Lacrosse next selected for postseason
By Steve Thompson
It seemed like worse pressure than teams suffer through on Selection Sunday. Yet instead of 64 spots, there are only four. And unfortunately for Mercy fans, the Mavericks were not one of them.
The No. 6 Mercy College men’s lacrosse team will not be advancing to the NCAA Championships, as only four teams are chosen for the tournament. Two of Mercy’s ECC opponents were selected, C.W. Post, the league champion at 16-1, and Mercyhurst. Also selected were Limstone (S.C.) and Adelphi.
Mercy fell to both teams during the season, losing to C.W. Post 15-12 and Mercyhurst, 9-7, in two closely contested games.
The men’s lacrosse season has developed into one to dream of. Last year, the Mercy Men’s lacrosse season ended at 5-10. The team played relatively well in that first season. Tough losses sprinkled in with good wins for a first year program would ultimately be good enough for 5-10, not successful by any means but a great start.
Following such a surprising first year it should have been no shock that the team came into this year believing they could be a winner. Keeping in mind that Mercy plays in a conference which already boasted two nationally ranked teams, the successful season was quick berth of the program are two great surpises.
If you expected a letdown from this team then you were dead wrong. With two five game winning streaks the Men’s lacrosse team has justified all the hype around the early big win against NYIT.
This year’s success is a direct result of a better defensive effort as a team. Last year the team gave up eight goals on 11 separate occasions. This year they have only done that on three instances. Teams were expected to come in a run up the score a year ago, which is not the case now.
The ECC is a unique conference in men’s lacrosse. It houses four teams Mercy, Mercyhurst, C.W Post and NYIT, which all have been nationally ranked at one point this season. Mercy’s recent loss to C.W Post knocked the Mavericks off their high horse giving them their second loss of the season but more importantly, their second conference loss. Coming into the game, C.W Post and Mercy were tied in the standings.
Although Mercy has played well all season the team must perform better against the elite teams. Since the win over nationally ranked NYIT the team has lost its last two games versus ranked opponents.
This year has been successful for the entire from a team standpoint and for specific individuals as well. Sophomore goalkeeper T.J DiCarlo was named ECC goalkeeper of the week three times this season. DiCarlo anchored a much improved defense this season.
Freshman standout Jesse Wood leads the team this year with 47 points. Wood was named ECC rookie of the week earlier this season.
“Coming into this season we knew we had good recruits and players. It was all about us putting it together,” said midfielder John Fitzpatcrick.
Following a the loss to C.W Post Mercy was able to rebound against Seton Hill 10-7 to improve to 11-3 overall and 7-3 in conference play after a season ending loss to Dowling, 11-5. Yet with the young players and the team gelling so quickly, expect another tight race in the ECC next season.