To their disappointment, sophomore lacrosse players returned from Rome two years ago only to find that there were not enough team members to have a competitive season. Now, through the impressive recruiting efforts of the new coach, Keith Lindgren, the team has 21 players on their roster. This year, the men’s lacrosse team is looking forward to their best season yet. After a year of experience working together as a team, the guys are ready to break some records.
The team is scheduled to play 19 games this spring. They are looking forward to playing on the home field for ten games, after only four home games last year. The season’s home opener is Feb. 7 against Ottawa University, beginning a stretch of ten games at the University of Dallas, including six during spring break.
“This season looks really good,” junior midfielder Toby Zanini said. “We have a great group of student athletes. We are going to go out, work hard, and win for our program and for this school.”
This past semester, the Crusaders were looking forward to being affiliated with the Southern Collegiate Athletics Conference (SCAC) for the first time in the history of men’s lacrosse at UD. There were even rumors of hosting the SCAC championship conference on the Crusader field. Unfortunately, Centenary College, one of the teams that was part of the conference, did not bring enough people together to form a team for the 2016 season, leaving our region one team short to join the SCAC.
Despite the disappointment of being so close to competing in the conference, the Crusaders look forward to building their team and joining next year. The Crusaders, therefore, will remain independent, while still being able to compete with future SCAC teams.
Instead, they will be travelling to New York at the end of April to compete in the United States Collegiate Athletics Association (USCAA) at the State University of New York at Canton (SUNY Canton). The team is visibly excited for the near future.
“Going to the tournament up in New York is a great opportunity to go compete against well-known teams and let the lax strongholds know that we’re here,” Zanini said. “We’ll be satisfied to come out of this season with a good record and a national tourney ring.”
New York is an opportunity for the Crusaders to make a name for themselves and show that they are a force to be reckoned with. The four seniors, Matthew Cyr, Alex Ziolkowski, Ryan Murphy and K.C. Pierce, are all eager to have an opportunity to compete nationally and for a chance to win the tournament before they graduate.