The Marist men’s lacrosse team traveled to Long Island earlier in October to play in the Headstrong Nick Colleluori Classic Tournament at Hofstra University.
Headstrong Foundation’s mission is to improve the lives of families affected by cancer. The Red Foxes played two games on Saturday, Oct. 9 against two Long Island-based schools, the host school Hofstra and Long Island University.
Head coach Keegan Wilkinson spoke about the tournament and what it meant for his program to be a part of such an amazing cause.
“It was a great tournament, for us personally we are thrilled to participate in any of the Headstrong events,” he said. “Their mission and their foundation have done such an amazing job.”
The score reset after every quarter meaning there was no textbook “winner,” but according to Wilkinson, “We played really well as a team.”
Marist has 13 of 15 returning starters from last year’s shortened COVID season. There are high expectations from these returning starters. Coach spoke about what the 10 to 12 seniors mean to the team.
“The seniors will have a large leadership role this year. They are a unified group that has been through a tremendous amount together over the course of their careers, each of them bringing something different and unique to the program. As a staff we are confident in their leadership and know we are in a great position with them as our senior class.” said Wilkinson.
Marist has added a new member to their coaching staff as well with JD Colarusso. Colarusso is no stranger to the Hudson Valley, having grown up in Dutchess County. Colarusso led The University at Albany to the program’s first final four in 2018 during his collegiate years. He started five games in goal for the Atlas Lacrosse Club during his Premier Lacrosse League career, the highest professional league.
“The addition of JD to our staff is massive, not only is he a great person, first and foremost he is someone who loves the game,” Coach Wilkinson said about the new hire. Players are hoping that JD can bring his strategies to the Hudson Valley.
Marist men’s lacrosse has a special meaning to the number 34. “One of the highest honors in the program,” said the coach. Eddie Coombs, who played for Marist in 2010, lost his life in a car accident. Coombs wore number 34. Ever since the number has passed to a deserving member of the Red Fox lacrosse team. This year, James Lyons is wearing the illustrious 34. Wilkinson spoke highly of the senior from Sayville, NY.
“James was a guy who really stood out, the desire he plays with is very reminiscent of Eddie,” Coach Wilkinson said. “His intense dedication and loyalty to this program is something that I haven’t seen in my 13 years here.”
The team has not had a full season for two years. Wilkinson is extremely excited for his team to be back on the field. “I am getting the chills just thinking about our team being back in back in the room, in person, just watching film,” he said.
Edited by Jonathan Kinane & Mackenzie Meaney
Photo by Marist Athletics