Quinnipiac downs Marist in intense back-and-forth battle


Aidan Sheedy

Quinnipiac men’s lacrosse will face Manhattan on March 29 in its fourth game of MAAC play.

Zack Hochberg, Staff Writer

HAMDEN, Conn – In a back-and-forth affair that saw no team lead by more than three goals, the Quinnipiac men’s lacrosse team defeated Marist 14-12 Saturday afternoon.

Senior attacker John DeLucia and junior attacker Dylan Donnery both found the back of the net three times, while graduate student goalkeeper Nick DiMuccio stonewalled the Marist offense with 13 saves in the victory.

The two teams didn’t just battle each other, the game included both teams slipping and sliding on the wet turf at the Quinnipiac Soccer and Lacrosse Stadium as rain poured down, combined with strong winds made for a tough environment. 

“We’re a lacrosse team, the only thing that’s slowing us down is lightning,” Quinnipiac head coach Mason Poli said. “We’re out here when it’s snowing, we don’t take many practice days off. We embrace the weather, get after it, and try not to have it affect us too much.”

Marist struck first, opening up a 2-0 lead early in the first period after junior attacker Joshua Balcarcel beat DiMuccio down low and then graduate student attacker Jamison Embury spun to free himself from Quinnipiac defenders before finding the twine. 

Junior midfielder Steven Germain cut the Bobcats deficit in half on his 12th goal of the season, but was hit with a cross-check penalty a few minutes later, giving the Red Foxes a man-up. Marist regained its two-goal advantage during the man-up, as freshman attacker Vinny Butrico scored for the visitors. 

DeLucia was able to pull the Bobcats back within one, notching his team-leading 22nd point of the season with 5:10 to play in the first frame. Defense reigned supreme over the final five minutes, as the two teams entered the first break with the visitors clasping onto a 3-2 advantage. 

Quinnipiac was able to tie the game when Donnery beat Marist sophomore goalkeeper Noble Smith. The Bobcats drew a penalty on the play, giving them a man-up advantage following the goal. DeLucia pushed Quinnipiac in front during that man-up, giving the Bobcats their first lead of the game. 

One goal wasn’t enough for the hosts. After a beautiful passing display, the Bobcats found the back of the net again for their largest lead of the game.

Just like Quinnipiac had done, Marist battled back from its two-goal deficit to tie the game at five, highlighted by an unbelievable behind-the-back goal from graduate student attacker Jojo Pirreca. 

Germain’s second goal of the half with 1:24 remaining was just enough to give Quinnipiac a slight advantage heading into the halftime break. 

The Red Foxes came out of the half blazing. Two goals in 43 seconds stunned the Bobcats, and put Marist back in the driver’s seat. 

“That’s something we’ve definitely got to work on,” Poli said. “We’ve tried changing a few things up … it’s always tough when they pop that first faceoff.”

Continuing the trend of the game, as the two MAAC foes battled through the rain, Pirrecca continued to power the Marist offense, scoring a goal to put Marist in front 9-8 with 4:02 to play in the third. However, Donnery completed his hat trick less than a minute later to square the game at nine heading into the fourth quarter. 

The Donnery goal to tie it gave Quinnipiac all the confidence they needed, exploding for three unanswered goals in the first half of the final frame. Donnery got the party started, but the Bobcats also drew a penalty on the goal-scoring play to give them a man-up. 

Following a phenomenal passing display by the hosts, junior attacker Trey Gehen extended the lead to two on the man-up. The Bobcats took their biggest lead after Germain hit the post, but junior midfielder Trevor Douglas was there for the rebound and score. 

However, during Douglas’ celebration, he was called for a penalty after staring down one of the Marist defenders laying on the ground. 

“Trevor will hear about that when we head to the locker room,” Poli said. “But besides that, I think we did a great job. We weren’t taking emotional penalties, playing frustrated or hitting guys late. It was just hustle plays, we were playing hard, playing fast and occasionally laundry is going to hit the field.”

The Douglas penalty did prove to be costly for Quinnipiac, as Marist struck twice during the man-up advantage to pull itselves back within a goal. The two teams traded another goal, but Douglas ultimately made up for his penalty, sealing the game with a dagger with 1:21 remaining.

The victory snapped Quinnipiac’s four-game losing streak to Marist, marking the team’s first win against the Red Foxes since 2018. 

“This game was huge, we looked at it as a really big game on our schedule,” DeLucia said. “We got another game coming up on Wednesday, but after dropping a game we felt we shouldn’t have dropped, this was a huge win to get momentum back.”

The victory pushed Quinnipiac to 4-3 overall and 2-1 in MAAC play. The Bobcats will have a chance to improve that record on Wednesday, when they host Manhattan at 3 p.m.