Mountain Lakes ended the 2013 season in a familiar place — with a New Jersey Group I title.

The Lakers, who finished 15-6, ended the season with an 11-8 loss to Rutgers Prep in the opening round of the New Jersey Tournament of Champions.

For a look at the 2014 Lakers, we turn to Christian Cuccinello.

The 6-foot senior attackman/midfielder is a feeder/finisher who is strong with either hand and has a high lacrosse IQ.  He is headed to Villanova University.

playerperspectiveNow, here’s a Q&A with Christian on the upcoming season.

What have you been doing to get ready for the season?
Our team has been working very hard to prepare for this season. Guys who do not play winter sports have  been meeting twice a week at 6 a.m. for workouts, along with playing in a local indoor league on Sundays to keep our sticks in our hands.

How does your schedule look, what games are you looking forward to most, and who are se become of your scrimmages against?
Our schedule looks tough as always. Because of the creation of the new conference, we have added a number of new games against teams like Chatham and West Morris, along with all of the teams in the Gibbs Division.

After last year’s Delbarton game, that is one we are definitely excited to play.

Our scrimmages include some tough out-of-state opponents including The Hill Academy, West Genesee  and Downingtown East and West.

What players on your team do you think will surprise some people this season?
After waiting his turn last year, I think senior LSM Robert Gossett is poised to have a great season. He has worked incredibly hard over the course of the offseason and has improved a lot.

Also, junior attackman Brad Smith, who had his season cut short due to injury last year. He has worked hard to come back even stronger this season.

What do you think the strength of your team will be this year?
I think the strongest part of our team this year will be our depth. We have so many guys in all positions that are capable of getting the job done, which I believe will be very important as the season progresses.

We also have two very good goalies in senior Paul Kimmelman and junior Kevin Beimfohr.

How do you view the race in your league and who do you think some of the contending teams will be?
The Gibbs Division is always tough to win year in and year out. Don Bosco and Bergen Catholic are always tough, along with Ridgewood.

Every game is a battle and there are no easy games in the division. I think we have a great group of guys this year and could make a big push for the Gibbs title this season.

And, of course, we look forward to the Morris County Tournament and defending our Group I Title also.

Coming soon only on Lacrosse Insider:
Joe Lombardi takes a look at 10 tristate varsity standouts who will be impact players at the college level

* Preseason player perspective archive

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Posted In: New Jersey lacrosse, Player's perspective

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