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Early tough competitors test Titans

By AUSTIN LOUKKALA / VN SPORTS EDITOR
On April 11, 2017

Heading into its final weeks of play, the men’s lacrosse team has won three of its last four contests.

This young team has been tested early by high levels of competition, facing nationally ranked Ohio State, as well as Michigan, Robert Morris and the Air Force Academy.

“We did that because we knew we had a young team we had to challenge,” said head coach Chris Kolon.

It appears as though these challenges have paid off as the team has come together.

The team had reeled off three straight wins before falling to Canisius Saturday.

Team chemistry has really improved.

Before the season, Kolon commented on how the locker room had a weird vibe.

But a team retreat helped change the mindset and has allowed the squad to jell, he said.

The Titans have shared a lot of adversity, whether on long bus rides or in intense practices.

“Now that we are in conference, these players are starting to see the fruits of all those labors,” said Kolon.

Those fruits include the current win streak.

“Our goal is to make the conference tournament – that’s always our goal,” said Kolon

With a win over Monmouth April 15 at home, the Titans can improve their position.

The whole team has stepped up and improved this year, Kolon said.

When one player steps up, the whole team follows suit, he said.

Kolon declined to single out individual players.

But among the scoring leaders this year are Matthew Vangalen, Seth Mendell, Sean Birney, Kyle Beauregard, Alec Gilhooly and Donavon Dempsey.

Kolon complimented his coaching staff, as well.

“They have taken a really inexperienced group, and they have really bought into the process,” he said.

He said one strength of the Titans is how well they have bought into each other.

Team members support each other, he said.

One weakness is inexperience, he noted.

The Titans have only five seniors.

And this team has yet to experience an overtime game.

“We try to practice those things but game experience is game experience,” said Kolon. 

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