Top of the Class: Morgan Westby nominated for student-athlete award

Lafayette lacrosse bounced back from a disappointing 0-1 start to the season with an emphatic

victory over Wagner, defeating the Seahawks 12-7 at home.

After the first loss of the season, the message down the ranks was clear—the team played well,

but not well enough, and with the likes of Loyola looming on the schedule ahead, they needed

to be playing their best lacrosse.

Motivating a team after a tough first loss isn’t easy. The team captains introduced a Sunday

stick work session before the week’s game planning began, stressing the fundamentals of the

game to a team that might have been getting ahead of itself.

One particular captain responsible for such a standard is senior Morgan Westby. The midfielder

has impressed with his on and off the field skill and leadership.

He has impressed so much, in fact, that he was one of 20 national Division 1 lacrosse players

nominated by their coaches for the Senior CLASS Award.

The Senior CLASS Award is a prestigious award in D1 athletics, given out each year to an

athlete in each sport who exemplifies what it means to be a leader both on and off the field,

succeeding both athletically and academically.

For Westby, having his four-year coach nominate him for such an award is humbling.

“I’m honored that [coach Rogalski] would nominate me for it,” said Westby.  “I think it’s a

combination of me playing since my freshman year, and I think I’ve only missed one game since

I’ve been at Lafayette so that’s probably a big component. I’ve done pretty solid in school, and I

think I balance it out pretty well.”

For senior goalkeeper Ben Falcone, a long time friend, teammate and roommate, Westby’s

nomination is exciting, but hardly surprising.

“He’s a hardworking kid,” Falcone said.  “He does extra shooting and stuff on the field — I’m in a

couple of classes with him too, and he always does all of his work and helps me out with class.

He’s an all around good guy and a great friend, and he always has my back.  He’s just a great

guy to be around.”

Westby’s role in particular is essential for a young team that looks directly upward for the

guidance of veteran players.

“He gets everybody fired up for the games,” Falcone added. “He makes sure everybody is ready

to go during practice.  He makes sure everybody’s on point, everything like that. I’ve seen him

grow over the last four years and he’s really taking the young guys under his wing and making

sure that everybody’s on the same page, making sure the offense flows well.  Coach has seen

all that, and as a result of all the work he’s put in with the younger guys, that’s probably why he

nominated him for the award.”

As a senior with very little time left in school, it would be easy for someone in Westby’s position

to loosen up a little bit or slow down.  Getting nominated for something like this has done the

opposite for Westby, though, and when it comes to representing the student-athlete population

at Lafayette, he’s up to the task.

“Getting Lafayette lacrosse out there amongst the lacrosse community, giving Lafayette

lacrosse a good name — that’s huge,” Westby said.  “Hopefully we can do more of that on the

field and get some recognition for some big wins this year. But this award would be another cool

thing, just to show that Lafayette student athletes, specifically on the lacrosse field —this is what

we’re all about.”

The Leopards looks to improve its good name as they face perhaps their greatest test of the

season next week against Loyola, who is currently 2-0 on the season.

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