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Quinnipiac men’s lacrosse cruises past Wagner, 11-3
“I thought defensively we played pretty well,” Quinnipiac head coach Eric Fekete said. “I thought we handled the zone better than we had in the past, we knew it was coming, they run a little bit of an unorthodox zone the way the play. It took us a little while to get in the groove but I thought we didn’t rush the possessions and that was what we really focused on; making good choices with the ball.”
Those good choices were evident as the Bobcats (3-3) only surrendered 11 turnovers to the Seahawks’ (2-4) 19. In addition, the Bobcats never gave up more than three turnovers in any quarter of play.
Junior attack Foster Cuomo and junior midfielder Matt Frost made good choices with the ball, as they were two of five Bobcats to register multi-point games. Cuomo’s four goals bring his season total to 11, which leads the Bobcats. Both players finished with four points on the day.
“He’s a very conscientious teammate and player and once he’s in the groove sometimes it takes him awhile but he’s been good the last few weeks,” Fekete said. “He’s a tremendous teammate, he takes not only his role on the team importantly, but the fact that we’re relying on him is important to him as well.”
On the backend, the Bobcats were able to shut down the leading scorer coming into the game, Seahawks’ sophomore attack Nick Ancona. Ancona had 10 goals and 11 points coming into the game and left adding just one assist to his season total.
“We just played our game,” senior defenseman Riley Palmer said. “We had a scout on them obviously, we’ve been practicing all week on their tendencies and it just ended up working out. The defense played a great game today.”
Penalties were all over the place in today’s game, but the Bobcats were able to hold the Seahawks to just three goals. Just as Palmer did, Fekete gives credit to the Bobcats’ d-corp.
“The man-down did a great job,” Fekete said. “We gave up three extra man goals and we didn’t give up any even 6-on-6 goals the whole game which is a testament to the defense those guys did a nice job.”
In total, there were 12 minutes of penalties in today’s game. The Bobcats recorded 10 penalties for 8:30 and the Seahawks four for 3:30. However, don’t let the numbers fool you. Several of the penalties were coincidental penalties, or penalties on plays where a player from each team was penalized. This shaves at least two minutes off each team’s individual total.
“I think we’re a little excited today,” Palmer said. “When you start off strong and you’re having a good game it’s hard to ring in those emotions. I think it just got away from us a little bit there, but it worked out in the end.”
Sophomore goalie Joe Zukauskas got the start in goal today and finished the game with only three goals against and eight saves. This marks the fourth start in a row for Zukauskas.
“Joe played last year a couple of games,” Fekete said. “Joe’s been the hot hand lately, we’ll stick with it as long as we can. Hopefully it will stay that way for the rest of the year.”
The Bobcats look ahead to its first Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) game of the season, coming up against Siena College in Hamden on Saturday, March 17.
“It’s a big game and it’s a unique game too because we go conference game then we go two non-league games in a row, back to conference. You really need to have your attention set on that first conferenec game it’s huge as the season plays out,” Fekete said. “The key is every weekend be ready for what everyone gives you. Scouting can only take you so far, but it’s just being prepared for any scenario. We talk about ‘chasing the unicorn’ a lot here, I want the perfect game. If you’re not perfect then you’re not doing what you should be doing.”
The momentum that this win generated is going to be a big factor for the team heading into the start of conference play, according to Palmer.
“It’s huge, we have Siena next week so obviously it’s the first conference game and that’s massive,” Palmer said. “Just going into this week off from school, it’s nice to get a win and get that moral up before conference starts.”