Abin Boris, Sports Editor
The Utica College men’s lacrosse team was able to continue its hot streak over this past week as the team picked up wins over Keuka College and Russell Sage Colleges, both by the same score of 16-9. These two wins help push the team’s starting record to 4-0, a feat Utica has not accomplished since 2004.
Against Keuka, the game stayed relatively even, as at one point the score was knotted at two. The Pioneers took control from there as the team went on to score eight of the next nine goals scored in the game.
Utica did not take its foot off the gas pedal, however, as the team went on to outshoot Keuka 55-29 and were able to score on both the man-up and man-down units. The only stat Keuka had in its favor by the end of the game was faceoffs, where the Wolves were +1 against Utica.
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A total of eight Pioneers were able to find the back of the net in the affair with Dale Wagner, a senior forward for Utica contributing four goals for the team. Both Wagner and the team were able to carry the team’s hot streak into the next game against Russell Sage where Wagner put up three points in the effort.
“My teammates have really let me be myself on the field,” Wagner said. “It has made it easy for me to just go out and play without overthinking things.”
The Pioneers have been on a roll and to no surprise, they want to keep it up. The team is in a position that it has not been in for 16 years heading into this weekend. It also comes as a breath of fresh air for the team after going 7-9 in its last full season of play in 2019 and only 1-4 in the shortened 2020 season that was put to a halt due to COVID-19.
Now, in an undefeated position, Utica knows the target that has been placed above their heads.
With that knowledge, the team has to keep playing their style of lacrosse and continue to trust each other, something Wagner believes is huge for the team’s success down the road.
“Everyone has bought into their role and we all understand what we need to do to win each game,” he said. “We have confidence that our teammates will make the right play which is huge. When everyone has trust in each other we believe that we can play with any team we run into.”
It has been a fun season up to this point for both the players and the fans, they will look to continue their high-spirited run over the weekend.
“This team is one of the closest knit teams I’ve ever been on,” Wagner said. “We all enjoy being around one another which translates to playing well together on the field.”