WEST HARTFORD — The Northwest Catholic boys lacrosse team is playing pretty well lately and the scary thing for upcoming opponents is the Indians plan on getting a lot better.
Scoring in bunches and and getting off to fast starts, Northwest Catholic is 5-2 on the season and looks to be one of the stronger teams in Class S.
The Indians started the season with a 10-9 overtime victory over Conard and responded to a brief hiccup where they lost two straight with three consecutive wins.
The Indians were scheduled to face Avon on Wednesday and they host Tolland on Friday as they look to extend their win streak and build toward the post season.
“Our team has high expectations that end with a goal of a state championship,” Northwest Catholic coach Peter Vlahakis said. “We have the talent to do so.”
The talent is especially evident on offense where the Indians are averaging over 14 goals per game.
“I expect that average to go up as we cut down on the mistakes,” Vlahakis said. “In almost every game we have played, we have scored more than our opponent has given up to anyone else.”
In Northwest Catholic’s last game it jumped out to a 9-0 lead over Suffield in the first eight minutes and cruised to a 16-6 win. The offense was obviously firing on all cylinders and the Indians defense was improved as well.
“Each game we try to fix some of our mistakes,” Vlahakis said. “I was able to watch some tape of us and little things like players being in the wrong spot make all the difference. After spending a lot of time on defense the past week, I saw a huge improvement in the clears and team defense against Suffield.”
So far this season Chris McLaughlin is leading the offense with 33 points, including 26 goals. Aiden McDonnell has 18 goals and 11 assists for 29 points and Mac Kearns leads the team with 12 assists to go along with seven goals.
Vlahakis credited Chris McLaughlin (68% face-offs, state leading 68 Ground Balls) and Conner Murphy (71% with 48 Ground Balls) with doing a greta job on face offs to get the Indians possession. Vlahakis feels that both McLaughlin and Murphy are playing at an all-state level.
John Fox (11 goals, five assists) has as done a great job at dodging and drawing slides to open up the offense while Ryan Donahue (seven goals, four assists) and James Gibbons (seven goals, four assists) have stepped up as well. Cam von Hollander (10 goals, seven assists) and Conner Murphy (nine goals, one assist) have done a good job of finishing inside for the Indians.
“We have such good ball movement that you cannot focus on stopping just one of us,” Vlahakis said. “We have a lot of weapons and will only get better on offense as the season progresses.”