Imani Vincent, Staff Writer
The Utica College men’s lacrosse team headed to Falls Church, Virginia to face off against Brockport in a non-league game last Saturday. The Pioneers lost 14-5.
The team currently holds a humbling record of 1-4 so far early in the season, with their only win coming against SUNY Poly.
The two teams went on this trip to get away from Upstate New York for the break. Since the season is in full swing, the players weren’t allowed to go home for Spring Break. Players weren’t upset about it because they got a free trip to Virginia.
“I think the trip was definitely beneficial because the team bonded a lot during the trip,” freshman Dorkim Simeona said. “I can’t complain about any vacation to a warmer place then Utica.”
Trips that take hours on the road with your team can help build team chemistry.
The trip down wasn’t just for a vacation and games, it was also for educational and motivational purposes. Head coach Mike Parnell took the team to Arlington Cemetery to pay their respects to all the men and women who are buried there. The coach wanted the players to understand the importance of playing for something bigger than yourself and playing unselfish.
“Seeing everyone on a different mental level when we went to the cemetery, how everyone knew it was time to be serious and understand what’s going on was really an eye opener,” Simeona said, explaining the importance of the moment.
Parnell said he has been good friends with the coach from Brockport for years and they decided it was a good idea for both teams to travel the lengthy seven-and-a-half-hour trip to Virginia.
Parnell said the motto for this season that he always harps on is execution, emotion and effort. He believes that if his team can consistently show these three aspects of the game, they will be successful.
A standout performer from the game was goalie Andrew Diorio, who made 12 saves. Another standout performer was Alex Finnegan, who netted two of the five goals for UC in impressive fashion.
The team opens Empire 8 play with an away game against Ithaca this Saturday at 1 p.m.
The goal for the Pioneers this year is to ultimately win the Empire 8 Championship.
“Some of the small things will help us obtain that goal like being more consistent, limiting mistakes and raising our level of play on both sides of the ball,” Parnell said. “Each team is different. We’re still trying to figure out our identity. What we do when we are 1-4 will say a lot about this team’s character and integrity.”
Featured Image; Brandon Souza in an earlier game against Hamilton. The Pioneers lost 14-5 against Brockport in Falls Church, Virginia on Saturday. Photo by Jeff Pexton.