This past November, seven members of the new Rosemont College men’s lacrosse team joined head coach Brian Zusi in northern New Jersey on a fundraising walk for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. The players took part in honor of Zusi’s aunt, who has been battling lymphoma.
The team has already bonded on and off the field. “They’re a tight knit group, especially the freshmen,” Zusi said.
They got to know each other over pizza when they arrived at Rosemont in the fall and having been training together ever since, under the leadership of Zusi, assistant coaches Wayne Helms and Bill Moran, and junior captain Tom Dugan.
Transfer student Dugan was captain of the club lacrosse team at Albright College and has been playing lacrosse since third grade. He said he was drawn to Rosemont because of the opportunities to help start a new program and play regularly right away.
“Coach Zusi was very enthusiastic about his team,” Dugan said in an interview with the Colonial States Athletic Conference. “He made me feel really positive about joining his new team at Rosemont.”
Zusi previously coached the varsity lacrosse team for Millburn High School in New Jersey, serving as defensive coordinator then head coach. While at Millburn, he helped develop three Academic All-Americans, nine All-State players, and dozens of All-Conference players. He is a graduate of Hofstra University, where he was cofounder and president of the Hofstra Lacrosse Club.
As the team develops over the next few years, Zusi hopes to expand his roster to between 30 and 45 players. He feels Rosemont’s plans for a turf athletic field will also play a significant role in the growth of the program.
“You can’t overstate how important the turf field will be to us,” he said. “It shows the college is willing to invest in athletics, and give its players the equipment and resources needed to help them succeed.”
For now, the team is focused on making a strong start in its inaugural season. Preparations will be put to the test as the Ravens face Messiah College in their first official game on Saturday, March 10. The home opener will be March 15 on Kaul Field, and Rosemont will host a women’s and men’s lacrosse doubleheader on March 24.