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The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

Quinnipiac men’s lacrosse on track for first conference championship in half a decade

Tripp Menhall
Senior midfielder Steven Germain scored 4 goals and 7 total points during the Bobcats’ game against Brown on February 17, 2024.

Quinnipiac men’s lacrosse placed fifth in the MAAC preseason coaches’ poll in January. Fast forward three months and the Bobcats are one of the best teams in not only the MAAC but the entire country.

As of publication, Quinnipiac is No. 34 nationally in RPI and was at one point No. 20 in the Inside Lacrosse Media Poll. The Bobcats — who have won eight of their first nine games — have already surpassed their win total from last year.

One of the many reasons the Bobcats have done so well to start the season is senior midfielder Ryan Donnery. The offensive game-changer has already surpassed his career high for points this season, but for him, it’s more about the team’s success rather than individual.

“Every game matters when you’re in the MAAC,” Donnery said on March 30. “We’re still a hungry group, we take it game by game and we’re trying to just win as many as we can.”

The success of the team means a lot to Donnery. And after the Bobcats defeated Mount St. Mary’s just a few days after a loss to Manhattan, the victory was that much sweeter.

“I think we got our confidence back,” Donnery said. “I’ve been saying all year that we’re still hungry, we got a great group of guys and we’re all shooting for a MAAC championship to come through Hamden.”

On top of a stellar scoring game, Quinnipiac has seen pristine passing as well. Senior midfielder Steven Germain’s presence is felt on the field whether he’s stuffing the stat sheet or not. The team captain has 13 assists through nine games, an average of around 1.5 assists per game.

But Germain’s impact goes beyond the box score — the midfielder’s passing ability allows the offense to flow — which results in open players and easy goals.

“I think we just have guys that understand what we’re trying to do,” head coach Mason Poli said on Feb. 17. “They understand how we’re trying to coach and our philosophies, they’re really buying into that team-first mindset.”

With just four games left in the regular season, the Bobcats are likely to make the playoffs. They are currently second in the MAAC and made the postseason last year with a worse record. For the team itself, it’s championship or bust.

Following a loss in the first round of the playoffs to Marist, Quinnipiac looks to go far in the postseason. And it has the players to make a run, reflected in its 8-1 record.

On defense, junior goalie Mason Oak is manning the trenches. The netminder is currently leading the entire nation with 14.89 saves per game.

Quinnipiac returned all 10 of its top leading scorers from the prior year and has been rolling on offense every game of the season, scoring double-digit points in each contest.

“It’s amazing the confidence he brings to the defense,” Poli said Saturday. “He just gives momentum to the defense, and on top of that his outlet ball is able to create some offense. So having Mason has just been phenomenal.”

Oak now has two MAAC Defensive Player of the Week honors under his belt and is on the watchlist for the 2024 Tewaaraton Award,given annually to the best of both men’s and women’s lacrosse players across all three divisions.

“We all just have to keep our heads up,” Oak said on Feb. 17. “We got to stay on top of it and we can’t let anything stop us.”

The awards are great, but as the team prepares to go down the stretch there is only one piece of hardware on the mind for Quinnipiac: a MAAC championship trophy.

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Tripp Menhall, Associate Photography Editor

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