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Brockport men’s lacrosse is back in action 

Brockport men’s lacrosse is looking to build in year two under head coach Colin Cornaire. (Photo Credit: Kat Althouse/Brockport Athletics)

The spring sports season is here, which means Brockport men’s lacrosse is ready to go. The team is being led by second-year head coach Colin Cornaire and is expected to finish sixth in the SUNYAC according to the conference’s preseason poll. However, the team is looking to surpass that expectation. 

The Golden Eagles are entering the 2024 season after finishing 4-10 last season. Statistically, the team didn’t look good on either end of the field. Brockport was second to last in the SUNYAC in goals for and allowed the second most goals. Also, they were last in ground balls, shots taken, caused turnovers and faceoffs won.  

It is easy to blame the defense for the number of goals given up. However, Cornaire knows that there was more to why they struggled last season. 

“Last year, honestly, our defensive struggles came from our lack of offense,” Cornaire said. “Just the majority of the game, we had played on that side of the field.” 

Cornaire brought in some freshmen defensemen and defensive midfielders to shore up the defense. However, these weren’t the only vital recruitment moves that he made.   

With star goalie Cameron Kuzniar leaving the team after graduating, Cornaire recruited two goalies: Gavin Miller and Jared Kulik. They were brought onto the team to compete for the starting spot with Jack Acker, who joined the Golden Eagles for the 2023 season.  

Whoever wins the goalie battle will feel some added pressure since Kuzniar left his mark last season. He broke the school’s single-season saves record with 209 last season. The record was previously held by John Contratto, who recorded 186 saves back in 2002. The competition between Miller, Kulik and Acker for the starting spot has been serious. 

“I think all three of us have done a pretty good job of stepping up the plate,” Miller said. “Big shoes to fill, but you know, we’re kind of carving our own path individually and as a unit.” 

The freshmen goalies do understand that they might not even start. They are still trying to get used to playing at the college level. However, they still want to make an impact on the team early one way or another. 

“My focus is…more of like making that adjustment from like high school ball to college ball,” Kulik said. “Also…finding our way with the team and seeing like all the different ways we can like fill a role.” 

The hottest story for the Golden Eagles going into this season was Nick Askin, older brother of Nate Askin, transferring to the team. He played Division II lacrosse at Lake Erie College and had a solid freshman year in 2022. He was named G-MAC Freshman of the Year and second-team all-conference after recording 36 points, 25 goals and 11 assists in 14 games.  

Nick has switched positions from midfield to attack after suffering a season-ending knee injury last year. Although he is coming off the injury, Cornaire and the Golden Eagles are stoked to have him and Nick has shown why he has hype around him. 

“He’s excellent,” Cornaire said. “He was going the hardest, every single drill. He was exemplifying what we were trying to accomplish in that drill…I mean, you can’t ask for a better leader like that.” 

The team hopes that Nick can play at the level he did before his injury. He feels confident that he can do so. 

“Having that knee injury was a blessing in disguise,” Nick said. “It allowed me to focus on different mechanics and improve my lacrosse ability. I feel like I am a better overall player after the injury.” 

As for Nate, he appears to be a complementary weapon with his brother. Last season, he had 22 goals, seven assists and 29 points in 14 games. His 22 goals led Brockport, and his 29 points was second behind Jhovanny Olivares’s 30 points. 

With that performance, Nate is bound to improve and have a big year. Having his brother on the team already helps improve those odds. Nate is looking to become more of a leader on the team and to fine-tune his game this season. 

“I want to help the offensive guys get a good grasp of the offense,” Nate Askin said. “I want to keep learning how to dodge against a long pole.” 

The regular season for the Golden Eagles kicks off on Saturday, Feb. 17, when they go on the road to take on St. John Fisher. Face-off is scheduled for 1 p.m.

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