By Jada Butler, Michael Domagala, Anthony Cavarretta, Griffin Ward
News Editor, Assistant Sports Editor & Contributing Writers
In its home opener on Saturday, Feb. 24, the men’s lacrosse team defeated Adelphi University, 9-8. The victory was a historic one as the Pioneers came out on top against the Panthers for the first time since 2008 at home.
Dylan Harned and Eric Donahoe, both senior mid fielders, Steven Frank, junior mid fielder, and William Snelders freshman attacker, scored two points a piece, which helped fuel the win. Bryan Ochs, junior goalie, made 14 saves on 22 shots on goal and was a key reason for the Pioneers’ hard fought victory.
The first half was a back-and-forth battle the entire way – when one team scored, the other answered. The Pioneers led 8-7 at intermission, and three minutes into the second half, Adelphi tied the score at eight points. The second of Harned’s two goals, with 7:40 in the third, was the game-winning goal as the Pioneers cracked down on defense and held Adelphi scoreless in the final 26:46 of the game.
“We left nothing in the tank,” Connor Farrell, junior face-off, who won seven face-offs, said. “Not beating Adelphi in the regular season in 10 years added extra fuel to the fire so we all trusted each other and gave it our all.”
The men’s lacrosse team began their spring season with a new head coach. Eric Wolf replaces John Jez as head coach of the men’s lacrosse team, and is finding the transition to be smooth. “It’s been great, for me I just run the culture how I do it, the program how I do it, and try to be my authentic self, and I think the boys have been pretty responsive to it and we try to make the environment an enjoyable one and the boys are ready up to come out and practice and compete on game day, so far so good.”
Heading into the new season, Wolf is confident in the team’s dynamics. “We try to be balanced on all facets of the game. We got a lot of talented guys, offensively and defensively. Collectively as a unit, if we are all doing our jobs we should be pretty successful,” he said.
“Coach Wolf’s really good, really positive and really helpful with the transition. He’s gearing us towards the right look on the season,” Donahoe said.
Wolf isn’t concerned with the upcoming competition. “I’m really not comparing ourselves to anyone else in the country. We hold to our own standards,” he said. “We’re trying to better than we were they day before. If we do that on a day-in and day-out basis, we’re going to be making progress, we’re going to be growing, and then we’ll be on the path towards being the best team we can be.”
William Snelders, freshman attacker, had his first 10 points in his collegiate debut against American International College on Feb. 17 in the season opener. “He plays well off the other guys, he’s a product of our offense working together as a unit,” Wolf said. While Wolf said he doesn’t want to call out any players, Snelders is making a name for himself early on.
“We’re all here to win. New coaches bring in some new offensive stuff and techniques. We are looking forward to carry this new year forward,” Harned said. Last year, Harned lead the team in points. “As a leader, I always got to be positive. Always leading by example, someone is always looking up to you,” he said.
With a new coach overseeing the team, some changes are being made. “Biggest change, if we’re talking on the field, a complete overhaul of what we’ve been doing, especially offensively. We cleaned the slate, got a whole new offense going in,” Harned said.
The Pioneers will look to win their third consecutive game when they begin a three-game road trip against Pace University on Saturday, March 3 in Pleasantville, NY.