By Isabella Ewing
The York men’s lacrosse team is a powerhouse in Division lll lacrosse that has fallen a bit short in the past but hopes to end that trend this year.
“We are the team that gets to the Elite Eight and then loses,” said assistant coach Matt Whitcher, refering to losses in the national quarterfinals the past three seasons.
Last year’s team lost 17–7 to Tufts in a quarterfinal game at RIT to finish 16–2.
Using Inside Lacrosse’s rankings, York is coming into the 2022 season ranked fourth in the early polls. RIT is ranked №1, followed by Salisbury and Tufts.
The team has been working very hard during the preseason and even during breaks when most of the campus went home. They have been working on the field and also in the gym.
The Spartans opened their season at home yesterday with a last-minute goal by Gunner Reynolds to beat Washington & Lee, 8–7.
Reynolds scored three times, his highest scoring performance since tallying four goals against Stockton in the first round of the 2019 NCAA tournament.
Rookie Ben Mayer had a spectacular debut with six points on two goals and four assists. “Both are going to have a big impact on game day,” Whitcher says.
While the preseason was the time to get the jitters out and improve little by little, graduate student Noah Bruno says the “last time we played as a whole group it was tough. So we just have to come together as a group and [come out] out with new energy.”
Energy is an important component of a team sport, trusting your teammates to have your back. It’s a quality that you can expect to see from this team, says senior Ames Clark. “One thing we lacked on the first scrimmage was energy and something we brought a lot of in the second scrimmage was energy,” he says. “We realized how much more fun we can have bringing that energy.”
So expect plenty from the sideline in the games to come, he says.
While Ames covered the energy that will be expected from the sideline, Whitcher hit on the energy that will be seen on the field.
“We will be playing a different style that people may not be used to with York lacrosse,” he says. “So generating more offense throughout the course of the game is something we are looking at.”
The 17-game schedule will feature visits to Kinsley Field by several ranked teams, including RIT on March 5 and Salisbury on March 12. Overall, the Spartans will play its first four games at home and later in the season play four straight games ((April 8–16) on the road.
It will finish with a Sept. 23 game against Stevenson before the conference tournament begins with a play-in game on May 3. NCAAs will start May 11.
While there are a few games that the Spartans have circled on their calendar, the truth is that you can never count out any opponent. “You have to take it game by game. And you cannot look over any opponent because on any given day anybody can win,” junior Vinny Facciponti says.
This year, they hope those wins will continue all the way through the NCAA title game.
Isabella Ewing is a freshman majoring in Sport Media.