SHRUB OAK, N.Y. – Lakeland comes off a season where, as the No. 12 seed, lost at No. 5 Nyack, 2-0, in the opening round of the Section 1 Class A tournament, finishing at 8-8-1.
“I have been blessed to coach so many talented players in my time here, and I’m really looking forward to my 16th season (as head coach) with a very deep roster in 2020,” said Lakeland coach Tim Hourahan, who coached the Hornets to the 2011 Section 1 Class A crown.
The Hornets return 17 players, including seven starters.
Offensively, returning is the team’s leading goal scorer, Bryan Jaramillo, who finished 2019 with 10 goals, as a freshman, in an All-League campaign.
Jaramillo will be joined by fellow sophomore returning starter Sonny Karaqi (5 goals in 2019), and seniors, three-year starter, captain Jason San Lucas, Antonio Gerbasi, and Steban Minchalo.
Two more Hornets are sophomores Derek Jaramillo (Bryan’s cousin), returning from the academy program, and Michael Rodriguez, a transfer from Putnam Valley.
“The makeup of our offensive-minded players has a great mix of abilities, and all of these players will look to bring this program back to its heights from just a few years ago,” Hourahan said.
Leading the defense will be senior captains and three-year starters, center-back Reed Thompson and Austin Bergen, who plays just about any position.
“They will play in front of our first-year starting goalkeeper Jason Pasato (senior), who was having a lights out winter league before the virus hit, and we are excited to see him take over in the net,” Hourahan said.
Also playing on defense is newcomer senior Conor Hufnagel, who will play Division 1 lacrosse at Hofstra University.
Hourahan said, if you ask him now, what the goals are for this campaign, it would be to give his players a meaningful season, in which every day, the team is looking to get better, be great teammates, and enjoy being part of the program.
“Sure, would I like to see our team be in the mix for a league and/or sectional title, of course,” Hourahan said. “Those are our program goals since I arrived in 2001. But for today, I just want these kids to have an opportunity to compete. I want them to stay grounded, be where their feet are, and not worry about tomorrow. I want them all to try and become the best they can be today, and let’s see if we can stack up a lot of those consecutive days and see where it takes us.”
Lakeland is scheduled to open at 6 p.m. vs. visiting Putnam Valley on Wednesday, Oct. 14, on senior night.