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Boys lacrosse looks to be competitive

History has been made at Northwestern. The inaugural boys and girls lacrosse seasons are set to get underway for the Tigers, adding another Colonial League team that now offers the sport.

Marcus Janda was chosen as the first head coach to lead the boys program, and he’s been impressed with how his Tigers have progressed throughout practice.

“We are a first-year program with high expectations internally,” Janda said. “Although we have never played a high school game we do have a number of guys with experience at the club and youth level. We expect to be more competitive than the typical first-year program that the Lehigh Valley has seen in recent years.”

Janda played at Parkland during his high school days, and then played two seasons of Division I lacrosse at Wagner College. He was at the helm when Scranton Prep started its lacrosse program in 2013, so he’s aware of what it takes during a team’s first season to get accustomed to the high school level.

And it doesn’t hurt that a number of these Tigers have played in the NYAA (Northwestern Youth Athletic Association) program that was started in 2012. And a number of those Tigers are now showing their skills on the varsity stage.

“Although we are a first-year program, we do have a number of players that have played at the club and youth level,” Janda said. “We are a very athletic team that has size and a strong work ethic.”

Janda expects senior attackers Cole Norman and Zach Anderson to contribute to much of the Tigers’ scoring production in 2019. Junior midfielder Zach Rosamalia will be key in controlling the middle line.

Anchoring goal for Northwestern is going to be senior Tyler Lobach. Sophomore Reed Conrey and freshman Taylor Wikert will be key contributors on the defensive side of the field.

One adjustment, however, is that move to the high school level that Janda has to get his players accustomed to. A number of other Colonial League schools have had lacrosse teams for years, and Northwestern isn’t as fortunate in that regard.

“Due to the fact that we have a team that has zero high school lacrosse playing time, we are a very inexperienced team,” Janda said. “Lacrosse is a fast game and players often find themselves in high-pressure situations that force them to make decisions quickly. It is hard to replicate some of those situations in practice, so it will be crucial that we learn as we go.”

Still, Janda expects his team to compete in every game. The Tigers will face other familiar Colonial League foes such as Southern Lehigh, Moravian Academy and Saucon Valley. But they’ll also have to face numerous East Penn Conference teams and other non-league opponents over the course of the season.

“It’s tough to quantify what we expect as far as wins and losses, but I will say that we expect to compete in every single game this season,” Janda said.

Results from Saturday’s game against Governor Mifflin were not available at time of press. The Tigers next face Nazareth this Saturday. Game time is set for 1 p.m. at Northwestern.

PRESS PHOTO BY NANCY SCHOLZDrew Sabo takes a shot on goalie Ty Lobach during a recent Northwestern boys lacrosse practice.