Men’s lacrosse finishes regular season with undefeated conference record

Sam DaCosta

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The Quinnipiac men’s lacrosse team (9-3, 6-0 MAAC) celebrated Senior Day with a 10-3 victory over Manhattan (3-12, 1-4 MAAC) at the Quinnipiac Lacrosse Field on Saturday.

With the win, the Bobcats finished an undefeated season in conference play.

“It’s a special day,” senior attackman Ryan Keenan said. “It’s pretty great that we got the win. We got the job done… It’s a good day to be a senior.”

Keenan tallied three goals and an assist in his last regular season game.

Seniors Ryan Lawler, Nate Nibbelink, Connor Meth, Connor Devane and Chris Kendall also played their last regular season game in a Bobcats uniform.

“This group has been a very tight group and a very strong group for the past four years,” Quinnipiac junior goaltender Jack Brust said. “[They are] kind of the gel that holds all of the pieces together. I think it’s a testament to not just the captains but all the seniors that we did an incredible job this year, so I couldn’t be more proud of this group.”

Although the seniors played their last regular season game, they can look forward to the postseason. After all, the Bobcats went undefeated in MAAC play to win the regular season title. As regular season champions, Quinnipiac will host the MAAC tournament in Hamden.

“I think we’re confident now… Winning brings confidence. I think it’s enhanced us a little bit every week,” Quinnipiac head coach Eric Fekete said. “We wanted to host the tournament and we wanted to win the regular season championship. It’s a byproduct of good lacrosse.”

Until today’s win, the last time the Bobcats won a conference title was 2011 when they split the title with Northeastern. However, the Bobcats have not been the sole regular season champions since 2001, which was also the last time the Bobcats went undefeated in MAAC play.

Brust has played a huge part in this achievement, winning four MAAC Defensive Player of the Week awards this season. On Saturday, he stood tall in net for the Bobcats, allowing three goals on 12 shots.

“[Brust] is excellent, man. He’s a great leader,” Fekete said. “When his game is on — and he’s playing as well as I’ve ever seen him play— the byproduct of that is that he’s a tremendous leader on the field. Not only does he make the saves, but he really runs the defense.”

Brust will be graduating this spring. However, he has another year of eligibility as he was a redshirt earlier in his career.

“He just gives [the defense] so much confidence,” Fekete said of Brust. “I think as you’ve seen him get better and better throughout the year, you’ve seen the defense just grow and blossom and I think today was maybe the best [defensive] performance of the year.”

Fekete was very proud of his seniors.

“They’ve done an excellent job, I couldn’t really ask any more of them,” Fekete said. “They really are the soul of this team. All seven of them… they’re terrific guys on the field and off and we wouldn’t be where we are without them.”

The MAAC tournament will begin on Thursday as the Bobcats will host a 12 p.m. semifinal matchup against Canisius. Should the Bobcats advance, they will play for the MAAC championship on Saturday at 12 p.m.

“We’re 0-0 right now. There’s no do-overs after Thursday,” Fekete said.