By Ryan Fitzgerald and Shapleigh Webster – Co-Editor-in-Chief & Senior Content Editor
Before each sports season, coaches in each conference get together and compile a list of teams that they believe are going to make a big splash. This year, Lasell’s men’s lacrosse was voted number two in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC).
“[Number two] in the poll is nice to look at, I think it motivates us to get better everyday,” said senior co-captain Mike Pino. “We’re just going to continue to focus on us and continue to build and grow as a family, take every day one at a time and treat every opponent the same. Hopefully that gets us to where we want to be,” said Pino.
Before even being named number two in the poll, the team dealt with some big changes; 13 year veteran coach, Tim Dunton, left the team at the end of last season to coach at Piedmont College in Georgia, leaving the team a little nervous about what the future held.
“At first we didn’t know what to expect because our coach had been here for [more than] 10 years, and we got a guy [with this being] his first time as a head coach,” said senior co-captain Pat Egan. “But the reason why everyone on our team has become closer and [has] been playing better is because he teaches us to be men on and off the field. Just being around him this season I feel like I’ve already matured,” said Egan.
New head coach, Bill Mason has been challenging the team to be more than just lacrosse players, on and off the field, giving the players a completely “new” attitude of what it means to be men.
“We’ve been doing more team bonding, and we’re coming together more,” said Egan. “We went to a sexual violence training program and watched a video as a team on what consent means. We’ve been maturing and [Coach Mason] is all about being a student before an athlete, something we didn’t have with our old coach. We’ve been more [focused] on being men on campus.”
Currently the team is 4-2 in regular season play, proving Mason’s philosophies and the team’s new attitude is paying off. The players attribute their success to the work that Coach Mason has been expecting from them.
“I think we have a good couple of wins under our belt now, and the team is starting to gain some chemistry on the field together,” said junior Connor Johnson. “I am looking forward to the rest of the season, but we still have a lot of tough games ahead of us before conference play even starts… I think everyone on the team expects to win the conference this year, that’s our goal every year and that’s what we expect out of ourselves.”
“We have to be more disciplined,” said Egan, “In the past couple games we’ve been fluctuating with runs, scoring 4 goals and then letting up some. We need to be consistent throughout the game.”
The lacrosse team partnered with Professor Karin Raye in the White Ribbon Campaign during the last week of March. Each member on the team signed a pledge to help stop sexual and domestic violence.