The boys’ lacrosse team at Holmdel High School has been winning games this spring.
But there is plenty of room for improvement.
So declared the Holmdel coach, Dale Oehler.
“We need better possessions,” Oehler said. “On both offense and defense. Need to get rid of the defensive lapses. Forgetting to slide early enough and hard enough. On offense, it’s passing and catching the ball. We need to get better at ground balls. If I look, I’m sure they out-gained us on ground balls tonight. The fundamentals. We have to get better at the fundamentals.”
Jack Kapcsos, a senior who plays on the attack, also shared his thought son how Holmdel can improve.
“We need to get better at ground balls and energy,” Kapcsos said. “We need to get our hands dirty and start pushing teams around. We can’t be scared to fight for ground balls.”
Those comments came after the Hornets escaped with a 7-6 victory over Red Bank Catholic High School on April 25 at Count Basie Park in Red Bank.
The Hornets had to hold on after Red Bank Catholic connected on a goal with one second left and then the Caseys were awarded a free shot on goal due to a face-off penalty. Holmdel blocked the final shot as time expired.
Kapcsos was the scoring star against his former team. He had just joined Holmdel after he had sat out once he transferred from Red Bank Catholic.
Oehler critiqued Holmdel’s effort in the victory over RBC that lifted the Hornets to 8-4 on the season.
“Honestly, I expected that we would have played much better than this,” Oehler said. “We had a game last night as well, so maybe there was a little bit of a hangover. But, give RBC a lot of credit. They came out fired up. They hustled. We had some defensive lapses that we shouldn’t have. Let it some easy goals. We needed to move off ball better. We got the win, so that’s the good thing. But, it was a very ugly win.”
“We had some good matchups,” Kapcsos said. “I took advantage of who was guarding me. We just need to continue to get better. Keep practicing hard.”
Oehler wants the team to regain its focus after the tough game.
“Look, we’re 8-4 now,” Oehler said. “We only have a few games left. We need to battle for every game now. There’s a lot of parity in the Shore Conference this year, besides a couple of teams on the top. But anybody can beat anybody on any given day like the cliche says. We just got to play better, stronger, more aggressive, and I like our chances. We just have to play more consistent lacrosse.”
“I agree with coach,” Kapcsos said. “I like the way our schedule is looking like for the rest of the year. We can run the table if we play some good, fast lacrosse.”
Oehler praised the balance that Holmdel has relied on to win eight games.
“Well [senior attack] Justin Arredondo has been playing really well,” Oehler said. “Nick [Tuccillo], our goalie, has been terrific. Game, after game, after game, after game, he’s kept us in it. [Senior] Sean Dolan, our best defender, has been fantastic. [Midfield] Dan Tempone at face-off has been doing a good job. So, we’ve had some balance, but we just need to be more consistent.”
The Hornets on May 5 visit Shore Regional High School in West Long Branch for a 2 p.m. start.