By Justin McKinney, Staff Writer
The men’s lacrosse team is off to a rough 1-6 start and frankly if anyone blames the players for this record they are either blind or have never watched these boys play.
The Corsairs have taken the field with three separate coaches in the past three seasons and it makes for a harsh environment.
While current coach Terry Corcoran is certainly giving his best, as are the players, and he is certainly qualified to lead the team. Corcoran has an astounding track record as a head coach, as he is in the Washington College Hall of Fame for his coaching and the Hobart College Hall of Fame due to his play, it is tough to win with the situation that Corcoran has been given.
Due to the revolving door of coaches the team has taken a serious hit in recruiting. In fact that team has a single sophomore on the entire roster. Not to mention, the team as a whole is much smaller numbers wise than a vast majority of other schools as the team only fields 28, while most schools field 40.
Corcoran as well as the players cannot be blamed because the fact is both parties work as hard as can be expected to win. It is my humble opinion that the team’s troubles can be blamed on the team’s inconsistency on the coaching front. Simply, it is hard to win when coaches are constantly moving.
With each new coach comes a new system, and with each new system comes growing pains. What we are seeing here is simply growing pains. Several games have been lost by a goal, and others have been against teams like Bates and Keene that are top twenty in the entire country. Corcoran will find his way with the men of UMass Dartmouth and eventually I believe this team will compete for a national title, however the athletic department needs to stick with Corcoran if they expect to see those results.
While senior goalie Matt LaFond has been playing fantastic lacrosse as have fellow teammates Anthony Gallo and Sean Peters, how much can they possibly carry when the team has a slew of first-years at the midfield and a limited amount of long-stick midfielders? Sadly, while the effort from the players and coaches has been amazing, the results do not show because athletics has been unable, until Corcoran, to hire a coach with potential to grow the program.
Unfortunately, it is the current seniors that are being hurt most by this. These young men have put their heart and soul into UMassD lacrosse and sadly the school failed them. Again, Corcoran is certainly a coach worth playing for and he will bring this team to the promised land soon, but the mess he took over from the past two years is a difficult one to fix.
All this being said the fact is the season is very young. The Corsairs have only played one LEC game against Keene State and while the loss was by ten points, the Corsairs showed points of brilliance on offense and defense throughout the game. Not to mention, if the team hits their stride in the upcoming games, they very well could end up in the national tourney with no problem.
In fact, I would wager that if this Corsair team headed by LaFond, Gallo, Patrick Lucas, Dean Miller, as well as Jordan Torres, saw Keene in the LEC tourney they could certainly upset them. This team has loads of talent and fantastic coaching. If they can move past these early season growing pains, this team can and will compete for an LEC title.