By TJ Millman
After a breakout season in goal last year, Milford Senior Shane Gaglione made his commitment to play lacrosse at Chatham University in Pittsburgh this past week. To know Gaglione is to know someone who truly marches to the beat of their own drum. Unapologetically unique, you can often find him shoeless, lost in thoughts that many high school students would not even comprehend. He leaves a lasting impression on anyone that he meets, and Milford Lacrosse Head Coach Blake Faulkner feels that as much as anyone.
“When you become a coach, one of the best parts about it are the bonds and relationships that you build with your players. I can honestly say that I have been very fortunate to have coached some great kids over the years, and Shane Gaglione will right in line as one of the greatest kids I have ever had the pleasure of coaching. Certain players leave a legacy, a mark on you, and that’s Shane Gaglione. Shane is one of the brightest, kindest, and hardest working players I have had the opportunity to know, and he is one of those players that you can never replace. I am so proud of him for everything that he has accomplished, and I know that he has only scratched the surface of what he is capable of,” Faulkner said.
Gaglione goes to Chatham for their inaugural season of Division III lacrosse next year, and is most excited about the speed of the game at the college level. He is still undecided on a major, but he is leaning towards majoring in foreign languages or linguistics. As for playing at the next level, Faulkner believes that Gaglione’s skill set will make his transition go smoothly.
“In my opinion, Shane’s entire game translates very well to the next level. He can makes the saves, hit the outlet passes, he communicates well, and he is driven to be better. Shane views his play as a work of art that he is constantly trying to make better. He is never satisfied with where he is currently, and for him it’s all about wanting more,” Faulkner said.
Gaglione played his first full season as a starter last year, after backing up Milford goalie Clay Stevenson his first two years, and made 276 saves on the year. His success is a testament to his preparation, but also in his mental strength as a player.
“When I first had the chance to coach Shane, he was a tall, skinny kid that was dealing with making the transition from a hockey goalie to a lacrosse goalie. As a young player, he was already athletic enough, but the biggest growth for him has been the mental side of the game. As a goalie, he essentially has to know where every player on the field is and where they should be, and he has to communicate that to them while still being able to make plays. That is the biggest change that I have seen in Shane. He has almost become a coach on the field, and a calming presence for his teammates,” Faulkner said.
For Gaglione, his favorite memory over his career at Milford was his first season of high school lacrosse. “My favorite memory of Milford Lacrosse has to be my entire freshman year. Being on that conference championship team was so special because that was the best group of guys I have ever played with,” Gaglione said.
Both Gaglione and Faulkner echoed that even though this is very exciting for them, they are still locked in and focused on this upcoming season for the Bucs. Milford went 9-6 last year en route to their second Conference Championship in three years.
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