The men’s lacrosse team is looking ahead to its final games with a brand new perspective. The team’s goal all season has been to make the conference tournament and—while that goal has never changed—at times it appeared to be less achievable than the players now currently believe.
If the Knights had been able to defeat SUNY Brockport on Wednesday April 22, then they could have looked to defeat SUNY Oswego on Saturday April 25 in order to make the SUNYAC Tournament. Before the matchup with Brockport, senior midfielder Steve Aziz was confident. “With the hope of playing in the conference tournament and with those games coming up fast, our energy has only increased,” he said.
The Knights were unable to beat the Golden Eagles, however, falling 10-6. For the first time this entire season, the Knights went into the game having had a week with more than one day off for them to rest up and get rejuvenated. “Every day that we have to rest up our bodies to put our focus on Brockport and Oswego, that’s a good day,” Aziz said.
Head coach Jim Lyons agreed with Aziz. “Our guys have been playing really hard the entire season,” he said. “Most of the time they only get one day. To give them additional time to recover is going to really help us out.”
During their seven game losing streak, the Knights’ only concern was just to get the next win. “I don’t think that our mindset has really changed,” Aziz said. “We come into practice and we play hard with a lot of energy like we always have.” That type of attitude—when everyone on the team shares it—can be enough to keep the team from slipping back down into another long losing streak.
Seniors Aziz, attack Steve Cregan and defensive midfielder Parker Weeks have helped the Knights get through the rough parts of their season. These seniors served as a motivation to make it back to where the Knights were at the beginning of the year. Back then—when the team was undefeated at 4-0—they looked like they were on track to get to the conference tournament. But after the seven-game losing streak—and the emotional turmoil that comes with losing so frequently—the Knights were unable to turn it around, despite a win over SUNY Oneonta.
With the conference tournament officially out of reach, the Knights can focus on their season closer on Saturday April 25 at Oswego.