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Sports Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, March 26, 2009

Dutchmen lacrosse hoping for solid goaltending and scoring

By Jordan J. Michael

GUILDERLAND –– The Guilderland boys’ lacrosse team is going into the 2009 season with a clean slate.

“I honestly don’t know what to expect out of this lineup I have this year,” said Head Coach Sean McConaghy at practice on Tuesday. “I have a handful of unproven players out there. It makes me a little nervous.”

McConaghy has reason for concern after losing All-Star goaltending and scoring from last season’s 17-3 team. The Dutchmen have had two first-team and two second-team goalies in the cage over the past four years.

“The goalie position has never really been a problem for us, but now it’s an issue,” McConaghy said. “Nick Koss is a huge loss for us. He was a two-time All-Star in the net. Now, I don’t have a goalie with any game experience. I’m focusing on it every day.”

Christian DePersis and Alex Peebles are the two goalies on the roster fighting for the starting spot. “We’ll work with these guys and see what they can do,” said McConaghy.

Even though the Dutch had much success in the Suburban Council last season, the team was upset by Shaker in the sectional quarterfinals. McConaghy sees that early exit as a building block for this year.

“Losing that early wasn’t the vision we had in mind, but I was extremely pleased with the regular season,” he said. “I’m sure the returning guys have that in the pit of their stomachs and that helps them work harder. We need to be playing our best lacrosse at the end.”

Rory Nunamacher, Paul Jones, and Travis Moore will have to replace the offensive load left behind by Quinn Connell and Aaron Cahill. Another offensive threat, Anthony Powers, will be out for a month with a knee injury.

“We didn’t loose a lot in numbers; we lost a lot in talent,” said McConaghy. “Connell was one of the leading scorers in program history and Cahill won many face-offs. I’m looking to Nunamacher for leadership; he can do anything and everything. Moore and Jones will need to score.”

Besides Jones, Guilderland only has three other attackmen: Matt Siracusa, Bryan Dyer, and E.J. Genzano. “Scoring enough goals might be an issue, but we don’t really have a choice if we want to win games,” McConaghy said.

The Dutchmen defense is led by first-team All-Star Kip Stillman, and by Cody Futia, and Alex Trolenburg. “I have high hopes for the defense. They need to work extra hard to protect our inexperienced goalie,” said McConaghy.

The team has five players who have been starting for three years and McConaghy names that as Guilderland’s biggest strength. “We have some true leaders out there and that makes my job a little easier,” he said.

McConaghy told The Enterprise that the biggest worry is the players who haven’t been in varsity games. “I know these young guys will get better with time,” he said. “But I need them to be ready soon. Practice is even more important this year.”

The Dutch are in the Blue Division of the Suburban Council, playing Shenendehowa, Saratoga, Shaker, and Niskayuna twice each. The team’s first game is at home against Mercer Island, a club from Washington, on April 3 at the University at Albany.

“I can’t really make any predictions about my team. I just want them to have fun and become winners,” McConaghy said. “If we can communicate well on defense, hustle for ground balls, and move the ball on offense in every game then we’ll do OK. I’m taking this process day by day.”

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