Boy’s Lacrosse Historic 2024 Season

Players break down the huddle ahead of their matchup against Central York, Saturday, April 20, 2024 at State College’s North Turf.
Players break down the huddle ahead of their matchup against Central York, Saturday, April 20, 2024 at State College’s North Turf.
Jacob Will

The State College Boys Lacrosse team had a hot start to its 2024 season. That start ended up carrying over to the rest of its season, leading to historic team and individual records. 

The Little Lions started the season 10-0, which shattered the team’s longest undefeated streak. The team appeared to many as unbeatable throughout the beginning of the season. It was extremely apparent that the team had an all-time high chemistry and bond between not only the players but the coaches as well. 

The season is Head Coach Tyler Kaluza’s third season at the helm for State High Boys Lacrosse. He is also an assistant coach for State High’s football team and has put forth strong contributions to the team’s chemistry and success 

Kaluza has carried his coaching success from the football program to the Boy’s Lacrosse program. In his third year, he has reached the milestone of 50 career wins in just 70 games. 

This season, Kaluza came into the year with players who have been with him for over half of their high school careers. This was extremely apparent because of the relationship that he has with the team. Kaluza has brought a few phrases to the team that he constantly repeats to remind his players what they are playing for. Kaluza said, “‘Bring the Juice’ would be our phrase. We want to have energy in everything we do, we want to empty the tank in every drill we have”

Freshman Trey Combs has been a huge part of the team’s success this season. He has 54 goals on the season and has broken the program’s single-game goal record with 10 goals in one game during the Little Lions’ 20-11 win over Selinsgrove.

The team also has two juniors this year who have been running the Mid-Penn Conference. Junior Ty Salazer, a first-team Mid-Penn player, scored his 100th career goal this year. Mid-Penn Conference Player of the Year Cooper Brushwood hit the same milestone in the same game as Salazer. Both scored their 100th career goals against Bishop McDevitt on March 26.

Both expressed the same sentiments regarding the scoring milestones. Salazar said, “Honestly, I didn’t notice at first, but it felt pretty good to finally get there. But, that wasn’t as important as getting the win.”

“I knew that I was close to reaching it, but really was more focused on winning the game going into it. And, I was able to reach it which is pretty cool too,” Brushwood said. 

Brushwood and Salazer have been the engines of the team’s success. Kaluza commented on the two and what they do for each other. “They strive to do everything they do to the best of their ability. They take coaching, play hard, they hold themselves accountable, holding others accountable too.”

Defensively, a strong group of senior long sticks have helped carry the team to success. Senior Maddox Leitzell leads the team in takeaways with 10. 

First-year goalie Owen Baron came in with big shoes to fill as former goalie Zach Paterno had an incredible high school career. Baron has had an exceptional year coming through with many clutch saves in big-time moments, including a huge save in the team’s Mid-Penn Championship win over Trinity. 

The Little Lions have a 17-3 total record this season and have continued it into playoffs, advancing to the PIAA State Playoffs for the first time in program history.

The team will travel to Springford for its first state playoff game on Tuesday, June 3.

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