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Men’s lacrosse starts season on a high note

by Paul Cifonelli – Sports Editor

The College at Brockport is getting off to a much better start in the 2020 season than it did in 2019. Last season, Brockport lost three of its first four games and was never able to fully recover en route to a one-win conference record. This time around, the Golden Eagles have won two of their first three matchups and look to be on track for a much better season.

The start this season is partly due to the team’s experience level, according to junior attacker Brendan Halleran.

“Getting off to a good start is great for our team this year after starting slow last year,” Halleran said. “Being so young hurt us a bit. This year, being older on offense is helping us put up the points we were lacking last year.”

Brockport opened its season with an 11-3 victory over Alfred University on Wednesday, Feb. 26. Halleran scored four goals in the contest and also picked up an assist. All of his goals came in the first half, as Brockport opened up an 8-1 lead at the break. Sophomore midfielder Owen VanWie was the only other Golden Eagle to score multiple times, finding the back of the net twice. Junior attacker Liam O’Connor, junior attacker Patrick Sheridan, sophomore midfielder Rocco Santillo, senior midfielder Sean Duffy and junior attacker Peter Scavone all scored once for Brockport in the rout.

Brockport’s second game of the season was a 20-8 loss to Nazareth College on Tuesday, March 3. Junior attacker Brandon Sveda led Brockport with three goals in the game, while Halleran scored two more goals. Sveda’s goals were his first three of the season and his first since returning from a serious injury that kept him out of the 2019 campaign.

“Coming back from an injury like an ACL tear takes a lot of hard work but has made me appreciate the game and my teammates much more,” Sveda said. “Going through an injury like that makes you realize there’s much more to the sport than wins and losses.”

With a 1—1 record, the Golden Eagles’ game against SUNY Delhi on Saturday, March 7, was a big game for the team. It was looking to avoid dropping their record to 1—2 as it did last season. Brockport played like it desperately needed the win and came away with its second blowout win of the season.

As in the first win of the season over Alfred, Brockport got out to a hot start with a big first half. Halleran scored three of the first five goals of the game, while Scavone and Sveda also found the back of the net to get the Golden Eagles out to a big advantage. After one goal from Delhi, the Golden Eagles got right back on the offensive attack. Sheridan scored twice and Halleran scored once more before halftime and Brockport took a 9-1 lead into the break.

The second half was played much more evenly, but Brockport still held a commanding lead. For every goal Delhi scored, the Golden Eagles had an answer and ended up coming away with a 15-5 victory. 

Brockport’s victory over Delhi will help it mentally as the season moves forward.

“The game was a great confidence boost but also much more of a learning experience where we can pick apart our play to make us better,” Sveda said. “Individually, I scored two goals, but I’m striving to be much more efficient with my shot decisions on the field to give our team a better chance of winning games in the SUNYAC.”

Brockport’s next game is on Saturday, March 14, against Keuka College. The Golden Eagles defeated Keuka last season. They will then take on Misericordia College on Wednesday, March 18. This week of practice will be key for Brockport to continue its solid start to the season and pick up a few more wins.

“We’re going to get back to work Monday for a nice, long week to prepare and get ready for Keuka and a good Misericordia team on Wednesday,” Halleran said. “We still have a lot of work to do.”

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