Laxcats; twice as many

Nate Bottiger, Staff Writer

This preseason, Pitt-Johnstown’s lacrosse team has more to worry about than in previous years, with an overload of rookies and budget problems.

The team doubled the number of players on their roster this season, from 16 to 32, which has  created budget problems, because the team’s budget is based on a 16-player team.

Captain Matt Ziance said the team is struggling to buy new safety equipment to accommodate new players.

The team is trying to emergency allocate $1,200 to supplement their budget equipment.

“We are using every last cent on strictly safety equipment.”

Ziance said he hopes the Student Senate will allow these allocations; otherwise, he is not sure how the team will be able to get $3,000 to $5,000 to purchase the necessary equipment.

The team also tried entering a competition hosted by the Pro Athletics Co., in which the team needed “likes” on a photograph of their helmet decal design on Facebook.

The winner of the competition received free helmet decals, but the Laxcats came up short.

Their efforts did not go unnoticed, however, and they will receive 10 percent off of the decals.

Ziance said the financial problems should not pose a threat to their upcoming season, which so far consists of eight games, and possibly five additional games that have not yet been confirmed.

The Laxcats are to start off their season on Feb. 26 at Frostburg (M.d.) State University against both Frostburg State and Liberty (Lynchburg, W.Va.) University.

Ziance said he will use these two games to gauge the team’s competitiveness.

“If we win both games, then there will be no doubt in my mind that we can go undefeated and make it to nationals in May.”

Sophomore Chris Ward said the games against Frostburg State and Liberty are possibly the biggest games all season, and that two wins could provide momentum to carry throughout the season.

Ziance said the team’s first priority is to win the Keystone Conference to advance to national competition.

Ziance said the team has meshed well so far in practice.

At first glance, additional players who have not played before a few weeks ago would present problems, but Ziance said the new players picked up the basics quickly.

“I was amazed that the new players only took about 25 minutes to learn how to catch and throw.”

Senior Collin Boyer said in his four years of play, he has never seen this many new recruits going out for the team.

Ziance said he hopes strong leadership at practices will help.

“It looks to be a great year as long as we can just complete what we practice, and let that carry over to the games.”