By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 10/19/10
John Duca, an assistant girls’ lacrosse at Archbishop Wood for the past five years, has been promoted to the position as the Vikings’ head coach.
Duca served under Chris Aquilino, who resigned after the season to take the head coaching job at Abington. Under Aquilino – the only coach Wood has had – the Vikings reached the Catholic League finals the past six years, falling to Archbishop Carroll each time.
“I would like to continue the success that Chris started, and I’d like to take it up a notch,” said Duca. “Of course, any coach would want that. Right now we have no feeder program in the area, but I am trying to find a way to make more girls aware of lacrosse at a younger age.
“Still, many of the girls that come to play at Wood are picking up a stick for the first time in ninth grade.”
Duca – a William Tennent graduate – began coaching girls’ lacrosse when his two daughters started playing for the Our Lady of Mt. Carmel (OLMC) Bulldogs youth program. He learned to coach under current Penn Stage Abington coach and longtime OLMC director Deb Andress.
“My biggest thing is teaching fundamentals,” he said. “I don’t care what level you’re at – throwing, catching and cradling – I harp on that a lot. One of my pet peeves is having the girls come together and play as a team while also communicating.”
Duca said the Vikings will have high expectations in 2011. The team returns one committed senior, midfielder Cait McCartney, a US Team U19 invitee who will go to Delaware. He also returns several other key seniors and underclassmen.
“We have Cait and a couple other senior starters back and other girls who weren’t starters that have fire in their bellies,” said Duca. “My biggest job, other than teaching fundamentals, is helping the girls workt ogether as a team. This is evey coach’s struggle.
“But I have coached these girls here at Wood and I coached some of them in the Bulldogs program. We look forward to another successful year.”
Tags: Archbishop Wood