Men’s lacrosse goes on early win streak after winless season


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#11 Nick Ruggiero looks to take a shot.

Danny Van Brunt, Co-Sports Editor

The men’s lacrosse team has exceeded   expectations already this season. The team is on a three game win streak and is gaining     momentum coming into the season.

Last season, the lacrosse program started again for the first time since the 70s. Back then, the 1975 lacrosse squad captured a Middle Atlantic Conference Championship and was inducted to Wilkes Athletics Hall of Fame in 2007-2008. Coming off a 0-15 rebirth season, the team did not expect to contend for the MAC Title but its performance in their opening games has them hopeful.

“The difference between this season and last is that we have a full season under our belts and know what it is like to compete. The returners from last season are very close and have built team chemistry. The freshman are a great asset to the team as well. They bring a lot to the table and know how to compete. We have a smaller team compared to other rosters, but we are a well-oiled machine and function very well together,” said junior Nick Ruggiero.

The recent snow storm that cancelled classes for four days in a row has also postponed their fifth game of the season. The game against Wells College was supposed to be played at Schmidt Stadium, but the snow and the cold weather has made it hard for the team to play outside in their spring season.

“We’re used to the cold weather, but with the snow storms we had to reschedule two games. It’s been hard to practice and prepare for games when the school has been closed. We’ve been finding other ways to stay physically and mentally prepared like practicing indoors, watching game film and working out. It’s been tough, but our team is used to dealing with adversity and making the best out of a situation,” Ruggiero said.

Despite the snow slowing down the team’s momentum, the team is optimistic about the season ahead of them.

“I think the team has definitley made some progress from last season, but there’s still room to improve every day. The biggest     difference I see from this year as compared to last is our depth. We nearly doubled our bench size and it really shows on the field being able to get fresh legs on the field.,” said junior Jeremy Kachel.

Wilkes began its three-game win streak after their loss in the opening game against Maywood in Scranton, Pa. Marywood ran the score up on Wilkes, and Wilkes was unable to comeback from the deficit. Wilkes lost the game, 10-6.

Their strongest win so far was in their second game against Keystone College. Wilkes was firing shots throughout the game and kept the lead. They finished the game at Schmidt Stadium 13-2 with a tough finish.

By far their most exciting win of the season was against Rosemont College. Wilkes mounted an early lead, but Rosemont fought back until the very end. Wilkes scored the final two shots to take back the lead and win the thrilling game, 10-9.

Their fourth game against Neumann    University was also a tough game. Neumann came out pretty strong and maintained the lead in the beginning of the game. Wilkes prepared for a battle in the second half and extended their lead to seal the game. The score ended 16-12 at Schmidt Stadium.

The team will face off with numerous other teams before the end of March if the weather cooperates. Once April comes around,  Middle Atlantic Conference play will begin. After a few early wins, the team is excited and looking forward to April.

“I expect us to shock teams with some upsets when we play in our conference games and make it to the playoffs. I expect the team to continue to work hard. Coach Jaques emphasizes that beating our personal best after a game is where we’ll find success,” Ruggiero said.