With most of last year’s roster back, Calhoun’s chemistry on the lacrosse field couldn’t be better and the Colts are off to a flying start with seven wins in eight games.
“We had high hopes with a really good group of kids coming back, especially offensively,” coach Jim Femminella said. “The chemistry is phenomenal and we’re playing well.”
Calhoun, which finished 8-7 in 2013 and qualified for the Class B playoffs, moved up to Class A based on statewide enrollment changes. It was seeded ninth in the 16-team Conference A, which sends the top eight teams to the postseason. “I thought we could’ve been seeded a little higher, but it’s tough when you’re the new guys on the block,” Femminella said. “We’ve won a few big ones so far and hopefully we can beat some teams ranked above us.”
The Colts are 4-0 in conference games but the toughest part of the schedule will begin next Tuesday with a trip to Port Washington. Down the road, they’ll see Oceanside, Baldwin, Massapequa, and Syosset.
A deep midfield has been a key, Femminella said. Senior Kyle McGinley, who was Honorable Mention All-County last spring and ranked among the top 100 players on Long Island, does it all. A three-year starter headed to Wagner, he had a career-high nine points (five goals, four assists) in Calhoun’s 16-9 win at Plainview-JFK on April 8. “He can shoot, he can feed, he can run and play defense,” Femminella said.
Junior Spencer Kaufman, who takes the lion’s share of faceoffs, has picked up where he left off a year ago when a strong finish earned him All-Conference honors. He scored five times against Plainview after joining McGinley and senior attack Colin Bayer with hat tricks in an 11-6 win over Uniondale on April 5. The Colts also count on seniors Joey Zito and Patrick Chin to do all the dirty work in the midfield.
Bayer is the offensive quarterback behind the cage and is equally as dangerous as a distributor and shooter. He has 16 goals and 17 assists through seven games. McGinley and Kaufman pace the offense in goals with 23 apiece. Also up front with Bayer, sophomore Derek Abitz, junior Kevin Dolan, and senior Brendan Schiaffo are doing damage. Abitz had six goals in last Friday’s blowout win over Valley Stream District.
The defense is led by junior Jack Thomann, who always gets the toughest assignment and brings a combination of stick skills and tenacity, and senior Brian Downey. Junior Anthony Fitzsimmons, an athletic long pole middie who plays with fire, is another integral part of the unit.
The last line of defense, junior goalie Griffin Miller, is a great leader, Femminella said, and off to a huge start. He made 17 saves against Uniondale.