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by Frank Aceto
Associate Sports Editor
Heading into the 2012 season, the Hudson boys lacrosse team had to figure out how to replace several standout seniors that led the Explorers to their first state championship.
Fortunately for Hudson, it still had Patrick O'Loughlin on the roster.
O'Loughlin, a senior midfielder/attackman, recently signed a national letter of intent to continue his academic and lacrosse careers at Siena College in Loudonville, N.Y.
O'Loughlin also considered the University of Massachusetts, Robert Morris University (Pa.) and Providence College (R.I.).
He plans to study either business, finance or engineering.
"I liked the campus and the team welcomed me with open arms," O'Loughlin said. "It had a family atmosphere much like Hudson."
The Saints finished 11-5 and just missed reaching the NCAA Tournament after losing in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference championship game.
O'Loughlin knows a thing or two about just missing.
Hudson saw its one-year reign as state champion come to an end after losing a lopsided 17-2 decision to Dublin Jerome in a Division I state semifinal contest. O'Loughlin finished with 31 goals and 22 assists last season for the Explorers.
"Not a day goes by without me thinking about it," O'Loughlin said. "We came together as a young team, but it was tough to go out like that."
Despite not being the tallest player on the field, O'Loughlin has given opposing defenses fits for quite some time. If he is anywhere near the cage, it's a safe bet the Explorers will add another point on the scoreboard.
"Patrick is a pretty dynamic player with a really good shot," Hudson head coach David Blue said. "He's got great first-step speed and he knows when to get the shot off. He's a very good offensive player who knows about pressure situations. There is a still a lot of potential for him to grow."
Siena head coach John Svec knows a little about Hudson lacrosse. As an assistant at the University at Albany (N.Y.), he recruited former Hudson standout Matt Novosel. When Svec joined Hobart College (N.Y.) as an assistant, he recruited another Explorers' standout in Jack McHenry.
"Coach Svec is familiar with our kids and they fit well for him," Blue said. "With Patrick, he can play attackman or midfielder in college. He's very quick and knows how to avoid contact, which I think is a must on the collegiate level."
O'Loughlin isn't shy about his goals. Thus far, he has had plenty of success in high school. He expects that to continue in New York.
"I just want to get my degree and win MAAC championships and compete for national championships." O'Loughlin said.
And despite a state championship and an appearance in the state semifinals, O'Loughlin is far from satisfied.
"I want two state championships," he said.