Hope, Confidence Fill the Air as NCAA Regular Season Contests Begin

by Tracy Johnson

Hope, Confidence Fill the Air as NCAA Regular Season Contests Begin

By Mitchell Courtney

Chasing their 16 national championship title, the Syracuse Orange men’s lacrosse team is confident that they can do what is necessary to succeed. After falling to No. 1 ranked Yale in their final tune-up game, the Orange are preparing to face off against Colgate in their first regular season contest on Friday, Feb. 8. 

Senior Tyson Bomberry believes that the team is in a good spot as the games begin to count.

“I think we have a really good team this year,” he said. “We have a lot of young guys on offense, but defensively, a lot of seasoned guys. Once we fix the little things that we need to work on, I think we can be a very dangerous team.”

As the Albany Great Danes gear up for their regular season, they are still enjoying some of the successes they earned in the 2018 campaign. After winning the America East Conference and earning a trip to the NCAA tournament, the team will celebrate their accomplishments at this Saturday’s basketball game. In a ceremony beginning at 6:45 p.m. on the SEFCU Arena court, the team will receive championship rings prior to tip-off. Despite winning their conference last year, preseason rankings have not favored the Great Danes, something that Native American junior Jakob Patterson says will be a driving factor for the team this season.

“Obviously we have seen the rankings,” he said. “It has given us a chip on our shoulder.”

The Johns Hopkins men's lacrosse team is ranked seventh in the 2019 USILA Coaches Poll, but senior defenseman Jake Fox is determined to push for team improvement throughout the season.

“Every year we have the same goals. We want to develop as a team and become better players and better men,” said Fox. “We want to win the Big 10 conference championship and make it to championship weekend and win a national title.”

The Blue Jays open their regular season schedule with a home tilt against Towson on Saturday, Feb. 9.

Kyran Sunday and the Hofstra Pride will also open their regular season this Saturday, and they hope to prove the doubters wrong early on. Their first challengers will be the Mountain Hawks of Lehigh University. Hofstra is coming off a disappointing 4-10 season in 2018, but the team is returning their top five scorers as they look to turn their program around.

Freshmen Matt Duncan, Chase Scanlan, Dan Burnam, Devon Buckshot and Kainen Francis-Thompson will all likely wait to get their first action of the 2019 regular season; but all of this year’s freshman class looks promising early on.

Fellow freshman Wake:Riat Bowhunter of Jacksonville University did not wait to contribute for his squad, tallying three goals and one assist in the team’s opening day loss to Detroit Mercy. Bowhunter’s Jacksonville University squad is re-tooled and hoping to make an impact on NCAA lacrosse this season. After the one-goal loss, Dolphins head coach John Galloway was hopeful that his young players will continue to perform.

“I walked away from today's game incredibly encouraged about the opportunities this young group will have," he said, following his team’s strong performance.

As Kason Tarbell and Cornell look forward to kicking off their 2019 season, they have turned their focus to charitable events, further reinforcing the thought that Cornell is looking to develop well-rounded young men in their program. On Thursday, Feb. 7, the men’s lacrosse team is holding a Save the Day Blood Drive to help chronically-ill patients. If you are in the area or would like more information, please contact Suzanne at centralnewyork@dreamfactoryinc.org or schedule an appointment directly at www.redcrossblood.org.

With Genesee Community College’s lacrosse season just under a month away, head coach Dave Hoover released his team’s full regular season schedule. GCC will play six games at home and seven on the road in 2019. The Cougars will faceoff against reigning National Champions Onondaga CC on Saturday, March 23 at 1:00 p.m.

Onondaga head coach Eric Miccio is looking to defend the Lazers’ title in 2019, and his team will play two scrimmages this week. The first of the two is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 7 against Geneseo, and the second is slated for Saturday, Feb. 9 against St. John Fisher College.

Almost every team in the NCAA is starting its 2019 regular season this week, and optimism is what fills the air at the moment. Of course, there will be adjustments made throughout the season, but most programs are confident that they have what it takes to win it all this season.