By Shannon Miller
Assistant News Editor
Overnight snow didn’t stop the men’s lacrosse team from gearing up for a home match against Pace University on Saturday, March 2.
Although the team suffered its first loss of the season against Pace, 10-7, they displayed an impressive offense. Following an hour-long weather delay, the team marched onto a landscape of Pioneer colors: a field of green surrounded by a ring of snow under an unanticipated golden sun.
Five minutes into the game, the Pioneers were up 2-0 with two assisted goals. The lead was short-lived when Pace scored its first point less than a minute later. Pace closed out the first quarter leading the match 4-2.
Women’s lacrosse player Payton Napoli, a freshman special education major, braved the cold and observed the game from the sidelines.
“I would say this is an evenly matched game. Though they’ve had better games, they’re still playing pretty well,” she said during the match.
In the second quarter, The Pioneers’ defensive measures took
a downturn. Pace continued its lead, gaining two additional goals.
Halfway through the quarter, the referee called a holding penalty against Pace, creating a boost in the Pioneers’ offensive strength, and a sea of chanting boos from the opposing side. With just over four minutes remaining in the period, Pace ran out the shot clock, placing the ball in the Pioneers’ possession.
Senior midfielder Steven Frank scored a much needed unassisted goal, leaving the Pioneers’ behind by three points at the quarter’s end.
After halftime, both teams returned to the field, each securing a goal just five minutes in. At 10:25, the referee called a one minute penalty against the Pioneers for unnecessary roughness.
Despite being down one player, sophomore attacker William Snelders snagged the team’s fifth goal, assisted by sophomore defenseman Ryan Blume. The Pioneers were flagged again less than two minutes later,
their fourth of seven penalty for the game.
In response to the call, a man in a Pioneer sweatshirt yelled from the bleachers, “Another penalty, ref? This is men’s lacrosse; let them play.”
The Pioneers gained a sixth goal before time expired in the third quarter. But, it wasn’t enough to get in front of Pace, which scored two goals during the period, helping their team to enter the fourth quarter with an 8-6 lead.
Junior Pioneer midfielder, Mike Kadnar, scored the team’s final goal at the start of the period.
The Pioneers’ attempts at redemption fell short due to a strong defensive performance by Pace, causing them to suffer its first loss of the season.
“We played hard but there’s lots we have to work on,” junior attacker Thomas Liantonio, said. “We’ll get them next time.”
Senior faceoff, Connor Farrell, snatched 14 ground balls for the team, and senior goalkeeper Bryan Ochs, defended the net with nine saves. Snelder led his team in goals scored with a total of three, followed by Frank, who scored one and assisted in two. Kadnar, Liantonio, and freshman midfielder Jake Murphy each scored a goal.
In their next match, the Pioneers play against national championship title holder, Merrimack College, in a home game on Saturday, March 9 at 2:30 p.m.