After a season that witnessed attackman Mike Scaglione’s ’03 rise to new levels of leadership on offense, the men’s lacrosse team’s top scorer will take his leadership to even greater heights next year.
Scaglione was elected captain of the men’s lacrosse team for the 2002-03 season at a team dinner April 24 before the Bulldogs’ disappointing 14-8 loss to No. 10 Maryland Friday. Following the loss, Scaglione learned he had been chosen to be next year’s captain.
“I was really excited,” Scaglione said. “It was a tremendous honor, especially following in the footsteps of Tucker.”
After the Bulldogs lost All-American Brian Hunt ’02 to a season-ending ankle injury before the first game of the regular season, the Elis did not expect any attackman to take sole responsibility for filling the shoes of the Bulldogs’ leading scorer from the last two years. But if anyone filled Hunt’s 58-point hole, it was Scaglione, who improved upon his sophomore year total of 30 points to lead the Elis with 48 points this year.
“If I had played the way I played this year last year, we would have had a real dangerous offense,” Scaglione. “Back then I played off of Hunt more, so this season I had to change some things around and it worked out.”
Scaglione, who is 19th in the nation averaging 3.18 points per game, was a major reason the Elis had their first nine-win season since 1996 and their first H-Y-P championship since 1989.
“He leads through example and by what he says,” captain Tucker Foote ’02 said of Scaglione. “He’s going to do a fantastic job.”
Among other major upsets, Scaglione had two goals and one assist in the Elis’ upset over No. 4 Princeton, their first win over the Tigers since 1990. Scaglione also had six goals and three assists in Yale’s 21-11 win over Sacred Heart March 10 to earn his first career Ivy League Player of the Week honors.
Perhaps the greatest source of the Bulldogs’ success this season lies with its senior leadership. Foote led a new off-season training program that the Bulldogs credited with their high level of physical fitness at the start of the season.
For Scaglione, next year will be about building on what Foote and the rest of the seniors have left behind.
“We have to stand on the shoulders of what our seniors from this year accomplished,” Scaglione said.
Despite all of the accomplishments of this year’s squad, there is still one goal that Scaglione expects the Bulldogs will reach next season.
“I expect us to win an Ivy championship,” Scaglione said. “It’s been my goal since I got here.”