Men's lacrosse team has another strong season behind Mercyhurst junior Kyle Kallay

Ethan Magoc photo: Junior Kyle Kallay has been an integral part of the teams success this season.Ethan Magoc photo: Junior Kyle Kallay has been an integral part of the teams success this season.The No. 4 Mercyhurst men’s lacrosse team is having an excellent season based on the standards of most people, but inside the locker room, no one is thrilled with two losses.
The Lakers currently hold a 7-2 overall record with five games left to play, and there is still room for growth.

“It’s been an up and down year for us so far, but the intangibles like the weather and travel have caused the guys to not settle into a rhythm,” coach Chris Ryan said.

The Lakers have gotten production from a number of different places, but one has jumped to the top of the stat sheet. Junior Kyle Kallay was an important part of last year’s team, playing in all 12 games and starting in five of them. Kallay posted 24 points over those 12 games. This season, Kallay has managed a team-best 26 goals and 29 total points.

“Last year, I was able to get my feet wet and learn, and this year I have been fortunate enough to find the back of the net,” said Kallay.

This Laker team is already at two losses, one more than last season. The first was against an unranked Chestnut Hill team that left the team with a bitter taste in their mouths.

“We have had some bumps in trying to figure out who we are as a team… We just need to do the little things and keep it simple,” said Kallay. “We learned a lot from the Chestnut Hill loss. We got away from our system, and it cost us. Against Dowling we stuck to our game plan and we were able to win.”

After last year’s snub from postseason play, the schedule this season was considerably harder for the 2011 Lakers. The 2010 team posted an excellent 11-1 record but were denied entry into the playoffs because of a weak schedule.

“We have the toughest schedule in Division II. We aren’t going to make excuses though,” Ryan said.

The Lakers have managed to maneuver through the tough schedule and weather conditions to be in a good position heading into the final five games of the year. The team knocked off then No. 8 Mercy 9-7 and most recently beat then No. 3 Dowling 16-8. Despite these strong wins, the Lakers still have top-ranked Limestone on the schedule.

“We still have a lot of work ahead of us, but this team has the ability to achieve the high expectations we had,” Ryan said.

The Lakers are fortunate to have four of their final five games at home. Next up for the Lakers is Wheeling Jesuit this Saturday at 1 p.m. on Tullio Field.