SLU Men’s Lacrosse prepares for season, building on last year’s success
CANTON, New York (WWNY) - The St. Lawrence Men’s Lacrosse Team once again find themselves ranked in the pre-season top 20 and are looking to build on last year’s success as they get set to open their 2023 season this week.
Coach Mike Mahoney’s team is coming off a 2022 campaign that saw the Saints pots a 14-5 overall record, 5-2 in Liberty League play, and advance to the 2nd round of the NCAA tournament.
The Saints return 13 seniors and 3 graduate students from last year’s team and Mahoney likes the mix of veterans and youth on this years roster.
”I think we’ve got a nice mix of returners and some young guys that are looking for the opportunity. I think that balance is always exciting as you head into a new year and certainly to see that in the game context will be important and it gives us a chance to evaluate early on,” said Mahoney.
The Saints return 2 of their top 3 goal scorers from last season in Judge Murphy and Mark Mahoney and have a number of key players back on a defense that allowed just under 10 goals a contest led by Joe Scarfi.
Despite some key losses due to graduation, the players feel like this year’s roster is a balanced one on both the offensive and defensive side.
”I’d say we’re pretty well balanced. We’ve got a pretty tight knit team who’s started to come together. I think that will be one of our main strengths going into the year,” said Mahoney.
“You know, I think we have a very well rounded team. No surprise, obviously we lost some key guys, but on the flip side of that coin we bring back some really good guys, really good players and then some other young guys expected to make some big leaps and stepping into some large roles this year. We’re very excited for that and I feel like we’re pretty balanced on both sides of the ball and I’m kind of excited to see where that takes us this season,” said Joe Scarfi, St. Lawrence Graduate Student on Defense.
The Saints’ 2023 schedule includes 2 non-league games against top 25 teams and 2 league contests against RIT and Union, 2 teams that squared off in last years national championship game.
Mahoney says such a daunting schedule makes every game an important one this season.
”It says a great deal about the conference. I think what it does, and it’s something that we really impress upon our guys, is to not take any game for granted. Every game is important from February 28th to however long you can play into May. There’s no game that we can take off. We’ve got to try to earn every opportunity that we get. But that’s part of the challenge of the conference that we play in,” said Mahoney
The Saints open their 2023 season on Thursday when they travel up Route 11 to face SUNY Potsdam in a non-conference game.
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