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Seton Hall Prep (NJ) was one of the surprise teams in the tristate this past spring, finishing 16-4 after an 11-9 season in 2013 while taking a second straight Essex County championship.
Three of the Pirates’ losses in 2014 — to Chatham, Summit and Delbarton — were by one goal, with two of those games decided in overtime.
Summit’s season ended with a 9-4 loss to Delbarton in the Tournament of Champions Non-Public A semifinals.
How do the Pirates look heading into 2015.
Let’s check in with senior midfielder Joe McHale, who has committed to play at Providence College.
Now, here are Joe’s perspectives on the season.
What have you been doing to get ready for the season?
In the offseason, I have been lifting three times a week with the rest of the lacrosse team at our weight training facility. We have a specific lifting program and run once or twice a week as well.
We played in a lacrosse league during the fall at Rutgers University, participated in two fall tournaments, and are currently playing in a local winter league.
How does your schedule look, what games are you looking forward to most, and who are some of your scrimmages against?
Our schedule this year is once again one of the toughest in the state of New Jersey. Seton Hall Prep participates in the Fitch-Pitch Division, one of the hardest divisions in the state.
Looking ahead, our team is excited for games against Delbarton, Summit, and Chatham. We look to win the Essex County Championship for the third year in a row, and also look to repeat as Super Essex Conference Champions.
The ultimate goal is to compete for the Non-Public A and the Tournament of Champions titles.
We are looking forward to starting our season with our annual scrimmage against Ridgewood, and new scrimmage opponents Pingry, Morristown-Beard, and Northern Highlands.
What players on your team do you think will surprise some people this season?
Last year, we graduated many key players, including an attack line that completely shattered Seton Hall Prep offensive records. This year our defense will be led by senior defensemen Matt Farrell, senior defensive midfielder Jack Colleran, and with goaltenders Colin Kirst and Danny Lipkin.
Returning faceoff man Nick Carnovale will provide the team with many opportunities to posses the ball. The offense along with myself will be guided fellow senior midfielder Tom Larose, junior midfielder Sean Leahey, and senior attack men Carson Bliss, Andrew Hetzel and Connor Dunnigan.
What do you think the strength of your team will be this year?
In my opinion, I believe the strength of the team will be how well we work together. The defense is in constant communication, while offensive players all know their own role and work within our system.
How do you view the race in your league and who do you think some of the contending teams will be?
The race for the Non-Public A title will once again be up for grabs, as this is one of the toughest leagues in the state. Besides Seton Hall Prep, teams such as Delbarton, Bergen Catholic, and St. Augustine will contend for this title.
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