By Kirti Chakote
Coming off one of its poorer seasons in recent memory (8-7 overall, 3-3 in conference) for such a successful program, the Union Men’s Lacrosse team has rebounded strongly to deliver its best regular season in Dutchmen history (12-2 overall, 5-1 in conference).
“We are a team of 39 best friends,” commented captain and goalie Stefan Basile ’15. “This year the 10 seniors show some great leadership and cohesiveness, which has translated to the rest of the team. We are a focused bunch of guys that believe in each other even when things don’t go our way.”
Things definitely didn’t go the Dutchmen’s way for the most of the game in a close double-overtime win (12-11) against RPI.
Union trailed 11-8 with 12:12 left to play in the fourth time period. However, a run of three straight tallies to tie the game at the end of regulation forced the teams into overtime.
Midfielder Jonathan Andrews ’14 scored the game-winning goal with 1:33 left in the second overtime period.
Leading the way to help pull out close games are the four team captains: attack Rob Santangelo ’14, midfielder Greg Mooney ’14, midfielder Nate Greenberg ’14 and goalie Stefan Basile. Santangelo is a returning Liberty League Team attack.
Mooney and Basile were both members of the Liberty League All-Academic team last season and Greenberg earned Liberty League Second Team honors at midfield.
Attacks Charlie Ross ’15, Richard Gregory ’15 and Nolan Stauffer ’16 are three of the team’s top four scorers at 14, 16 and 16 goals per player, respectively.
Another valiant effort from the team came in a close loss (7-8) against the number one team in the country, the RIT tigers (16-0 overall, 6-0 in conference) a couple of weeks ago.
For most of the game, the teams traded goals, and Union fell behind two times (5-2 and 8-5) only to rally back to tie the game.
Midfielder Tom Stanton ’16 recorded a hat-trick to help Union to stay in the game, and Basile had 16 saves to keep the nation’s third highest scoring team at its lowest scoring output of the season.
Unfortunately, Union could not score the equalizer as the final horn sounded.
“While we lost, our game against RIT showed that we can hang with the best of them,” Basile stated when asked about the tough loss. “As we go into the playoffs, we will use the game as motivation to dominate. We will definitely see RIT again, and it should be a different outcome this time.”
As the Liberty League playoffs start this upcoming Friday (May 2), the Union Men’s Lacrosse team has a lot to be proud of.
Having been ranked as high as number seven nationally, a 10-game winning streak and multiple players named Liberty League Offensive/Defensive Players of the Week, the Dutchmen have their heads up high.
“For my last season, I want us to be the best team ever,” said Santangelo, Union Men’s Lacrosse’s leading goal-scorer. “The goal is to win a national championship, and if we play our game, there aren’t a lot of teams that can stop us from getting there.”
The Dutchmen have had a successful season and, with this attitude, they will finish strong.
The team closed its regular season with a 10-3 victory over Skidmore this past weekend.
The Dutchmen are currently ranked number nine in the nation with only two setbacks against the nation’s number one and number two ranked teams.
In addtion, they have earned the number two seed for the Liberty League Tournament, and will host number three seed Rensselaer next Friday.