By MIKE SMITH
After opening the season with two tough losses, the Mamaroneck lacrosse team has been on a tear, winning its last five contests.
On April 11, the Tigers continued their winning ways, beating New Rochelle 13-3 to improve to 5-2 on the season.
Junior Reed Malas scored five goals and notched two assists to propel the section champion Tigers past the Huguenots on Friday, despite the best efforts of a determined New Rochelle defense that held the Tigers at bay early on.
“I don’t think we executed very well early on in the game,” Tiger head coach Jeff Barnard said. “Their goalie finished with a bunch of saves, and I just don’t think that we were moving the ball as well as we usually do when the game started.”
Moving the ball hasn’t really been a problem for the surging Tigers this year as the team has shown a great aptitude for putting the ball in the net. Even in the its losses, Barnard said, the young squad has shown the ability to compete with tough squads.
A tough game against a good Wantagh, Long Island, squad and a double-overtime loss against Bronxville saw Mamaroneck play some of its most inspired lacrosse of the year, according to the coach.
“We played two good games against those teams,” Barnard said. “I think the Bronxville game was one of the better games we’ve played this year with such a young team.”
Despite the relative youth of the squad, the head coach’s expectations for the program remain the same and another section crown is hopefully in the team’s future.
“We have the same goals every single year,” he said. “There are kids developing their skills, but I definitely think we have the ability to win a title.”
As the season progresses, Barnard is confident his young stars will get the game experience necessary for them to make a solid playoff push. Even one-sided wins like the New Rochelle game will go a long way in preparing the team for the tougher games to come.
“I think it comes down to minimizing our mistakes,” Barnard said. “We’re still learning to play and our lacrosse IQ needs to get better, but that just comes with maturation.”
The Tigers first milestone this season will be winning the league, which boasts a number of talented teams, including Bronxville and White Plains.
“I wouldn’t say this is the toughest league, but a lot of people would argue that it’s second best, right behind the league with teams like Yorktown and John Jay,” he said. “But we do have a few former section champs, so it’s safe to say that we are in a strong league.”
The Tigers return to action on April 17 against Pleasantville and will travel to Bronxville for a rematch with the Broncos on April 21.