Alex Calabro, a senior on the Connecticut College men’s lacrosse team, came back from a torn hamstring his sophomore season and a torn ACL near the end of last season to establish himself as one of the top long-stick midfielders in the New England Small College Athletic Conference.
A two-year captain, the 5-foot-11, 155-pound Calabro was off to a hot start this season, scoring twice and adding an assist in a 25-12 win over MIT on March 8. One of his caused turnovers led to a goal.
Connecticut College was 3-1 through Wednesday in the season’s early going.
“Alex did a phenomenal job in his rehab and on his conditioning tests after he was cleared to play in January,’’ said Camels head coach Dave Cornell. “He’s still the fastest player I’ve coached in my 11 seasons here.’’
An economics major from Newton, Calabro, 22, had a breakout junior season. His 43 ground balls ranked third on the team and he also caused 12 turnovers.
Calabro is called upon to guard the opposition’s top midfielder and create offensive chances in transition. Off the field, he works as an assistant in the college’s sports information office.
“He’s an accessible and positive team leader,’’ added Cornell, “and among the top 5 percent of all the players I have ever coached in terms of work ethic.’’
First noticed by Cornell at a summer lacrosse camp at Harvard University, Calabro was switched from midfield to defense his freshman year. He showed promise before he missed most of his sophomore season because of the hamstring injury.
At St. Sebastian’s, Calabro played hockey and won All-Independent School League honorable mention his senior year in lacrosse. His brother, Anthony, was a hockey captain and lacrosse player at Newton North High. Their mother, Sandra (Smith), was a basketball star at Newton North and is in its Athletic Hall of Fame. Their father, Joseph, played varsity hockey at North.
Q. How did you manage to come back from your injuries?
A. Being able to believe in myself and also believing that I could come back if I worked hard and that it would pay off. My family, coaches, and teammates gave me hope and energy through their support.
Q. When did you first play lacrosse?
A. With a U-11 youth team in Newton. I had played baseball prior to that, and while I wasn’t a very good hitter or fielder, I had a lot of speed and my dad encouraged me to steal bases. Once I switched over to lacrosse, speed was more of a factor and I loved getting the ball and running with it.
Q. What was your favorite course at St. Sebastian’s?
A. Advanced placement statistics, my senior year, taught by George Morelli, who was also boys’ basketball coach. I like stats and he made me like them even more because he was engaging and made the class fun.
Q. What are the challenges of playing long-stick middie?
A. In addition to covering the opposing team’s top midfielder, it’s having the stamina to make it through a whole game while keeping up a high standard for our defense.
Q. What are your assignments in the sports information office?
A. In the fall I took photos of the men’s and women’s soccer teams and posted them on the athletic website; in the winter I kept stats at the men’s and women’s home hockey games.
Q. Did playing hockey help you in any way on the lacrosse field?
A. Yes. In hockey, being poised with the puck has helped me stay poised with the ball in my lacrosse stick. Hockey also helped me in making quick decisions under pressure.