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The Quinnipiac Chronicle

Men’s lacrosse seeking first MAAC championship since 2016

Quinn O’Neill
Quinnipiac men’s lacrosse celebrates a 13-7 win over Brown on Feb. 17.

After underperforming seasons in 2022 and 2023, Quinnipiac men’s lacrosse seems to have finally turned over a new leaf.

In a year that saw steady improvement on all fronts, the Bobcats are better equipped for postseason play.

Quinnipiac kicked off the season strong, winning seven straight. At their peak, the Bobcats were ranked No. 20 in the NCAA and stood as the last undefeated team in the country during their win streak.

These weren’t close wins either, as each of the Bobcats’ first seven victories were decided by three or more goals. Offensively, Quinnipiac was dominant, having little trouble commanding the field. In front of the net, it formed an iron curtain.

“It’s all about controlling the tempo and the flow,” head coach Mason Poli said on Feb. 17. “Playing complimentary lacrosse, to have a quicker effort at the faceoff and defensively to hold teams to single digits, that’s always a goal of ours.”

But all good things must come to an end, as the Bobcats suffered their first loss of the season at the hands of Manhattan, a squad that had just two wins before the matchup.

Three rocky weeks later and Quinnipiac had lost three of its last four games.

During the team’s 13-12 comeback win against VMI on April 13, it seemed things were once again changing for the better. A down-to-the-wire win that saw a last-minute goal scored by senior attacker Dylan Donnery to steer Quinnipiac back to its winning ways.

“I think with the start of our season we added a little bit of self-induced pressure onto ourselves trying to live up to those expectations,” Poli said on April 13. “So to get this win to kind of ease some of that off I think serves as a hard reset for us.”

That hard reset allowed Quinnipiac to utilize its experienced offensive weapons. With the Bobcats returning their top 10 scoring options from last year, the offense was bound to see an improvement.

Donnery leads the team in goals scored with 30 to go along with nine assists on the year.

“It’s crazy how fast four years goes by,” Donnery said on April 17. “So when you’re out there and you have all the support, you just feed off that energy.”

Not far behind him is his brother, senior midfielder Ryan Donnery, who scored 25 goals and dished out 26 assists to total 51 points on the year.

Rounding out the top three in scoring is graduate student attacker John DeLucia. The team captain has 26 goals to go along with six assists.

The increase in offensive firepower has been the biggest differentiator compared to last season. In 2023, the team scored under 10 points in two contests, its worst outing of the season being a 15-12 loss to Manhattan.

This year, the team has scored less than 12 points once all season and reached double-digit points in every game.

Additionally, junior goaltender Mason Oak has continued his breakout season for Quinnipiac. The team’s defensive backbone has been named to the Tewaaraton Award watch list and is currently leading men’s Division I lacrosse in saves per game at 15.83.

“It’s the confidence and encouragement that these guys have,” Poli said on April 13. “Busting their butts in practice day in and day out.”

After dropping their season finale loss to LIU, the No. 6 Bobcats look to advance past No. 3 Manhattan on April 27 and make a run at the MAAC Championship for the first time since 2019.

The Jaspers pulled off a 15-12 upset against Quinnipiac earlier in the year, scratching its flawless record. To prevent a repeat of the regular season, the Bobcats need to be aggressive on offense and hunker down defensively. Manhattan was  one of the first teams during the regular season to keep up with Quinnipiac’s high-powered offense and break through its defensive zone.

“We’ve all been practicing together for months,” DeLucia said on Feb. 6 . “In these last two weeks you could just tell there’s a different excitement and intensity in the locker room, we’re all ready to go.”

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Quinn O’Neill
Quinn O’Neill, Associate Multimedia Editor

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