New Canaan Youth Lacrosse

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Change Team: 
Practice This Week
by posted 04/19/2021


Cheers and Happy Monday.

The Boys are 3-0.

Considering we have not been together as a full team - except for one week - we are pleased with the strong start.


  • Today, WE ARE AT SAXE SCHOOL GRASS - FIELD #3. 6-7:30 pm.
  • Wednesday, Water Tower Turf #1. 5:30-7 pm.
  • Friday, Water Tower Turf #1. 5:30-7 pm.

And it will be nice to be closer to home this weekend with our games @Ridgefield and home vs Greenwich.

Here are some thoughts on the team:

Defense will focus on playing tightly, between your man and the ball, getting in front of your opponent and avoid "ball watching" as the opponent disappears and backdoor cuts. Also, as parents, know we are respecting player's wishes to be in a certain position... but occasionally we need 2-3 of them to play defense for a quarter or a half.

Offensively, we want assisted goals. We need to graduate from the individual who dodges past four defenders while also running over two other defenders to score. We need to focus on an offensive set, spacing, moving the ball in one direction, getting in some cuts & picks and finding an open man. Lastly, our offense is always initiating from out top, which is fine. But we need to initiate some offense from behind the cage, where an attackman can dodge, create a slide and pass to a cutter or the crease man. It simply allows for variety and makes it tough for our opponent to defend. In basketball terms, as we move the ball in one direction, the defense will shift to that side... then we can find an open man on the weak side.

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5A Boys Lacrosse - Games This Weekend
by posted 04/16/2021

Happy Friday.

The weekend is almost here.

Practice tonight: 5:30 - 7 pm.

Here are some details for this weekend's games.

Saturday vs Locust Valley; 10 am; Centre Island Beach - 466 Bayville Avenue, Bayville NY. (approximtely 90 minute drive)

Try to arrive by 9 am.

Sunday Doubleheader vs Ridgefield and then Westfield; first game 3:15 pm; second game 4:15 pm; Ponderosa Park Turf - 1600 Cooper Road, Scotch Plains NJ. (approximately 90 minute drive)

Try to arrive by 2:15 pm

Let Allyson or Gina know if any boys need rides or carpools.

Some logistics:

  • Please try to have boys in their 2021 black/white uniform (pinney), 2021 white shorts, black t-shirt (doesn't have to be a NCLA t-shirt, just needs to be black), white socks... let's try to look sharp as a team.
  • EVERY BOY NEEDS TO HAVE A MOUTHGUARD. Referees will not let boys play without a mouthguard (coaches do pack extras).
  • Boys need to bring their own water bottle. We normally have team water, but boys should bring their own since COVID may not be quite over.
  • We never covered playing time in our team meeting, but please understand we work to get every boy in at least a quarter and preferrably a half of a game. Frankly, if you play defense, you may play a lot. We will do our best to shift midfields into the game like hockey shifts - 1, 2, 3...  And attack units may switch each quarter.
  • Before we get into Fairfield County competition, this weekend will be a good preparation for some boys who are new to full-field competition. Be patient as we learn how to substitute on the fly, how to ride, how to clear, how to play man-advantage, how to play man-down, etc. Some boys are prepared through their club teams, some boys are not.
  • After Saturday's game, Gil Rotchford organized a brief get-together with the folks from Locust Valley.



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Your Son / Lacrosse / UNIFORM
by posted 04/13/2021

Sorry for the mid-day email...

But the question is quick and easy:

Do you all have a 2021 uniform for your son?  

(which is the same as 2020 uniform, since COVID hit us last season).

See attached.  If you don't see it here, we can email it personally to you.

We asked some boys at practice in their 2018 and 2019 pinnies... if they have a 2021 kit, and they don't.

Let's tighten this up.  Just in case we don't look good at lacrosse, we can at least say we look good in our uniform.

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5A Schedule - Week of April 11-18
by posted 04/12/2021

Good Morning.

Happy Monday.

Hard to belive we went with 7-8 player practices for three weeks.

But spring breaks, quarantines, vacations, etc. all seem to be finally over.

Now, believe it or not, we only have a 45-day season of "town" lacrosse. We cram a lot into 45 days.

And PLEASE NOTE: We have one game on Long Island this Saturday, and two games in New Jersey this Sunday.

