Holy Trinity lacrosse teams have potential for strong finish


Published:

Holy Trinity defenders James Burke (No. 17), Gavin Pate (No. 2) and goalie John Mercaldo try to fend off an MCC attack during a recent game.

photos by Carl Kotala

As the Holy Trinity boys lacrosse team gets healthier and prepares for a run to the district championship game, the girls team is serving notice on everyone they play that the Tigers are going to be a much different opponent than in years past.

Junior Anne Kelly, who transferred from Lancaster, Pa., has ignited the Holy Trinity offense and provided the kind of leadership that has played a big role in the Tigers’ success.

“The level that we’re playing at this year has skyrocketed because of Anne coming in,” Holy Trinity eighth-grader Ramsey Barrows said after the Tigers defeated MCC 16-5.

“She’s brought so many different abilities to us, pushing us to use our left, pushing us to get in there and be more aggressive than we would have been before.”

VIERA VOICE Carl Kotala Holy Trinity's Lauren Stevens brings the ball upfield during a recent game against Melbourne Central Catholic. The Tigers' offense has seen significant improvement this season.Kelly, who scored 10 goals in the win against MCC and 12 goals in a 17-15 victory against Melbourne, already has developed a good playing rapport with Barrows — a solid scorer herself — and is enjoying the team dynamic.

While coach Bret Barringer’s team doesn’t have a lot of players with previous lacrosse experience, it’s easy to see things are starting to click for the Tigers, who also are happy to have senior Cassidy McNair back in goal after a one-year absence.

“Everyone’s super eager to do their best and learn,” Kelly said. “The people who haven’t played want to play and the people who know how to play want to help the others.

“It was really easy for me to come into the team. Everyone was super open and happy. Everyone gets along really well. That makes it all the easier to gel as a unit.”

Although Holy Trinity’s boys may have lost their game to MCC, coach Mike Leary came away encouraged with the way his team played.

The Tigers also have a number of young players, but are anchored on defense by seniors Thomas Baez and Gavin Pate while juniors Ethan Leary and Jack Ganiban pace the offense. Sophomore Sully Altman brings all kinds of energy and goalkeeper John Mercaldo continues to improve.

“We have a lot of younger guys, so we’ve been working on them, but the older guys are really doing well,” Pate said. “We’re picking up what we need to do. The coaches have been great. We’ve been learning a lot.”

The Tigers should get a big boost from the return of one of their top players, Brian Bauman, who was injured on the second day of practice.

“After tonight, I think we can be competitive in the (district) championship game,” Tigers coach Mike Leary said. “I really do. We’ve got to have a little bit of luck with us, but it’s a possibility.”