Men’s Lacrosse Secret Weapon: How a Freshman Goalie has Sparked Pace’s Unbeaten Season

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Men’s Lacrosse Secret Weapon: How a Freshman Goalie has Sparked Pace’s Unbeaten Season

Ragusa was named NE10 Rookie of the Week on the week of March 5th, 2018.

Ragusa was named NE10 Rookie of the Week on the week of March 5th, 2018.

Pace Athletics

Ragusa was named NE10 Rookie of the Week on the week of March 5th, 2018.

Pace Athletics

Pace Athletics

Ragusa was named NE10 Rookie of the Week on the week of March 5th, 2018.

Sequoia Cumming, Sports Editor

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Pace men’s lacrosse remains unbeaten at 6-0 after a victory this past Saturday over Saint Michael’s College. The Setters, who currently stand at No. 6 in the NCAA D-II rankings, are headed towards a collision course this Saturday against first-ranked Adelphi. Though Adelphi knocked the Setters out the postseason last year, the team has a new weapon to combat the 8-0 Panthers’ offensive attack.

Freshman goalkeeper Louis Ragusa has been a mainstay for the Setters this season and was recently selected as the NE-10 Conference’s Goalkeeper and Rookie of the Week.

Ragusa, along with 5 of his teammates, played for the elite Yorktown Huskers in high school. Season after season, Yorktown lacrosse produces college-bound student-athletes trained to excel in their sport.

Pace head coach Tom Mariano was a Husker himself when he played lacrosse in high school, so it is no wonder that Ragusa would have an opportunity to prove his defensive skills early in the season. In the home-opener against Dominican College, Ragusa earned the win, allowing only two goals in more than 38 minutes of play.

“I was a little nervous,” Ragusa admitted about his first collegiate game. “I really didn’t know going into this season if I was going to play or not. I didn’t want to get too in my head about it. Running out there when [Mariano] said ‘you’re in,’ that’s what I live for. Coming in as a freshman, I felt really proud of myself.”

Since going up against Dominican, Ragusa has summed a total of 74 saves this season, and is ranked first in the NE-10 with a .697 save percentage.

Ragusa’s positive impact in the net was defined in the difficult back-and-forth game against the New York Institute of Technology (NYIT), which assistant coach Ian Prate coincidentally played lacrosse for and graduated from in 2018.

“[Ian] Prate just graduated from NYIT, so it’s a chippy game,” Ragusa said. “It’s like their Super Bowl, we’re on their list as the team to beat. They beat us last year, so a lot of kids are coming back for revenge.”

Pace defeated NYIT March 13, 12-10, which meant that Ragusa improved to 4-0 with a 13-save performance. That was the third straight game that the freshman goalkeeper had made double-figure stops. It is also the fourth straight game that he went to Rocky’s Deli beforehand.

“I like to go to Rocky’s Deli and get a sandwich with a chicken cutlet, bacon, lettuce, tomato, and hot sauce on a roll, and a medium iced coffee before every game,” Ragusa said. “Rocky’s has always been my deli on Sunday mornings. I decided to go before my first game here, and that worked out for me, so I kept that up.”

The superstitious freshman played in his first NE-10 conference away game last week against Southern New Hampshire, and helped the Setters find victory 13-4.

“It’s my first big away game, but I don’t think it should be any different,” Ragusa said prior to the win. “I think we’ll be fine, I feel like the team is prepared.”

This past Saturday during the the Setters’ win over Saint Michael’s, Ragusa contributed 11 saves in net, continuing his impressive double-digit streak.

Eyes will be locked on the electrifying freshman as he attempts to repeat his excellent play he has displayed thus far this season against the powerhouse that is Adelphi.

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