A Year of Change for JV Lacrosse Team


Sean Christman

The 2014 season will be one full of changes for the lacrosse program, with a large amount of them coming at the JV level.

With changes in philosophy and staff, there will be lots of adjustments to be made this spring for JV lacrosse. Even with all the changes, the goals remain the same: to prepare the players for varsity, and to have a productive, winning season.

A winning season starts with the coaches, and this year’s staff is full of knowledgeable and experienced coaches who will provide great instruction to the players. Varsity added a new defensive coach this season, Malvern graduate Matt McCormick, who played his college ball at Drexel.

However, at the JV level, there is a new JV A Head Coach. Bob DiIonno, the former coach, who will be remembered for his unique coaching style, is now an assistant with the JV program at Haverford. Taking over as JV A Head Coach is Nick Pison, who was on the staff last year as an assistant.

Coach Pison, a former High School All American at Saint Augustine Prep and 4 time Lehigh club lacrosse captain, will work primarily with the offense. He is joined by Assistant Coach Kurt Fisher, who will work with the defense and the faceoff unit. Coach Fisher is a Ridley High School alumni who played at Stockton College, and is in his fifth year at Malvern.

The JV B team will be lead by Coach Pat Holloway, who was also the head coach last year. A Malvern and Villanova alumnus, Coach Holloway also coaches with the soccer and squash programs. Malvern’s Head of Security, Steve LeStrange, will return as an assistant on the JV B program after taking some time off from coaching.   The coaching staff, lead by Varsity Head Coach John McEvoy, has a goal that stretches throughout the entire Malvern Lacrosse program.

“We, as a staff, want the entire program to work as a single unit, especially between JV A and JV B”, says JV A Head Coach Nick Pison.

Throughout the season, coaches on every team will be communicating about the progress of the teams and players, and re-evaluating the players as the season goes on. “Evaluations do not end when the ‘tryout period’ ends, as a player may start on one team, but move up and down depending on how the season goes”, said Pison.

On the field, every team will be running the same systems, which will allow players to be able to jump in and play for any one of the teams without difficulty. According to the coaching staff, the idea of a cohesiveness among the three teams was one that came about in the middle of last year’s season. The players will benefit from a system that allows them to play comfortably on any team.

This constant fluctuation will certainly keep the players on their toes.

“The moving rosters make it more competitive for everyone”, says sophomore midfielder Pat Finley, “I think that the new staff is going to make it a successful year and the environment will be much more competitive”.

The coaching staff has high expectations for everyone, and feels that within a program as talented as Malvern’s, playing for the JV B team is not a demotion. The goal of the JV program is still to prepare players to be on varsity and, according to Coach Pison, also to “focus on fundamentals and game IQ that will prepare players for the next level and beyond.”

Looking ahead, there are some big games to be played on the varsity schedule. After a loss to Haverford at the end of last season, redemption will be on the players’ minds going into their matchup with the Fords.

The JV closes out their season with perennial Central League powerhouse Conestoga. It is certainly a season to watch, as this new system and staff will be challenged by a formidable schedule.

The two JV programs will both be challenged by their tough schedules, but with the experienced staff and cohesive game strategy, Malvern has the potential to have a very successful year.