School sports

Molloy Lions roar out of gate



March rolled in like a lion, but despite challenging weather the Molloy Lions’ men’s lacrosse team is rolling through March behind an offense running on all cylinders. 

The Lions roared out of the gate with six consecutive wins, including four on the road, and averaged 16.3 goals per game in the process. The electrifying start has coach Eric Petrullo’s team ranked in the Top 10 of the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association’s Division II poll and destined to improve upon last year’s 7-9 record.

“We started well last season, but then we suffered a lot of injuries and couldn’t overcome them,” Petrullo said. “We have such a young group this year, so I didn’t know what to expect even though I knew we had talent. 

“We’re off to a great start,” he added. “The sky’s the limit, but we’re bracing for a lot of intense conference games.”

Molloy struggled against East Coast Conference foes in 2012, winning just two of 10 games. This spring the Lions play seven ECC contests, including rivals Dowling, New York Tech and C.W. Post. “There’s great coaching throughout the conference, so we know teams will be prepared for us,” Petrullo said. “Every game will be tough, but based on how we’re playing I think we can be as good as anyone.”

The Lions’ starting attack of senior Kenny Lutz (26) and sophomores Joe Leonard (16) and Tom Englehardt (15) combined for 57 goals through six games, while freshman midfielder Peter Clark chipped in 15. “We’ve had tremendous chemistry on offense and the guys are really clicking,” Petrullo said.

Lutz, who scored a team-high 42 goals a year ago, draws extra attention every game, Petrullo said, but continues to produce in bunches. “He’s taken on a leadership role and is playing very well,” Petrullo said of Lutz, who ripped home nine goals to lead an 18-5 victory at Rollins on March 14. “If opponents focus on Kenny too much, our other guys are going to hurt them.”

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