While many Vassar students spent spring break lounging around by the pool and beach in much warmer locations, the Vassar men’s lacrosse team stayed on campus to play several non-Liberty league games. The teams played matches against Swarthmore College, SUNY Cobleskill and Western Connecticut State.
On March 8, the men hosted Swarthmore at home and ultimately lost 10-15. It was the team’s third match of the season. Sophomore Colin Cederna led the way in that game by scoring four goals, while senior co-captain Max Herman and freshman attack Liam Moriarty had two goals each.
On March 11, the Brewers took on SUNY Cobleskill and won 21-5. Vassar was led by sophomore Noah Parson and senior Max Herman with five and four goals respectively. This game was a significant one for Herman who, coming into the game, had 99 career points, just three shy of the Vassar record of 102. The record-breaking goal came in the third quarter off an assist from junior Scott Brekne.
On March 14, the team traveled to Danbury, CT to play Western Connecticut State and won in convincing fashion, 23-8. Parson led the way in scoring with a career-best six goals. Senior co-captain and goalkeeper Andrew Nicol stopped nine shots and put up his third win of the year.
The players are pleased with their performance over break and hope that their victories will give them more confidence entering Liberty League play. Brekne wrote in an emailed statement, “We are 2-1 so far over break and both of our wins resulted in goal differentials of 15+. Our wins have provided us with the confidence that we need to enter into Liberty League play.”
Senior co-captain Nicol was pleased with the way the Brewers have responded to some adverse weather conditions early on in the spring season. “Early on, we faced some uncontrollable field conditions, forcing all of our pre-season practices to be indoor and for our scrimmage to be cancelled. But we continued to fight and work and not look for excuses, but to find ways to get better,” wrote Nicol in an emailed statement.
He continued and wrote, “We competed early on with a more challenging out of league schedule than we are used to. Once we got outside and used to the spacing of the field, we started to come together, culminating last week with a 15 goal victory at West Conn, a team which beat us the last two years. This was a good win, but we know we need to continue to improve together if we want to reach our goals. We know we are entering a stretch of three weeks which can help define our season, and getting two wins last week will help our confidence as we all focus on RPI.”
The main challenge for this year’s season is the youth of the team. A total of fourteen of the thirty-three players on the team are freshmen. By and large, the older players on the team feel that these freshmen have adapted well and fit in nicely with the team dynamic.
Brekne is confident that this year could be a good one for the Brewers and that the group of new freshmen has brought in a lot of talent this year. “Overall, the season has been exciting. For the first time in a long time, we have the numbers and talent to put together a solid winning group,” wrote Brekne. “The new freshmen talent has meshed well with the returning seniors, juniors and sophomores.”
Nicol echoed Brekne’s enthusiasm and said that, “As far as the team dynamic, we are young, having only two seniors and almost half the team freshmen. But they’ve adapted well to the speed of college lacrosse and they’re really fun to play with. They’ve done a great job of buying into the team mentality and believing in one another, two imperative steps in improving a lacrosse program.”
Brekne mentioned that on the lacrosse team, players are not identified by their year at all, and that everyone views one another as equals. “We constantly hear that no one on the team is looked at by their year here at Vassar,” explained Brekne. “So to all of us, being a freshman is the same as being a sophomore, which is same as being a junior, which is the same as a senior. Each player is seen as equal by everyone and that has promoted a strong team dynamic where everyone feels of value to the team. We are a close group of guys who play hard every single day. We have a lot of fun, but know when it is time to roll up our sleeves and get to work.”
Last season was a difficult one for the Brewers who ended up finishing with eleven losses and only three wins. This year though, the team is much more optimistic about its performance and hopes that the arrival of the talented new freshmen, along with the development of players from last year, will pay off. Brekne explained, “I hope for and expect a winning record and to make the Liberty League tournament.”
Freshman Gianni Gelormino also said that, “It feels like we’re going to do big things [this season]. I expect us to make a playoff run in the Liberty League.”
In the team’s Liberty League opener, the Brewers played Rochester Polytechnic Institute in an away game and lost 3-17. Brekne, sophomore Colin Cederna, and Parson scored the three goals for the Brewer. The team hopes to rebound on March 26 against Mount Saint Mary College in Newburgh, NY.
The Brewers have already won as many games this year as they did all of last year. The team currently sits at a total of three wins and three losses.
The Brewers will next play on this Saturday at 12 pm. It is a home game against Liberty League opponent Skidmore College, so Brewers fans should come out and support the team against their league rivals. As play moves forward into the season, the team looks to improve on previous Liberty League performances.
Sophomore Benjamin Lehr would like to remind the Vassar community about the men’s lacrosse team’s fundraiser for multiple sclerosis, “One thing I’d like to mention is that our team is selling bracelets this year as a fundraiser for the MS (multiple sclerosis) Society, in honor of senior captain Andrew Nicol’s mother, who is fighting the disease,” wrote Lehr. “If anyone is interested in buying a bracelet, contact Scott Brekne, who organized the project, or any member of the team.”