Togetherness, brotherhood defining Quinnipiac men’s lacrosse team


Aidan Sheedy

The Quinnipiac men’s lacrosse team was voted sixth in the Preseason Coaches’ Poll.

Colin Kennedy, Staff Writer

Following a disappointing 2-11 season last year, the Quinnipiac men’s lacrosse team is ready to turn the page toward the spring. Just ask any player in the locker room and they will tell you there is an excited energy surging through the program knowing they have a clean slate in front of them.

“I’d say we’re just a very energetic and excited group to get after it this year,” graduate student midfielder and captain Demitri George said. “We want to stake our claim in the MAAC and show everyone what we can do.”

A common theme within the halls of men’s lacrosse this spring has been the idea of brotherhood. From freshmen to graduate students, this group of Bobcats knows that their relationships formed off the turf will lead to results on it.

Experience is a leading factor in the creation of this tight-knit Quinnipiac locker room. Seven of their top nine scorers returned from the 2022campaign. George is spearheading the leadership group for Quinnipiac, and he is joined by three other captains; graduate student goalie Nick DiMuccio, senior defenseman Zack Siegel and senior attack John DeLucia.

“The captain vote was a unanimous decision this year, with 99% of the votes cast going to these four young men,” head coach Mason Poli said. “Not only do we have good leaders, but we have guys who know who they want to follow.”

One of the main pieces returning this spring is George, who is one of the top face-off specialists in the country. He was the winner of the 2021 and 2022 MAAC Face-off Specialist of the Year Award, and finished second in the country in faceoff attempts in 2022 (115-for- 155). With George manning the face-off dot, the Bobcats put themselves in a strong position to start an attack.

Another pillar returning for his fifth year is DiMuccio, who will man the cage once again for the Bobcats this season. Last year, DiMuccio averaged 13.33 saves per game, good for ninth in NCAA Division I. The standout goaltender provides a security blanket for a young Quinnipiac defense as it matures throughout the season.

“On the defensive end we have a couple of young guys stepping up, and I think they’re definitely game ready,” DiMuccio said. “It’s a group that really supports each other from top to bottom.”

A key piece to the Bobcats defense is Siegel, who is joined by Michael Buschbacher as the only two seniors on the defensive side of the field. With younger players expected to get their first looks on the defense, it has forced Quinnipiac to be ultra-competitive when preparing to get the defense ready. Some notable Bobcats expected to make an impact are sophomore defenseman Matthew Bologna and junior defenseman Tommy Shaughnessy.

“There’s some new faces, but they’ve done a great job preparing for months and months all throughout the fall and these past few weeks,” Siegel said. “We’re obviously all excited to get after it against another color for real this time.”

On the other side of the field, there is no lack of experience to the Bobcats offensive attack. The two top point scorers from 2022 are returning for Quinnipiac in sophomore midfielder Ryan Donnery and his twin brother, sophomore attack Dylan Donnery. The offensive duo tallied 31 and 29 points, respectfully.

“I think last year we had a lot more than we showed, and we had more potential than we were able to deliver,” DeLucia said. “We learned from it and are ready to move forward and hit the gates running.”

Other key members to the attack unit include DeLucia (27 points), junior midfielder Steven Germain (26 points) and senior attack Jake Tellers (23 points).

“We know not everything is gonna go our way, so we want to stay together and play together,” DeLucia said. “Together has been a big word for us.”

At the top of this united group of Bobcats is Poli, who is returning for his ninth season with the program and fifth as the head coach. Being here for nine years, Poli has seen many Quinnipiac teams come and go, but this one feels a little different.

“It’s one of the tightest groups that I’ve had here in my nine years,” Poli said.

Heading into the 2023 season, the Bobcats received some MAAC recognition. Both Germain and George were named to the Preseason All-MAAC team, and Quinnipiac were sixth in the league’s Preseason Coaches’ Poll.

The Bobcats showcased their togetherness during their season opener against UMass Lowell on Feb. 12. Quinnipiac was victorious, 21-12, mainly thanks to an offensive outburst (four goals from freshman attackman Justin Robbert) and solid play in the cage from DiMuccio.

Winning is nothing new in Hamden, with a culture of capturing MAAC titles becoming the standard at Quinnipiac. That winning culture seems to have made its way down to the men’s lacrosse program as it prepares to make its own run at glory this spring.