Hawks on the prowl at home: Home field advantage speaks true for 2019 Hawks

by Drew Hart, Herald Reporter

If the opponents of the men’s lacrosse team are the prey, then Bayside Field is certainly the nest the Hawks must protect — and they are doing a spectacular job. That’s because on their way to posting a 9-4 overall record, the Hawks won a total of six games at home while only dropping one.


In general, success at home has been a pattern in the program. Since the 2016 season, the Hawks have won close to 70 percent of their games at home.


“The team has really fed off of the home crowd this year which has been crucial for the games we’ve played at RWU… the turnout of fans most definitely has a role in that,” senior captains Weston Nolan, Joseph Elia and Shawn Errasti said in an email.

The captains pointed to the team’s mentality heading into away games.

“There are certainly some away facilities and fields that are out of our comfort zone so to speak,” said the captains. “As a team, we feel that once we are on a field no matter the location, there is no time for excuses and all of the focus is on beating our opponent.”

Coach Marty Kelly also emphasized the role fans have played in the team’s success.

“We’ve been getting a big crowd which is nice,” Kelly said.

Yet, this can sometimes be a cause for concern as players might try to do too much.

In addition to the fans, Kelly also points to the mental side of the success. Specifically, the team’s ability to respond in tight situations. Kelly emphasized how the Hawks have been able to regroup in the second half of games, especially recalling their March 23 matchup with Clark University when the Hawks overcame a 5-3 halftime deficit to prevail 10-7.

“A lot of it depends on the opponents,” Kelly said. “We play to our opponent’s level but we need to see more focus on our game.”

Kelly further credits the success at home to the leadership of the seniors and captains who have stressed that everybody only has so many opportunities to wear the white and blue at home.

“We do our best to keep a consistent confidence level to each game but there is definitely something special about playing at your home field as most teams would agree,” the captains said. Having the advantage of your own locker room and fans brings a certain amount of energy that can be challenging to come by during an away game. Home or away, however, we have done a great job keeping the team intensity up and hope to continue it far into the postseason.”


The Hawks now sit at 3-1 in conference play following their 17-12 victory over the Nor’easters of University of New England on Saturday. The Hawks will look to extend their winning streak to four games as they head to Newport to take on Salve Regina University on April 10 as the postseason race heats up.