The Salem boys lacrosse team has had a tremendous year under first-year coach Anthony Nardella, wrapping up an early qualification for the postseason and also capturing the Northeastern Conference South division title.
All of that plus a 10-4 record doesn’t mean the Witches have been free from some bad luck, especially recently.
Salem lost starting goalie Christian Costa because of a concussion recently. Then, before Costa could even return to the field, the senior found out he has mononucleosis which will likely knock him out for the rest of the spring, unless the Witches make a long tournament run.
Senior Kevin Nguyen has done a fantastic job filling in for Costa, but late last week he took a hard shot to the head that knocked him out of the team’s game against Georgetown.
”He took a pretty good shot,” Nardella said. “He was going to be checked out (for a concussion) again, but he’s symptom free right now. We’re hoping to get him back (this week).”
Keeping up with the “next player in line” philosophy that so many other successful teams live by, junior Will Meadowcroft more than did the job taking over for Nguyen. Although the Witches ended up falling to Georgetown in double overtime, Meadowcroft played excellent, keeping Salem in the game in overtime.
”He played out of his mind,” Nardella said.
Nardella is thrilled with his team’s ability to overcome the adversity it has faced down the stretch.
”It’s been great. We’ve had a number of guys step up,” Nardella said. “Matt Jalbert didn’t play a whole lot (against Georgetown), then he got the game-tying goal. We talk about being ready when called on and all our guys, including JV guys who have been called up, have done a great job.”