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Cole+Matuszewski+runs+down+the+field+during+a+preseason+scrimmage.+Matuszewski+is+amongst+many+of+the+Indians+who+enter+their+third+season+playing+at+the+varsity+level.

Matt Austin

Cole Matuszewski runs down the field during a preseason scrimmage. Matuszewski is amongst many of the Indians who enter their third season playing at the varsity level.

Boys’ Lax looks to blend old guard with the new

Indians to rely upon strong defense in 2019

Coach: Craig Buckley (11th Season)

Last year’s record: 12-7

Key Returners: Charlie Looes (Sr.), Josh DeMarco (Sr.), Cole Matuszewski (Sr.), Zach Olson (Sr.), Jake DeMilia (Sr.)

Key Losses: Matt Haag, Matt Ziccarelli

Key Newcomers: Desmond Von tobel (Soph., G), Shane Cubala (Soph.), Jared Cohen (Soph., LSM), David Jones (Soph., Att.), Peyton Chang (Soph., Mid.)

Strength of Team: Defense. “We’ve always prided ourselves in playing really good defense,” Buckley said.  Valley will look for its defense to carry a lot of the load early on in the season as the offense takes time to gel and develop chemistry.

Weakness of Team: Offensive consistency. Buckley noted that it traditionally takes some time for the offense to gel, so the team will rely on their defense early on in the season. Buckley is hopeful that the offense will “start to click a little bit more and more each day.”  The Indians will also look to “sharpen up the fundamentals” such as “not throwing the ball away, reducing turnovers, [and] winning ground balls.” The Indians will also look for some more inexperienced players to step up in the wake of injuries to junior James Della Pesca and sophomore Joe Christiano. Christiano scored 34 goals last year.

Outlook: Coming off a 12-7 season a year ago, the Indians will look to blend their established varsity players with younger sophomores who show a lot of potential, but lack experience playing at the varsity level.  Pascack Valley also will need to blend their strong defensive play with more offensive production if they hope to contend. Though in the past, Buckley has set specific goals for the team, this year, the Indians are focused on “one game at a time” and “one practice at a time.”  Buckley believes that if PV focuses just on getting better everyday, his team will be “doing some good things” this season.

Coach’s Comment: “We’re just really excited about the seasoned guys that we have for the last three years, and also bringing up these young sophomores that have a lot of potential. We think we’re in for an exciting year… We’re going to take it game by game and see how things shake out. But, based on our preseason and our scrimmages, I kind of like where we are and what we have. We have a lot of good pieces.”

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