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Lacrosse programs gearing up for spring season

January 17, 2023

Strong rosters comprised of returning and new student-athletes are making it easy for the coaches of varsity boys’ and girls’ lacrosse to prepare for the upcoming spring season.

This year, varsity boys’ lacrosse will be led by Bill Mella, a veteran of the sport. Mella is in his second year at CA, but has been coaching lacrosse at the high school level since 2006, both in assistant and head coach roles.

“We are returning this season with an excellent group of hungry, seasoned leaders who are ready to increase our NEPSAC standing,” Mella said.

“My goal is to build a program,” Mella continued. “Teams come and go, but good programs stand the test of time. I want to build a program that these players, their families, this school, and its community will be proud of now and for decades to come.”

One of CA’s best goalies and leaders on the field, Liam Ray ’22, graduated last spring. However, there are many strong players ready to step into new roles, including seniors Santino Gambardella ’23 and Jared Hirschfeld ’23, who have committed to play football at Middlebury College and Sacred Heart University, respectively.

Other student-athletes to watch: DJ Brunelle ’23, Artan Redzepi ’23, Marcus Richardson ’25, and Jackson Van Ness ’26.

Guiding the varsity girls’ lacrosse team this year is interim head coach Sarah Lasoff-Hodge, former player and longtime coach of the sport.

Lasoff-Hodge has worked at Cheshire Academy since 2018, and serves as the associate director of college counseling. She has 23 years of coaching experience — 15 years of which are for lacrosse in town and club leagues, including at CA. She also played lacrosse in high school and college.

“My goal is to give our team consistency and support an already talented group of young women to a successful season,” Lasoff-Hodge said. “This year has the most seasoned players that we have had on our roster in the five years I have been with our program, including some young talent that will develop into strong leadership for the program.”

Joining Lasoff-Hodge this year will be Kelsey Darcy ’19 as coaching intern. Darcy coached for Team Connecticut Lacrosse Club, the James Vick Foundation, and Hamden Youth Lacrosse, and played at Springfield College. She currently serves as president of Quinnipiac University’s women’s lacrosse club team.

“Darcy has coached a few of our players in club lacrosse, and the players are as excited to welcome her back to the Cats roster,” Lasoff-Hodge said.

Student-athletes to keep an eye out for this year: Grace Maurice ’23 (committed to Saint Mary’s College), Madison Olmstead ’23 (committed to the University of Hartford), and Leah Harris ’23 (committed to Frostburg State University), postgraduate Caitlin MacDougall ’23, Eva Moreland ’24, Kayla Murphy ’25, and Victoria Vollero ’26.