Last year in Conference CD, the Glen Cove Big Red boys’ lacrosse team finished with a 6-9 final record headed by longtime coach Steve Tripp. This year, Tripp returns 8 starters in a now ability-based Conference B ranked currently as the #4 team in the league. The focus for the Big Red however, remains on the fundamentals.
“We’re still trying to focus on starting from defense to offense and keeping a hold of the ball,” Tripp said. “That includes tightening up on all aspects, including passing, catching, and ground balls.”
Like many Long Island teams, the early spring weather bipolarity had an effect on the Glen Cove practicing abilities. “We are definitely a transition-oriented team and we can’t really replicate that in the gym,” Tripp said. “But our focus is not to get hurt in the transition defense.”
Luckily, Glen Cove returned a crafty lefty/righty defensive pairing in Jack Kaffl and Kevin Heenan. “It’s good to have a pairing like that because you can match them up defensively on the left and right side of the field,”Tripp said.
Offensively, though, Glen Cove is looking for new outlets of scoring this season. Those will most likely come in the form of junior Sal Guastella and senior Eric Brown, with help from senior Emil Martin and junior Mayan Letellier.
Although those players may have a knack for scoring and a nose for the net, every great scorer needs an equally adept assist-man, and Tripp says look no further than Davey Moore. “From being a young kid, we saw that he likes to distribute the ball,” Tripp said. “He definitely has a lot of lacrosse sense and IQ.”
Moore is just returning from a preseason injury, and is now getting back into the swing of the season. Upon returning, a boost can definitely be felt from his teammates, especially his offensive cohorts. “You can tell they kind of look to him in the offensive half to get the play going,” Tripp said. “He’s like the point guard of this offense.”
Glen Cove began the season 0-4 in non-league play, but is looking towards meeting its Conference B foes in league play in the next couple weeks.
“We are the fourth-ranked team in the conference right now, and we open up playing two of the three teams ahead of us, and close out the season playing the other team ahead of us and directly behind us,” Tripp explained. “But any of these teams one through seven can beat each other on any given day, and our team mantra this year is ‘Earn it’.”
The Big Red wants to enforce that mantra and make it a rallying focal point. “We might have gotten away from that a bit last year, but we are definitely looking to instill that in the kids this year,” Tripp said.
Upon being asked if this is the year to make a run with a strong senior class with good junior support, Tripp was careful in saying yes. “Yes, but that road ahead of us is tough,” he said. “We’re going to have to earn getting to the playoffs and then making a splash.”