Lacrosse club debuts with official league

Pamela Crimbchin

Men’s lacrosse joins league, revitalizes program

The men’s lacrosse team practices in the Kent State Field House. This is the team’s first year as a part of the National College Lacrosse League, after more than 29 years as a recreational team. ELIZABETH MYERS | DAILY KENT STATER

Credit: DKS Editors

What combines the fierce checking of hockey, the intense passing of football and the rapid sprinting of soccer in one competitive, collegiate sport? Lacrosse.

The Kent State men’s lacrosse team was a recreation club for more than 29 years. This year the club hired a new official coach and is part of the National College Lacrosse League.

“(The lacrosse team) kind of lost focus and hasn’t had any leadership,” coach Mark Lewis said. “So this year we rededicated ourselves and joined the NCLL.”

Lewis started coaching lacrosse six years ago and is also the assistant coach of the Kent Roosevelt high school lacrosse team. Lewis is passionate about the re-birth of Kent State’s men’s lacrosse.

“It’s a great thing,” he said. “It’s going to do a lot for incoming freshman to see that they have a new avenue within the area to play competitive lacrosse.”

Sophomore attack player Joe Mattucci played before the league affiliation and is already seeing the difference.

“We are a lot more structured,” Mattucci said. “We actually have a solid team this year. We’re just hoping to make it to the NCLL tournament and just trying to get a name out there for ourselves.”

Matt Brown coached the team for many years and worked to get alumni players to help after graduation. Brown’s top priority however, is coaching the Walsh Jesuit high school lacrosse team. Brown was able to get the team to play pick-up games with smaller colleges, but the team never joined an official legal club.

The team has 28 players right now, but Lewis hopes to have between 30 and 36 players for next year.

“I’m pretty excited,” freshman midfielder Clay Laubert said. “We should be all right, so it should be fun.”

Kent State played five games during the pre-season.

“We had a really successful fall season,” Lewis said. “We were tied with (Ohio) State pretty late in the game, so we were pretty impressed with the way we did.”

The team will play 16 games this spring against other colleges before competing in a national tournament in Philadelphia at the end of the season.

“The team’s goal is to go as far as we can go in play this season,” midfielder Jake Ferlito said. “I think that it is possible to go far due to our success in the fall ball and how far we come in practice everyday.”

The team is busy with its first season full of fundraisers, games, tournaments and practices. Lewis said he is thankful for the support of the intramural office, athletic department and university.

“We have really jumped in with both feet,” Lewis said. “(We will) see what we can do.”

The Flashes first NCLL game is today, 7 p.m., in the Field House against Grove City.

Contact Student Recreation and Wellness Reporter

Pamela Crimbchin at [email protected].