By Dan Meister, Staff Writer
Hofstra has one of the best lacrosse teams in the country. Ranked no. 6 in the nation, the Pride seems poised to make a run at the championship. Two members of the team, cousins Mike and Steve DeNapoli, continue to play a vital role for Hofstra this season. With Mike tied for second on the team in goals and Steve seventh in points, the Pride will continue to need these cousins to perform at a high level.
The relationship between these two did not start when they joined forces at Hofstra. "Well I'm a year older and found out Mike was coming here summer before freshman year so my freshman year I was excited to have him here," said Steve, a junior. "He's a great player and although we live in neighboring towns, we've never really gotten to be on the same team before so this is pretty exciting.
Mike, a sophomore, added, "Its great. We played against each other at rival schools in high school so it's cool to get to play together now."
"Our towns were pretty big rivals and it was usually a pretty heated game. We're both huge competitors and both wanted to win so bad," said Steve.
Both Mike and Steve have a strong desire to succeed. Each had the same expectations for the year; get to Baltimore and win a national championship. Both added that the team looks great this year.
"I love the competitiveness and everyone in the locker room just wants to win," said Steve.
Both also played football in high school and point to pro football players as their role models. Steve's is Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Farve because although his work is not pretty, Farve gets the job done on the field. Mike played linebacker in high school, so he looks up to Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher, one of the toughest in the NFL.
Each has also had their best lacrosse moment happen in a Hofstra uniform. Steve remembered back to his freshman year when Hofstra won the CAA championship by coming back and beating Drexel. "Winning there against those guys was pretty awesome," Steve said.
Mike said his favorite moment was beating John Hopkins this season, adding that the team really pulled together to get that win.
While they don't live together, the cousins spend a lot of time together and share a lot in common, from loving football to Fords. They both credit friends and family for getting them involved in lacrosse. Steve said, "My older brother played and all the DeNapoli cousins kind of picked it up."
"When I was in third grade my neighbor's uncle played for the New York Saints and that got me into it," said Mike. Mike and Steve DeNapoli share not only a last name, but also a desire to win a national championship at Hofstra and the success of the cousins bodes well for the Pride.