In Tuesday’s 12-7 win over Broadneck, the Chesapeake boys’ lacrosse team relied on a major offensive boost from sophomore Pat Brennan with three goals and three assists. The sophomore has been one of team’s most consistent scoring threats in his second varsity season.
But Coach Rodney Beres believes the success of his fifth season with the Cougars will ultimately be decided by a 17-player senior class that features three Division I recruits in goalie Ruston Souder (UMBC), defender Conner Kipke (Furman) and midfielder Nick Altmann (Hofstra).
“The kids are owning it,” said Beres, whose team improved to 8-1. “They’re taking charge of their year.”
While Altmann hasn’t been around the Pasadena school quite as long as some of the other veterans on the squad, he’s determined to make the most of his final high school season.
The sturdy midfielder had already drawn notice as one of Anne Arundel County’s top players – and made his oral commitment to the Pride – when he made the decision to transfer from Spalding to Chesapeake for his junior season.
“I wanted to help out the program,” said Altmann, who made his varsity debut at Spalding as a sophomore. “Coach Beres is a great guy, and I wanted to play with him. Growing up, I played with most of these players. That was always a good time, so I knew I’d be all right.”
In his debut campaign, Altmann led the Cougars with 41 goals last spring as the team won 11 games, the most in Beres’s tenure. He said he’s feeling even more at ease with his new surroundings this time around.
Though Altmann has received even more attention from opposing defenses this year, he still leads the team with 23 points through nine games. Many teams have opted to use a short-stick defender to shut the midfielder off this season, opening up opportunities for his teammates.
“Nick’s a dynamic player,” Beres said. “He always can get a shot off. He’s been a great asset, so we’re glad to have him here.”
Broadneck held Altmann off the scoreboard on Tuesday until the fourth quarter when he scored twice to seal the victory. On one of the goals, he used a strong move to split a double team for an easy goal.
He said the atmosphere within the team has changed even since he arrived at the school.
“Each year, we’re more physical, more aggressive,” Altmann said. “We really want to win. I think that makes a difference.”