Boys Lax Looks to Continue an Upward Trend
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Last year the Verona boys lacrosse team had a successful season after a few years of rebuilding. The 2016 team inherited Coach Diglio, a knowledgeable coach who changed the negative attitude of the team to a hard-working and serious one. Coach Diglio helped the team go from barely winning five games to a winning record of 11-10.
Coach Diglio has prepared his 2017 team with the goals of winning key games and finding some success in the state, conference, and county tournaments. He is confident that the team can go at least .700 and become a powerhouse in the South Jersey Division which the team just got switched into.
The 2016 seniors played a key role in the season last year. Dane Kish, Ryan Cariani, and Carter Kenny were among some of the key players who will not be returning this year. Looking to fill that gap in the midfield is some of the younger players including Brendan Erwin and Jarrod Keating. 2017 seniors Devon Jacobsen and Jake Houthuysen are prepared to pick up some slack with more playing time than last year.
Other returning seniors include Chuck Cerle and Mike Stanisci. Cerle had nine goals and nine assists at midfield and Stanisci is the key faceoff man that was nearly unbeatable last season. Junior Matt Didia is coming back after an ACL injury. He is not full strength but his stick skills have gotten better which makes him a perfect substitute for Carter Kenny. Didia is the most talented player on the Verona team and is looking to carry the midfield in an offensive fashion.
Also returning from last year are seniors Doug Spardel, Jack Farrell, and Eric Stoloff. These attackmen scored the large majority of goals last year as juniors and are ready to do an even better job in 2017. Doug Spardel is coming off 21 goals and 11 assists. Jack Farrell had 43 goals and 15 assists last season and is looking to continue as leading scorer for a second year in a row. Eric Stoloff had 11 goals and 15 assists. The attack is looking very strong and is ready to use their chemistry they developed over the past three years.
The Aldiero brothers and Brandon Cariani are the same defensemen as last year and look to develop their teamwork even more this season. The defense had trouble in the beginning of the season last year, but they worked out the kinks to become a strength of the team by the end of the season. Senior Chris Aldiero and Sophomore Matt Aldiero are two talented club players who can play man or zone defense with ease. Both have great off ball footwork and on-ball stick skills. Sophomore Cariani is ready to be a varsity player and has grew a substantial amount. The 2017 defense is looking strong and prepared.
Andrew Gagliostro is in goal for the fourth year in a row. He is a stellar goalie and had been outperforming any other Verona goalie since he was a freshman. Andrew is well prepared for 2017 and is looking to lead the team as captain. Overall, the team is looking stronger than last year and a tournament win is very possible.
The team is off to a 3-2 start with wins against Newark East Side, Nutley and Cedar Grove and losses to Newark Academy and Columbia.