Hawks ready to bounce back into championship-caliber team

Drew Hart, Herald Reporter

In 2018, the Hawks of men’s lacrosse finished with an overall record of 9-8. In conference play, the Hawks finished .500 with a 4-4 record and a berth in the Commonwealth Coast Conference tournament. Ultimately, the Hawks fell to Endicott College in the semifinals. Coach Marty Kelly, the winningest coach in program history, returns for his 18th season and is really looking to use last year as a building block for the current season.

“Last year was a growing year,” said Kelly. “We had four strong seniors with leadership that left so it’s been a little bit of an adjustment.”

Yet, Kelly emphasized how last year’s team was playing its best lacrosse at the end of the year. Freshmen weren’t necessarily playing like freshmen toward the end of the year, Kelly noted. He explained that the team is hoping to build off that.

The Hawks field a few first year players who will be on the radar in 2019. Kelly pointed to attackman Ryan Phillips, midfielder Pat Barbosa, and two-sport athlete and defender Hunter Goodrow, who is making his transition from the wrestling mat to the turf.   

The Hawks are led into the 2019 campaign by senior tri-captains Joseph Elia, Shawn Errasti and Weston Nolan. When asked about expectations for the season, the three captains spoke highly of the team given their young talent and experienced returning players.

“Everyone on the team expects to win the conference and go to the NCAA tournament,” the captains said. “We understand that the conference is more competitive than in years past. We all are playing and practicing harder to ensure that we win. The drive and work ethic of past teams is not even close to this team.”  

A strong defense is also something to take note of for the Hawks this season. Errasti, fresh off his second consecutive All-CCC First Team selection, anchors the defensive front. Even as a defender, Kelly claims that he is “the best player in the conference.” Juniors Drew Mullen and Brian Brockwell (2018 All-CCC Third Team) also provide the backbone of the Hawks defense.

On offense, a young group continues to grow. Fortunately, the Hawks return senior Chris Bova — the team’s leading facilitator last year with 20 assists. Bova is joined by junior Jude Marzec, who was the Hawks leading scorer in 2018 with 33 goals, sophomore Jared Grier (31 goals) and sophomore Tim Mullane (30 goals and 19 assists in 2018).  

The Hawks dropped their season opener against Babson College 11-2 on Feb. 20, but came back strong and romped UMass-Boston 16-4 on Feb. 23. The Hawks return home after two road games on March 6 against Lasell College.