicho has been dominating the face-offs and making very intelligent decisions with the ball after the face-off,” said Green of Bicho, who contributed four goals in the win over Mercersburg to go with his outstanding face-off work.
“That is keeping us in games and keeping us competitive so what he is doing is invaluable.”
Freshman attacker Brendan Black exemplifies the wave of young stars that are coming up through the ranks for Green’s squad. Black tallied a team-high four goals in the loss to PDS and added a goal and an assist in the victory over Mercersburg.
“Brendan Black is an extremely intelligent lacrosse player; he plays a lot and that is the thing,” added Green, who is getting major contributions from sophomores Matthew Bruno, Cameron Dudeck, and Devin Cheifetz together with freshmen Matteo Favalaro, Jameson DeMarco, and Tucker Stevenson.
“He looks like a freshman because he is tiny. If it weren’t for that, you would think that he is a senior from the way he plays. His field IQ and lacrosse IQ are tremendous. When he is a junior and senior, he is going to be a big-time impact player.”
In Green’s view, the Raiders have the potential to develop into a big-time team.
“We see tremendous progress, leaps and bounds,” said Green, whose team plays at Peddie on April 26, at South Brunswick on April 28, and at Somerville on May 1.
“Right now we are talking about getting over the hump. Some of it is experience in a game like today; it was two teams that were going back and forth. The bottom line is that if we just get a little better in every aspect, we are going to jump over that hump.”