Practices this week:

  • Monday, April 12 - 6-7:30 pm at Water Tower Turf 2 (near tennis courts)
  • Wednesday, April 14 - 5:30-7 pm at Water Tower Turf 1 (near Lapham Center)
  • Friday, April 16 - 5:30-7 pm at Water Tower Turf 1 (near Lapham Center)

We are looking at a parent / coach meeting this Wednesday after practice. It will be brief. Just to make introductions, set expectations, provide an outlook and answer questions. More to come.

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Quick Videos of Drills
by posted 04/09/2021

Happy Friday.

Three quick videos (only 20-30 seconds each) of some drills we ran this week.

  • Overhand Shooting:
  • Pass and Catch in Confusion:
  • Back-Pedal and Catch:


We have a lot to do next week. The boys will need to experience a 110 yard full field - which is different than the short field format they experienced in 3rd and 4th grade.

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Your Son / Lacrosse / Welcome to 5A Team
by posted 03/21/2021

Good Evening.

We hope everyone had a terrific weekend and enjoyed this spectacular weather.

We want to welcome your son (and you as parents) to NCLA 5A Team for 2021.

First item of importance is there is practice tomorrow - Monday, March 22 from 5 pm - 6:15 pm - on Water Tower Turf #1 (this is the turf closest to Lapham Center and the Community Pool).

Please...your son should keep wearing a mask under his helmet.

We would like to introduce you to our coaches:

Joe Costigan - HEAD COACH - Joe is a native of New Canaan, having played lacrosse for New Canaan High School. He also played football, ran track and was a swimmer for NCHS. Joe had a terrific career in lacrosse at University of North Carolina, having played midfield for the Tar Heels from 2012-2015. Best of all, Joe isn't even the best lacrosse player in his household - that title goes to his wife, Aly Messinger Costigan, who was an All American lacrosse player for the Carolina Women's Team. Joe also holds an MBA from University of Maryland. He and Aly moved back to the area recently and we are excited to have a person of Joe's character, background and commitment giving back to the program he grew up with.

Kyle Foley - ASSISTANT COACH - Kyle is a native of South Windsor, Connecticut. We call that "Upstate" in New Canaan. Kyle played lacrosse and was a standout soccer player and diver on the swim team at South Windsor High School. Kyle is also a senior member of the Varsity Lacrosse Team at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield. Kyle is a starting defensive midfielder for the Pioneers. And he is in his 3rd season as a coach in the NCLA program, having coached 5th and 6th grade teams previously in our town.

Patrick Russell - ASSISTANT COACH / MANAGER - Patrick and his wife, Robin, have lived in New Canaan for over 20 years. They have three children - Kyle, Devon, Drew - all former NCLA players. Patrick has coached and been involved with NCLA Lacrosse for 15 years. He is a volunteer and is giving back to the game he loves. Patrick is a native of Baltimore and played lacrosse for Johns Hopkins University from 1986-1989, winning a National Championship in 1987. The kids refer to Coach Russell as "Big Daddy". In addition to coaching, Big Daddy will carry the ball bucket, bring extra mouth-guards, keep stats and give every player a cool nickname.

At some point soon, there will be a post-practice meeting of the coaches and parents. We will announce this soon. And it will be a terrific way for all of us to meet each other. In the meantime, remember practice is tomorrow from 5 pm - 6:15 pm on Water Tower Turf #1.

One ground rule: THIS IS A TOWN TEAM. THIS IS PRIDE IN OUR TOWN. We are not a club team. We hold March, April and May sacred to the town program. We will represent the 06840 with pride. Red & Black. NC Pride! Please. Try to wear a New Canaan pinney and shorts to practice. No Eclipse swag, No Prime Time swag, No 2-Way swag, etc. 

The only exception is the helmet - it may be the only helmet your son owns - so that is the exception if he needs to wear a non-NCLA helmet.

If he needs shorts or a pinney that says: "New Canaan Lacrosse" - Coach Russell can help them. 

More bullet-points will come at a later date.

We will have fun, we will support every teammate, we will learn the game, we will become better every day.


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Gina Cerami 
Allyson Mahoney 
Asst Coach 
Asst Coach 
Patrick Russell 
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