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Quinnipiac men’s lacrosse has its back against the wall as the season winds down

Photo Courtesy Quinnipiac Athletics

By: Aaron Robinson

The Quinnipiac men’s lacrosse team is currently in danger of missing the postseason for the first time since the 2013-2014 season.

Coming off a season in which the team made headlines, becoming the first team in Quinnipiac men’s lacrosse history to win an NCAA tournament game, the 2017 season has not been so magical.

The Bobcats have struggled thus far posting a 2-7 overall record, and a 1-3 record in MAAC play. The Bobcats currently sit in sixth place in the conference, but are only one game back of both Marist and Siena who are tied for the fourth and final playoff spot in the MAAC.

In a season where wins have been hard to come by, Quinnipiac has lost all three MAAC games by two goals or less. Coach Eric Fekete believes these close losses have a lot to do with the leadership, or lack thereof, on this year’s team.

“If you are in a one goal game, those last five minutes become ultra-critical and the ability to be focused and clear and not make mistakes are really important,” Fekete said. “Those are things that we really stressed last year, and we had no problem finding our way. They are things that we continue to stress, but we have a little more trouble finding our way. I think that’s where the leadership and maturity plays the biggest part.”

Another glaring difference between this season’s version of the Bobcats, and last year’s is the presence of Ryan Keenan. Keenan graduated last year after leading the Bobcats in scoring, with 51 points (33 goals and 18 assists).

He finished his career ranked fourth all time in goals scored and ranked fifth all time in points.

“I think his presence is missed more than his points. He kept Foster (Cuomo) sharp last year, he kept Brian Feldman sharp last year,” Fekete said. Ryan is a true workaholic and he requires it out of the guys that he plays with.”

One constant from both last year and this year is senior goalie Jack Brust, who is widely known as one of the best goalie’s in the MAAC. The redshirt senior has played in only six games this season, missing time early on due to injury.

Brust currently is second in the MAAC in goals against average, giving up just over seven goals per game. To put this into perspective, Brust gave up just under nine goals per game last season, in a year that he took home most outstanding player at the 2016 MAAC tournament.

In a year where leadership has not been at a premium, Brust has stepped in and tried to fill the void to the best of his abilities.

“Last year I just tried to lead by example and let my actions speak louder than my words,” Brust said. “This year I’m trying to teach guys how to do the same.”

All hope is not lost in this season’s quest to defend the MAAC title.

The Quinnipiac Bobcats face the Siena Saints this Friday in what is a must-win game in Albany. The Saints currently sit tied for fourth place in the MAAC, but are on the outside of the playoff picture looking in, as Marist owns the tiebreaker between the two.

Quinnipiac’s regular season finale will be against Canisius, who is currently riding a two game losing streak, and will travel to undefeated Monmouth this weekend.

Siena’s final game will be against Marist in a game that could decide the fourth and final spot in the MAAC Playoffs.

The Bobcats will need some help to reach the postseason, but first they must finish the season with two wins to have any chance at making the MAAC tournament.

“We hope for the best,” Brust said. “I think winning is the only thing that we as a team can control, so that’s all that we are going to try to control.”

There is still life left for the Quinnipiac men’s lacrosse team. The Bobcats will take the field on Friday needing a win in order to keep their chances alive at earning a third straight MAAC postseason appearance.

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