Soforenko Settles in as Falcons’ First Lacrosse Coach

Photo by Madison SOFORENKO
Coach Soforenko (middle) after Tuesday evening’s game against Saugus High School.


As he approaches the halfway mark of a long season, Nik Soforenko feels a sense of relief.

“I think the first practice we had 14 [players],” he said, “and that’s pretty scary.”

Soforenko was hired as Crescenta Valley High School’s first head coach to launch the school’s boys’ lacrosse program. And although 14 members to start seems encouraging, anyone who knows the sport can agree it is short of an ideal number. Therefore, it’s easy to understand Soforenko’s relief that his current roster has more than doubled to 33 boys. Filling the roster has been just one of the many obstacles to overcome to arrive at this point.

The Boston-born lacrosse coach brings over a decade of experience in the sport, having played four years of varsity lacrosse in high school and four years at Lake Forest College just outside of Chicago. Soforenko also served as a junior varsity head coach and varsity assistant at Crespi High School in Encino.

Soforenko was hired in September 2018, but the Falcons’ first official season did not begin until this school year. They currently play in the Gold Coast League alongside schools such as Glendale, Sierra Canyon and Brentwood School, to name a few.

Photo by Chris TRILLO
Coach Soforenko looking on as Brody Biller (No. 7) is on the attack against Hart.

This year’s Falcon team is as young a varsity squad as you can find, dominated by underclassmen. On a roster of 33 boys, there are only five juniors and one senior.

“Lack of experience is probably the biggest obstacle that we’re trying to change,” noted Soforenko. According to Soforenko, most of his current players have only been playing for up to two years at most, as opposed to players at schools like Sierra Canyon or Crespi, where boys started playing as early as age 8.

In addition to being lead man of the Falcons, the Lake Forest alum is head of the lacrosse program at Rosemont Middle School and runs Brickhouse LAX, a local travel team, as well as hosting camps for youth throughout the summer.

As his Falcons are just halfway through their first campaign, they hold an “admirable” 3-4 record, according to Soforenko. But success goes beyond the wins and losses for the coach.

“I already feel it [is a success],” said Soforenko reflecting on the year. “A .500 season would be considered extremely successful.”

In addition to filling his roster and dealing with young players new to the sport, overcoming the underlying challenges of starting a program from the ground up are what gives Soforenko his sense of relief. Getting uniforms, trainers, buses, field space, and full support of the school behind him are all variables that have aided his relief. Now they can just play.

Soforenko said confidently that, despite having a team dominated by freshmen and sophomores, he has players who can make an All-League team this season, and even assures some can play at the college level in a few years.

For now, the team is learning and growing and in two years when these freshmen and sophomores are juniors and seniors, the possibilities of where the program can be are sky high.

“Every game doesn’t have to be a [win],” he said. “If you can get better every day, that’s the goal, and so far they have.”