Cody Triolo drew plenty of attention when he made his debut this spring for the Lehigh University men’s lacrosse team.
“The first time I handled the ball, Bucknell was trying to get the ball back and I was triple-teamed right away,” said Triolo, a former Princeton Day School standout and reserve freshman midfielder at Lehigh whose first appearance came in the team’s sixth game this spring. “I was able to get out of it.”
While Triolo ended up getting in five games over the course of the spring, he got a lot out of his first campaign at the college level.
“The whole year has been awesome,” said Triolo. “My arsenal of shots and lax IQ have improved. I gained a lot from watching. I was a catalyst in high school, it was cool to take on a different role. Throughout the games, you feel you are part of something larger.”
For Triolo, the fall ball phase of the season helped him gain confidence that he could compete at the college level.
“It is your first taste of college lacrosse,” said Triolo, a two-time first-team All-Prep B performer during his stellar PDS career.
“It is what you have been working for since you got into the recruiting process. The game is so much faster, the players are bigger, stronger, and faster. It was a ton of fun, getting used to the speed of the game was the biggest challenge. I felt very confident after the fall; it showed me what I needed to work on.”
Heading into the regular season, Triolo worked on both the physical and mental aspects of the game.
“I hit the weights pretty hard and worked on being a dual threat with both hands; I was working a lot on my right hand,” said the 5’8, 170-pound Triolo.
“We started preseason practices in mid-January; we condition pretty hard. We started right away with 2-a-days. Fall ball was a time for working on things; it was more competitive in the preseason, guys were going harder and faster. After the fall, it was making the consistent plays and making the right decisions. I saw that the guys on the field were the ones that made plays consistently. The college game is more meticulous; it requires a high lax IQ.”
Once preseason practices started in mid-January, Triolo tried to make a daily impression on the Leigh coaches. “I worked on the scout offense in practice, we ran the opposing team’s offense and that was a lot of fun,” said Triolo.
“You are out there in practice giving 100 percent. The biggest way to get into the games is playing well in practice.”
One of the more fun experiences of Triolo’s freshman year came when Lehigh played at Princeton on April 8.
“That was an awesome game, it was cool to be back,” said Triolo.
“I remember as a kid, going to games there so that was special. A lot of my buddies were there. Most of my high school team found their way there.”
As the season went on, Triolo found a comfort level on the field. “I was really nervous for Bucknell; I got in pretty early against Yale and the nerves weren’t as bad,” said Triolo, who ended up with three shots in his five appearances this spring.
“You are on the field two hours a day so you have the skill set to play. I had two shots against Lafayette; I did a left-handed dodge.”
While Lehigh didn’t cash in on its shot to earn an automatic bid to the NCAA as it fell to Loyola 16-7 in the Patriot League championship game, Triolo is proud of how the team played in posting a final record of 13-5.
“We had good wins against Navy and Army,” said Triolo, referring to the team’s victories in the Patriot semis and quarters.
“We felt really confident going into the Loyola game. We didn’t put in our best effort. It was definitely a quality season. We have a band of brothers, giving 100 percent all the time; there is nothing to be ashamed about.”
That feeling of brotherhood permeated Triolo’s Lehigh experience on and off the field.
“The team really is a family, we hang out all the time; my absolute boys are in my recruiting class,” said Triolo, who did well in the classroom where he is studying engineering.
“The senior class did a great job of welcoming us, they had some funny and great relationships with the freshmen.”
As Triolo looks ahead to his sophomore season, he is determined to make a greater contribution on the field for the Mountain Hawks.
“I do want to get more playing time and have a bigger role; I have to elevate everything I do to a whole new level,” said Triolo, who is planning to play in a men’s league in Robbinsville this summer and take part in the War at the Shore tourney with some Lehigh teammates.
“I need to get stronger and faster and work on my shooting and my decision-making. The game experience will definitely help.”