CHESHIRE -- There’s only one direction the Hoosac Valley girls’ lacrosse team can go this year: Up.
The 2012 campaign proved a trying one as the Hurricanes failed to find the win column. A new coaching staff is trying to stop that streak as quickly as possible.
Drury Athletic Director and girls’ soccer coach Molly Meczywor teams with Zachary Sondrini to lead Hoosac in its second varsity season.
"Last year, I guess they didn’t win a game last season," said Sondrini, who played on the men’s team at Western New England University. "So we’re really hoping to come in and change that this year, and I think we can do it."
The slate has been wiped clean to start the year, and about the only position locked up is goalie. Kelsey Hosley (HV) returns between the pipes after leading the county in save percentage last year in her first season.
The Hurricanes will build their team out of the defensive end. Returning on defense is Maeve Denning (Drury) and Celina Gigliotti (HV) to give Hoosac some stability on the back end. Caryn Piacenti (HV) will join them.
"I think we have a really, really strong returning defensive presence," Sondrini said. "That’s probably our strength right now, building off of that."
Hoosac looks to have talent in the midfield, too, which is where Sondrini is trying to focus his best talent.
Molly O’Dowd (Drury), Sydnee Gallup (HV) and Holly Cadran (HV) will see plenty of time in the midfield. Jaci Aubin (Drury) spent a lot of time as an attack last season, but may also see plenty of time in the middle.
The stacked midfield is part of Sondrini’s coaching philosophy.
"You want them working both sides of the field," he said. "We want people we can trust handling the ball. We want people we can trust on defense.
"At the time, we want our best goal scorers on the field the entire game, so we might want to put them at attack. We’ll probably do some switching throughout the game."
That approach stems from his time at UNE.
"The guys’ sport I played in college, I’m trying to adapt a lot of the style into girls’ game," he said. "It’s good. The girls, I think, are picking up on it."
"Just an amazing group of girls, very receptive to learning new techniques, new fundamentals."
The Hurricanes have seen a big boost in numbers this season. There were just 16 on the roster last year, but there are 24 OR 25 now, which allows the Hurricanes to field a junior varsity team.
It’s also allowed for some good competition during practice, despite being indoors without nets. Still, Sondrini has liked what he’s seen.
"I’ve seen a lot of good players we got. I think the season’s going to be pretty good," he said.
Saturday’s jamboree will give the coaching staff its first look at the team in game situations, and for a new staff, invaluable information about the strengths and weaknesses of its team.
"I didn’t get a chance to see them last year, so we’re going to see how they do in these positions on Saturday and go from there," Sondrini said. "Maybe we’ll move some people around, see if they’ll do better in other positions."