In a season that has endured more downs than ups, the Athens Drive girls lacrosse program can take some comfort in that its head coach Mike SanGiacomo plans to stick around for awhile.
With a revolving door of head coaches in recent years, continuity has been lacking. However, the affable SanGiacomo wants to lift the Jaguars to great heights, though the Bellville, N.J. native admits there have been some bumps along the way.
“Coming into a program that has had five coaches in five years, and just trying to get my ideas across to them, it’s been a little slower than I would have liked,” SanGiacomo said. “They aren’t giving up, though, that’s all you can ask for. There’s just a lack of experience, most of these girls are just picking it up for the first time when they get to high school.”
Numbers are up this season from last year, with 19 players on this roster compared to the 13 from the Jaguars’ 1-9 campaign.
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The team has played better, compiling a 4-10 (2-10 Southwest Wake Athletic Conference) record.
“They are playing to have fun, and I’m trying to put that in the game,” SanGiacomo said. “I have been so serious about pounding on technique and drills, I got away from that, and I need to get back to that so they have fun.”
Sophomore Carsin Gronbach leads the team with 28 goals.
“They will get better in time, the philosophy is about the team concept,” SanGiacomo said. “I watch a lot of games in North Carolina where a girl picks it up and runs the entire length of the field. I can’t say that hasn’t been us at times, but we’re trying to get the ball in the air more. We want to move the ball around more and I think eventually we will be able to do that.”