Saturday evening, the Kean Cougars (4-0) men’s lacrosse team dominated the Anna Maria Amcats (1-5) on their home field, 22-5. Within the game's opening minutes, the Cougars played with tons of energy and explosiveness. In fact, New Jersey native and senior midfielder Anthony Porter found a way to score with 14:05 remaining in the first quarter.
For the remainder of the period, the Cougars displayed how advanced they were then the Amcats. Once Porter's goal occurred, the team began an unprecedented run. Following Porter’s goal, his teammates senior Connor McCabe, freshman Dylan Johnson, senior Dante Magliano, sophomore Anton Updale, sophomore Nick Thorne, and fifth-year senior Tommy Pellegrino all scored.
“I think we need to be better top to bottom,” Kean head coach Shelley Sheiner stated after the game “It’s just that some guys we have coming along are young players like Dylan Johnson on attack. We are young in a lot of areas and games like this are always important.”
The Amcats allowed the Cougars to score seven goals in the first period, however, they never went away and remained to be competitive no matter the circumstances of the game. Ultimately, the Cougars led at the end of the opening period, 7-0. Cougars head coach Shelley Sheiner spoke highly of their competitive nature and emphasized how big of a test this was for his young team.
“First of all, they’re well coached and Coach Mayo isn’t going to allow his team to roll over,” Coach Sheiner said.”They have a great player I attempted to recruit, Hank Gittines, and we always expect everyone to compete. Naturally, they’re going to pop in a couple of goals but this was a big test for our guys.”
The Cougars Relentless Defense Leads to Easy Goals
In the second period, the Cougars did not take their foot off the gas pedal. They continued to cause numerous turnovers and be aggressive on offense. They outscore the Amcats, 6-1, in the second period. Yet, the Cougars in impressive fashion only took one more shot than the Amcats. In the first half, the Cougars' defense forced 10 turnovers and only allowed five shots on goal.
Although the Cougars proved overwhelming for the Amcats, they still struggled to win faceoffs. Due to the injuries, the Cougars were forced to play their inexperienced freshman Charles Timmes. Although the coach was pleased with his efforts, he admits that he still has growing to do. That said, the one goal the Amcats were awarded in the half came off winning the Facebook and driving right down the middle of the field to find an open sophomore Hank Gittines for the goal.
“With our faceoff situation right now, we have one guy who’s out for the season and we have another returning from injury,” Coach Sheiner said. “Our starter was also injured, therefore we played a lot of our freshmen. We try to give our guys the next man up mentality.”
Ultimately, the Cougars led at halftime, 13-1.
Kean Finishing Strong
The second half proved to be more of the same for the Cougars. Multiple players (Johnson and Batjer) ended the game with hat tricks. While the Cougars appear promising early in the season, there’s much room to grow and get better. Over time, the injuries will allow the Cougars to be at full strength and be the best possible team they can be. Although the Amcats continued to fight back, it seemed impossible for them to stop the Cougars as they ran away with the game in convincing fashion.
The Cougars face off with SUNY Poly on March 15th at Kean University.
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