Spring Athletics Forced to Cancel the 2020 Season due to COVID-19


After just six games the Mercy Mavericks men’s lacrosse team and all other East Coast Conference (ECC) college athletic teams have seen their season come to an abrupt end due to the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19.)

After it was announced on March 10 that Mercy College would move to online classes until at least the end of the month, the ECC announced on March 13 that the remainder of the 2020 spring season would be canceled.

The decision to cancel the season was made unanimously by the ECC’s Council of Presidents. ECC Commissioner, Dr. Robert Drano, said in a statement that the greatest concern is the health and safety of everyone who is involved in the ECC.

Mercy College’s Director of Athletics, Matt Kilcullen Jr., expressed sadness about the cancelation of athletics for the remainder of the spring.

“We are heartbroken for our student-athletes, especially our seniors, but understand the importance of their health, well-being, and safety being the priority during this time,” said Kilcullen.

Through the first six games of the season, the Mavericks went 5-1. Amid a three-game winning streak, they were coming off of a thrilling 12-11 overtime victory over Bentley University.

This season was filled with high expectations for the Mavericks. After winning the ECC Championship last year, they came into the 2020 season ranked No. 10 nationally in the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA).

“It is a tough time for everyone,” said head coach Jordan Levine. “Our players are disappointed because they put in a lot of time and effort towards being a student-athlete.”

Freshman attacker TJ Heyder described it as tragic that they won’t be able to compete for a championship or spend time together like they are used to doing.

“The cancellation of our season was tragic to our squad. We were just as upset that we wouldn’t be spending every day together as we were that we could not compete for a championship this spring.”

With the season ending, there are seven seniors on the team who could not end their college career the way they had hoped. These seniors include Anthony Devito, Kyle Gardner, Antonio Rey, Ricky Marchelos, Bobby Norton, Joe Cortese, and Tommy McPartland.

Throughout their four years at Mercy, they saw the program rise to where it is today. The seniors on the team were also leaders for the younger players. Heyder said that from the beginning they were helpful to the younger guys.

“They have helped younger guys like myself from the beginning and I’m very grateful to have played alongside them.”

In addition to putting in the time and the work on the field, all of the players were dedicated to fulfilling all of their commitments off the field. The fall semester saw all the players excel academically and were doing everything they could to be as ready as possible for the 2020 season.

“They manage a full course load, have strength and conditioning sessions, 6 hours a week of study hall, practice, community service, and travel for games,” said Levine.

While men’s lacrosse was off to a great start, women’s lacrosse also came out the gate strong, going 4-1 in the five games they played this season. After winning the ECC Championship in 2019, they also had high hopes of repeating as champions in 2020. The Mavericks have five seniors who have had their final season cut short because of COVID-19 including Mary Mackie, Senna Tadfie, Talia Stagnitta, Katherine Sanchez, and Brittani Sergio. In the final Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) Top 25 Poll, they finished as the No. 11 ranked team.

The NCAA will vote on eligibility relief for athletes on March 3o. 

Despite the current situation forcing this season to be canceled, Levine said that everyone understands that the most important thing is everyone’s health and safety.

“Right now they are like every other Mercy College student. They are taking classes via Blackboard and hoping for the best with the current situation.”

The coronavirus pandemic has put an end to spring sports all across the country, both at the college level and professionally. The NCAA canceled March Madness and the NBA, NHL, and MLB have suspended their respective seasons indefinitely. 

As for the Mavericks men’s lacrosse team, with much longer offseason than expected, they will be fueled to prepare for 2021 to try and win another ECC championship.