By Chris Klimaszewski
The men’s and women’s lacrosse teams opened their first home games on Saturday, Feb. 23 with wins. The men played against St. Anselm College (ranked #11) in their second home game of the season, and the women played against Merrimack College (ranked #16) in their home and season opener.
Not even a minute in the first quarter of the men’s game, freshman attackman Jake Gillis gave the Pioneers an early lead, which they held the rest of the game. Soon after his first goal, Gillis quickly added another, giving the Pioneers a 2-0 lead. Gillis finished the game with four goals and one assist.
In the second half, the St. Anselm Hawks threatened a little bit as they scored four unanswered goals, making the score 7-5. The Pioneers’ offense was just too powerful for the Hawks, as the Pioneers continued to get of- fensive help from sophomore attackman Will Snelders (2 goals 1 assist), junior midfielder Mike Kadner (3 goals), junior midfielder Dan Foley (2 goals). Redshirt junior midfielder Thomas Liantonio, junior midfielder Nick Grassa, senior midfielder Frank Ranfone, and junior attackman Alex Russell each added one goal each.
Liantonio had a big day, as he led the Pioneers with six points (1 goal, 5 assists). Senior goalie Bryan Ochs had a career high of 18 saves, earning his second win of the season. The men’s team will next face Pace University on March 2 at home at at 1 p.m.
The women kicked off their first game of the season with a strong performance from their freshman goalie Hailey Duchnowski. In her collegiate debut, Duchnowski made 12 saves and kept Merrimack scoreless in the second half. The Pioneers took the lead early as they went 3-0 thanks to junior midfielders Paige Sherlock, Alyssa Mallery, and Brianna Feldman.
Sherlock scored the first goal of the 2019 season on a free position shot. At the end of the first half, the Pioneers led 5-2. With a strong defensive outing in the second half, they held Merrimack to no goals in the second half. Junior attacker Angela Deren and sophomore attacker Jamie Alvino each caused two turnovers, while Mallery led the team with four ground balls and three draw controls.
“It felt good to finally end preseason and get into the swing of things,” Sherlock said. I think we played very well defensively and we have a solid foundation of things to build on for our upcoming games.”
The women’s second game is against Southern Connecticut State University at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 27 at home. They also face Bentley University on Saturday, March 2 at 12 p.m. in Waltham, Mass.