Shooting star

Shooting+star

Sam DaCosta

Brian Feldman stepped into the Quinnipiac men’s lacrosse lineup during the 2015 season and made an immediate impact, scoring two goals in his collegiate debut against Brown.

Although his team went on to lose that game by a score of 17-6, the contest provided the Bobcats’ eventual leading scorer with a lot of confidence.

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“It was a big eye opener for me,” Feldman said. “I think I went in in the fourth quarter and we were getting beat, but I came in and put the two goals in and it refreshed me. Getting into the first game of my college career and scoring two goals felt great.”

That season, Feldman went on to be named to the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference All-Rookie team after playing in all 15 games, including 12 starts, for the Bobcats. The attacker led the team with 29 goals and was the third-highest scorer on the team with 34 points.

Quinnipiac head coach Eric Fekete was impressed with Feldman’s play early in his career.

“I didn’t know necessarily that he’d be so successful so early on, but he’s a terrific player,” Fekete said. “Physically he’s dominant as well… I was impressed with how he transitioned into that starting role last year, but once we put him in there, he really took off with it.”

One of the biggest things that made Feldman stand out during the recruiting process was his goal-scoring ability, Fekete said.

“He’s such a great goal scorer,” Fekete said. “He’s a really hard competitor and he’s got a great shot. Even in high school, he had one of the best shots I’ve seen. We knew he would be a goal scorer when he came in.”

This season, Feldman has scored a team-leading 14 goals across seven games for the Bobcats, while the team boasts a 4-3 record.

In fact, Feldman has tallied four hat tricks this season; three of which came in consecutive games against Bellarmine University, the New Jersey Institute of Technology and the University of Hartford. Feldman’s fourth came Saturday, in an 11-6 win against Siena College.

“He’s just going to get better at what he does,” Fekete said.

Fekete was quick to attribute Feldman’s success to his work ethic.

“He’s always working at his craft,” Fekete said. “Some guys get success and they get very comfortable but he continues to work and get better.”

According to Fekete, Feldman spent a lot of his time during the offseason learning to shoot with his opposite hand.

Feldman’s teammates notice his effort as well. Senior attacker Ryan Keenan refers to him as a hard-working, “blue collar guy.”

Fekete praised Feldman’s responsibility and competitive nature.

“He knows how important he is to the success of the team and he takes that responsibility very seriously, especially for a young guy,” Fekete said. “He has no problem having the ball at the end of the game on his stick to win the game… He doesn’t get rattled by anything… He just puts his ears back and plays hard.”

“He’s always one of the last guys out shooting after practice… He’s never comfortable. He’s always working, which is why I love him.”

Although Feldman has now established himself as a Bobcat, he nearly transferred to a Division III school during his freshman year.

He didn’t like being far away from home. He’s from Canandaigua, New York— a six hour drive away.

“The scenery is a lot different,” he said. “I’m a country kid and here is like being in the city and it’s just a lot different.”

Fekete was an influence in Feldman’s decision to stay at Quinnipiac.

“I think he wasn’t sure where he was going to fit in last fall and he missed home,” Fekete said. “It’s a hard time that first semester and we talked a lot. I don’t think at that point he even knew how good he could really be.”

Fekete saw potential in Feldman and told him, “You’re going to play. Stick out the year, see how the spring goes and if you don’t like it, go ahead and move on, but you’d be remiss for not finishing the whole cycle through.”

Fekete recognized that the offseason can be difficult for freshman lacrosse players, considering that season doesn’t start until the spring.

“The fall can be a grind,” Fekete said. “But [Feldman] came back in the spring and he wanted to stay and just went full steam ahead all the way.”

One of Feldman’s biggest driving forces is his family. His father, Daniel Feldman was a former college lacrosse player and Ithaca College Athletics Hall of Famer and inspired him to play lacrosse from a young age.

“You know how it is, you always want to be like your dad and I always wanted to try to be bigger and better than him and he’s been a huge influence,” Brian Feldman said.

Feldman’s mother and father come to all of his home games, despite the six-hour drive. Feldman said having his parents there helps him on the field.

“I like seeing his face and my parents’ faces there,” he said. “After the game it’s good to see them and I appreciate them coming down to watch me play.”

The Feldman family had prior ties to the Quinnipiac program, as Feldman’s father played alongside Ryan Keenan’s father, Derek, at Ithaca.

“It’s pretty cool to see what a small world it is,” Ryan Keenan said.

Keenan describes Feldman as a good teammate and “a funny guy.”

“He’ll tell you how it is,” Keenan said. “He doesn’t really beat around the bush about many things. He’s just a funny guy to be around in the locker room and me and him both enjoy our time together.”

Feldman said he has a strong bond with his teammates and enjoys playing with them.

“We all get along very well,” Feldman said. “We love each other, we play as brothers, and we always have each others’ backs. We always mess around but at the end of the day we’re all teammates.”

Fekete is happy to have Feldman on his team, not just because of how he plays, but because of his attitude as well.

“He’s as great a person as he is a player,” Fekete said. “He’s a great teammate and he doesn’t come up short in any aspect.”

“I think people see him for that cannon of a shot he has but I don’t think people realize how much he worked at it and how much he works on trying to develop his game even more and become even more of a complete player.”