Cousins Lauren DeLuca and Dave Patnaude used to be friendly rivals when DeLuca played lacrosse at Salem High while Patnaude suited up for arch rival Beverly High. Now they’re both wearing the Salem State University colors and captaining their respective squads.
“It’s kind of cool,” said DeLuca, a senior media production major who plays attack for the Lady Vikings. “We used to joke about the Salem-Beverly rivalry; now we try to support each other. Usually our games are right before theirs, so the guys stay to watch the first part of our game before getting ready to play.
“I didn’t go out for lacrosse my freshman year, but I missed it. I’ve been playing since I was a sophomore. We have a lot of good players who are multi-sport athletes, and there’s a lot of enthusiasm. Sherene Abu-Hijleh (from Peabody) was one of the ones that brought the program back and now she’s our assistant coach, which is nice.”
DeLuca has started all season and has 12 goals, 3 assists and 15 points, tied for third in scoring on the team. The squad picked up its second win of the season, coming from behind with an 11-goal output in the second half to beat Regis, 17-14. Head coach Tarra Sartori’s Lady Vikings are 2-6 on the season.
Patnaude is a senior business administration major. He plays midfield for head coach Trevor Eaton and does an excellent job on faceoffs. He has also scooped up 25 ground balls and has an assist. The men are 7-3 and hoping to go to the playoffs.
He began playing youth lacrosse when he was in the sixth grade and loves the sport.
“It’s a little weird that my cousin is also a captain, but it’s nice,” said Patnaude. “I try to get out there early when the women are playing to support them and visit with my family members. Between my mother, my aunt and other relatives, we always have a lot of family support.”