The previous generation of Linganore junior Roman LaRocco’s family included a couple lacrosse players, so it made sense for him to play the sport.
Of course, family influence has its limits.
“My uncle and my dad were goalies,” LaRocco said. “Goalie’s not for me, though. I’d rather do scoring than get scored on.”
Good thing for the Lancers he felt that way. After losing prolific offensive weapons from last year’s team, LaRocco was one of the players who had to help fill the void. He’s done a pretty good job.
LaRocco has led Frederick County in goals, assists and points this season, and he added to his tally on Friday by finishing with eight goals and three assists in Linganore’s 24-2 win over visiting North Hagerstown in the Class 3A West Section II semifinals.
Linganore (13-2) advances to Monday’s section final, where it will host the winner of today’s Tuscarora-Thomas Johnson game.
The Lancers remain one of the county’s top teams, although they figure some thought they wouldn’t do as well as they have after losing key players from last year’s regional finalist team, including top scorers Jordan Swoyer and Jack Watsic.
“We lost a good amount of offensive guys,” Linganore coach Rich Thompson said. “And that’s why the perception was there that we weren’t going to be able to score, and we have been able to score.”
The Lancers didn’t lose every offensive weapon. Cole Blanche, who was on the county scoring leaders list last season, returned. Then there was LaRocco, who gained valuable experience as a sophomore.
“I was the third attack with Jack and Jordan, so I definitely learned a lot playing with them last year,” LaRocco said.
By the end of this regular season, LaRocco had piled up 61 goals and 60 assists for 121 points.
“I can’t say enough,” Thompson said, when asked about LaRocco. “He did a lot of work on his own in the offseason and stepped up as a team leader, and he’s distributing the ball fairly well.”
One of the places LaRocco worked in was the weight room. He said he and Blanche knew they had to assume leadership roles.
“We had to kind of step up this year and share some more experience with the other guys who are stepping up this year,” LaRocco said. “And I think we’ve done a pretty good job.”
Linganore dominated on Friday, leading 22-0 at halftime. When lightning triggered a delay with 1 minute, 40 seconds left in the third quarter and the Lancers leading 24-2, coaches from both teams talked, and the game was declared over.
The Lancers are trying to return to the state tournament for the first time since 2017.
“I think right now, we’re clicking on all cylinders, trying to make a run here,” LaRocco said.
“We weren’t expected to do as well as we have been,” Thompson said. “We’ve come together. We’ve got spots we still need to work on.”
Blanche had four goals and two assists for Linganore. Cooper Fabry and Noah Grenis each had three goals and one assist, Billy Higgins had two goals and one assist, Connor Browne had one goal and one assist, and Will Coletti had two assists while also adeptly handling faceoff duties in the first half.
Ayden Bawcombe was Linganore’s goalie in the first half, and Tyler Leigh took over in the second half.