Quinnipiac men’s lacrosse opens MAAC play with a win

By on March 16, 2019

The Quinnipiac men’s lacrosse team would not have its home opener and MAAC opener spoiled as it took down Detroit Mercy 12-9 on Saturday afternoon at the Quinnipiac Soccer and Lacrosse Stadium.

Quinnipiac (3-3 overall, 1-0 MAAC) sophomore attack Jake Tomsik led all scorers with three goals and an assist, while freshman midfielder Will Abbott contributed two goals and an assist. Freshman goaltender Nick DiMuccio picked up 17 saves in the win.

Detroit Mercy (4-3 overall, 1-1 MAAC) saw hat tricks from freshman attack Max Paxton and junior attack Seth Mendell, but it wasn’t enough for the Titans.

Morgan Tencza
“It’s good to be able to get that first conference win and put yourself off on the right start,” Quinnipiac interim head coach Mason Poli said. “The magic number is four in the conference, you get to four and you get that birth into the playoffs, so to get the first one in the first opportunity is huge.”

It also was the first game for all the seniors, who had to sit out the first five games of the season due to disciplinary reasons. The seniors didn’t miss a beat, as senior attack Foster Cuomo notched a hat trick, and fellow senior attack Mike Fletcher added two goals.

“They’ve been doing a great job with energy in practice,” Poli said. “We knew it wasn’t going to be a problem today in the game. We were actually worried about taming them a little bit, getting back in. But they did a really good job. They give us a comfort level with all the experience they bring.”

The first quarter saw Quinnipiac jump out to a quick 1-0 lead just 10 seconds into the game. Fletcher picked up a loose ball and put it over Detroit Mercy sophomore goaltender Logan Shamblin to kick off the scoring. The seniors continued to come out firing as both Cuomo and Fletcher added goals in the first quarter to give Quinnipiac a 3-0 lead early.

“It was definitely exciting, not playing the first five games, not playing since last year,” Cuomo said. “Little bit of jitters at the beginning. But there’s no better feeling than stepping on [the field] with a group like this.”

Quinnipiac continued to push the pace of play, dominating the Titans in the first half. The Bobcats took an 8-3 lead into the second half.

However, it was Detroit Mercy who got the early jump in the second half, as sophomore long stick midfielder Paul Manuszak scored 10 seconds into the third quarter to cut the lead to four. The two teams exchanged goals the rest of the quarter, with Quinnipiac still having a 10-6 lead heading into the final 15 minutes.

“For us, we wanted to win those first five minutes,” Poli said. “Unfortunately, we lost that first face off and they came down and scored. We’ve got to play a consistent style throughout the game.”

The Bobcats got the upper hand in the opening minutes of the final frame, when Tomsik completed the hat trick less than two minutes into the fourth quarter. The Titans were able to muster three more goals, but the Bobcats never let the game get too close and came out victorious with the 12-9 win.

Quinnipiac senior midfielder Matt Frost left the game in the first quarter, after slipping on the turf and appearing to injure his left arm. He did not return to the game and was in a sling after the win. His timetable for return is unknown.

As for the team, after outscoring Detroit Mercy 8-3 in the first half, Quinnipiac was outscored 6-4 in second half. Poli said it is that consistency that needs to be brought for the whole game if the team wants to find success in conference play.

“Putting together a full 60 minutes on all facets of the game,” Poli said on what the team needs to improve upon. “The faceoff game, offense, defense. If we’re able to do that on a game to game basis, that’ll get us to our goal of hopefully getting into the MAAC tournament and play in the MAAC championship.”

Quinnipiac’s next game will be an out-of-conference matchup as it welcomes Hartford to Hamden on Tuesday, March 19 at 3 p.m.

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