Costanzo a First-Team All-League Faceoff Phenom for Valley Boys’ Lax
Ben Costanzo tried different sports such as soccer and baseball growing up and drew upon experiences from each endeavor, but it all paved the way towards him becoming one of the better and more furious faceoff adversaries in the Shoreline Conference.
Ben, a senior captain and midfielder this past spring for the Valley boys’ lacrosse team, tallied five goals with nine assists while winning 78% of his faceoffs in 2023. He finished his career by taking more than 800 draws in three years along the way to concluding his tenure as a three-time First Team All-Shoreline Conference selection, and will continue his lax play at the University of Hartford next spring.
“I really like the physicality of the game and the speed of it. You do not need to be the biggest guy on the field to succeed, you just need to be fast,” says Ben. “The support from everyone and my coaching has been key for me. The support of the seniors during my first year as a sophomore was important to me and being able to work my way up.”
When speaking to his quick prowess on the draw, Ben is the benefactor of having a sibling sparring partner and teammate of sophomore Cam Costanzo, who he can work with virtually 24 hours a day and seven days a week to bolster his abilities to gain ball control.
“One thing that has helped me with faceoffs is being able to constantly work on faceoff techniques with my brother who is on the team,” Ben says. “It is great being able to take constant reps and face one-on-one scenarios with him in our living room.”
As a midfielder, Ben knows he must boast the ability to go the distance for each contest and take immediate impact while helping coordinate both the offensive and defensive onslaughts and sharpening his vast repertoire of skills.
“As a midfielder, I love the ability to play both ways on offense and defense. I love helping the team both score and defend, and as a player, it helps you become more diverse with your abilities,” says Ben. “Having the endurance and stamina out there can be difficult. You have to be quick and be able to run up and down the field with few moments of rest. You also have to be able to shoot the ball to the net and also take big hits.”
Being a face-off specialist, Ben battles against the pressure of having to be a steady hand in earning possession off the opening drop, but it was a war waged in his mind that he won in the long run of his Valley tenure.
“Stress was a big problem for me,” Ben says. “I would start each game at the faceoff, as well as after each goal. It can be stressful to stay consistent. But as time has gone on, I have gotten in the right mindset before games and got better with handling the stress as I played more games.”
Keeping on the turf in a new venue with the University of Hartford Hawks, Ben looks to get his licks as a freshman before taking greater flight as the years go on towards becoming a permanent fixture on the collegiate field.
“Academically, I am looking towards participating in the university’s 3-in-1 Master’s program in the School of Business,” says Ben. “I am looking forward to playing. They have a younger squad and a great coaching staff, and I hope to get in a few games next year.”
Valley boys’ lacrosse Head Coach Colby Hawkins proclaims that Ben was always beaming with positivity and optimism whenever he was around the team, plus he served as a great on-the-field mentor and helped the youth of the program sharpen their essential skills.
“Ben is such a hard-working player and a very positive guy,” says Hawkins. “He worked with the younger guys on the team and on JV on their fundamentals as well. Ben Costanzo is one of the best faceoff specialists in the state. He’s coachable and a great teammate, setting a great example for his younger brother Cam Costanzo. Ben has played summer lax for Team CT the past three summers and is working as a faceoff coach for them this summer. It has been a pleasure to coach Ben and we are excited to see him do big things at the University of Hartford.”
Now with sharp hindsight upon his time with the Warriors the past three seasons, Ben is much more enriched not only through his experiences of team successes and personal accolades but also through the fraternity formed with his band of brothers at Valley. He additionally details how his time as a student-athlete has garnered him essential skills on how to cope with any stresses and anxieties life may draw up for him.
“Valley lacrosse has had a huge impact on me. I bonded with teammates and made friendships that will last the rest of my life, and I hope to do the same with my teammates in college. It really is a brotherhood that was created on and off the field,” says Ben. “Lacrosse has helped me learn about dealing with stress and that you cannot be too hard on yourself all the time. You have to manage your stress with anything in life to be successful, because stress will always be there.”