Gearing up

Heading into his second year as head coach, Jason Miller wants to instill hard work, commitment and sacrifice into the St. John’s lacrosse team. The 2008 season will be the third since St. John’s reestablished the lacrosse program in 2005, and the Red Storm will look to build on a 5-8 record from last season.

Patience may be a virtue, but in the world of collegiate sports the expectation to win exceeds any time limits.

“I have high expectations for this season and with the return of 10 seniors I am excited about where the program is headed,” Miller said.

Leading the returning seniors are captains Mike Luyster and Tom Michaelsen, both of whom have been with the program since its rebirth.

“It feels special being part of this program. Not many people get the opportunity to start from scratch and see how you progress,” said Michaelsen, who was part of last season’s All-ECAC team, said.
In addition to leading the team off the field, Michaelsen led the Johnnies in goals, assists and points last season.

Assisting Luyster and Michaelsen is tri-captain Matt Visucci. Visucci is a junior midfielder who his coach credits as being an all-around example for his teammates.

“We should have a pretty bright season [and] our goal is to make the NCAA tournament,” said Visucci. Visucci’s 14 new teammates will look to him this season to help herd this team into the right direction.

In goal for the Red Storm this season will be sophomore Dan Goldberg. Goldberg, who shared the goalie position last year, posted a record in 3-4 in the net. The challenge for this budding program will be to competitively compete amongst teams with far more experience. Each season they have made strides towards their goal of respectability.

“Everyone must step up, everyone must bring a little more to the table,” Miller said about this year’s team.

One focus for the Red Storm this season will be its goal scoring, which was a weak spot last season. St. John’s was outscored 120-96 by its opponents in 2007.

The 40-man roster is full of capable scorers who can contribute.

“The difference about this year’s team is experience,” Michaelsen said. “Every year people have improved.”

The improvements that have been made have not gone unnoticed.

The Red Storm are ranked sixth in the ECAC preseason poll this year, after finishing 2-5 in the conference last year. They are two spots higher than last year’s rankings. In week three the Red Storm will host No. 1 ranked Georgetown, a match that is likely to be a measuring stick for Miller’s young squad.

With only six games at Dasilva Memorial Field, the Red Storm will have to be successful on the road against the likes of teams such as Duke, Drexel and C.W. Post. Fans should look forward to an exciting season for the 2008 St. John’s men’s lacrosse team.