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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Fit to be king
Lilli Dellheim '25 M.A., Special to the Hawk • July 13, 2024

Men’s Lacrosse continues NEC undefeated run

St. Joe’s men’s lacrosse are NEC regular season champions. PHOTO: MITCHELL SHIELDS ’22/THE HAWK

After a 14-13 victory over Long Island University, the only other undefeated team in Northeastern Conference (NEC) play, the St. Joe’s men’s lacrosse team has been crowned NEC regular season champions and will head into the conference tournament as the No. 1 seed.

This most recent victory over the Sharks has helped to propel St. Joe’s into the national spotlight with Insider Lacrosse ranking them No. 20 in the nation for the week of April 25 to May 1.

While the Hawks have started to pick up steam heading into the conference tournament, this season didn’t begin quite how Head Coach Taylor Wray and his squad had hoped. Due to loss of practice time because of COVID-19 restrictions, the team struggled through the beginning of the season, losing their first three regular season matchups. 

“With the limited amount of practice time in the fall, it took us a little bit longer than normal to figure out our team,” Wray said. “It always takes some time going through the season, but when you’ve had a full fall to get to know your players and some fall scrimmages and things like that, it usually comes together a little more quickly.”

But since those first three defeats of the season, which included a 5-13 loss to nationally ranked No. 2 Army West Point, and the start of NEC play, the men’s team managed seven consecutive wins.

Senior goalkeeper Tucker Almany said since turning things around early in the season, the team is working well together.

“We definitely struggled to begin the season, but without a full fall, and without spring scrimmage season, those were kind of our beginning tests,” Almany said. “But when we hit conference play, that’s where it really matters. Fortunately we’re starting to figure it out, we’re getting better each week.”

Almany added that this collective improvement is led by the veterans on the squad. The Hawks currently have five graduate students and 12 seniors who have taken this opportunity to help the underclassman improve.

“Having 17 seniors and grad students is always something that’s going to promote extreme leadership just because those guys have so much experience not just playing, but in going through everything,” Almany said. “We were able to really help promote that culture, bringing on the freshmen and continuing to lead the younger kids as we go through the season.”

And after picking up their seventh consecutive win, the Hawks were not shy about their ambitions for this season.

“We should be the winner of the regular season NEC and we also should host the first round of the NEC tournament,” said sophomore attacker Matt Bohmer. “We just take it one game at a time and try to get better, week by week.”

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