Glen Cove's focus is defense


The Big Red lacrosse team finished 2018 with a 4-4 league record and looks to improve on some bright spots in the coming season.

“You always want to step up from where you left off,” said longtime Glen Cove coach Steve Tripp. “That’s been our motto for prepping for this season: Step up.”

One such player who will need to make those words a reality is senior defenseman Jack Coyle. He’ll now look to not only slide in as the leader of the defensive unit, but will look to fill the role that current Siena College defender Jack Kaffl left after graduating last June.

“Coyle is going to try to fulfill that ‘cover guy’ role for us on defense,” Tripp said. Joining Coyle on the defensive end are Octavio Echegaray and Fernando Portillo. “We are going to be working from our defense forward this season,” Tripp said. “And, really, it all starts with Jesse Mayreis.”

Mayreis is a senior goalie that has been the team’s primary starting keeper since his sophomore season. “He has played significant time in the role and protects the crease well,” Tripp said. “He is the backbone of our defense and makes big plays when we need him to.”

Despite the focus on the defensive half, Glen Cove also rosters some talented offensive weapons, including seniors Mayan Letellier and Felipe De La Fuente. Letellier successfully nabbed multiple multi-goal games in 2018, including a game in which he scored a hat trick. “Mayan can control a game for us offensively,” Tripp said. “He likes to have the ball, he likes to create his own shot, and other guys are going to be looking to find opportunities to get their shots off as well.”

De La Fuente, as well as junior Peter Rodriguez and senior Thomas Klimaszewski will look to diversify the scoring output for the Big Red in 2019. “Klimaszewski was our finisher last year and has to carry, distribute and create offense for us,” Tripp said. “Rodriguez, who is a natural lefty scorer, was up and down from varsity and JV last year.”

The challenge for Glen Cove throughout their non-league games has been to find its tempo and creating opportunities in situations that feel comfortable for the squad. “Each team changes year to year,” Tripp said. “We have to figure out if we are better at creating havoc defensively or containing the game. We’ve seen us go up and down throughout our nonleague games thus far.”

Glen Cove opened up league play earlier this week at Sewanhaka. “They are a young team and have a lot of experience,” Tripp said. “They had a lot of sophomores starting for them last year, so their juniors last year have a lot more game experience than juniors usually do.”

Tripp is looking for his group to improve on its overall clearing game, playing a full game defensively on a consistent basis, and increasing its faceoff win percentage. “Our guys are looking to fulfill roles, and now they get the chance,” he said.