Making the Best of It


Photos: QU Athletics

Bryan Murphy

It’s been an absolute whirlwind in these last few months. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has swept the nation, impacting every single individual one way or another. Sports were canceled left and right, businesses were shut down and stay-at-home procedures are now the norm.  

For the Quinnipiac men’s lacrosse team, this meant the cancellation of their 2019-20 season. 

“It happened so fast, I didn’t really know what to think,” freshman attack John DeLucia said. “You didn’t really have time to process it. We just had to pack up our stuff and get out of (Hamden.)”

On March 12, the NCAA announced the cancellation of all spring sports, as well as any remaining winter sports competition. With the virus spreading rapidly, it didn’t come to the team as a big surprise. But Quinnipiac head coach Mason Poli explained that it was still difficult to accept. 

“You knew this was coming, but we hadn’t really seen the impact yet,” Poli said. “It was a hard pill for the players to swallow. When you try to communicate that with them, it was a little tough. You felt bad for the seniors not having that finale, that build up to your final game, that last week of practice.

“But now we’re close to two months into this, it’s an easier pill for some of those guys to swallow. I think they see the impact in their local communities, their family members, it’s something that we’re all going through and dealing with.”

It was an abrupt end to a season just getting underway. The Bobcats were 0-6 in non-conference play, but were getting prepared to kick MAAC play off on Saturday, March 14. 

While its conference schedule never was able to begin, the team was able to share one final moment on the field before having to leave Hamden. 

“In that moment, it was tough, We were trying to prepare them to head home,” Poli said. “Luckily, heading into practice, we had that opportunity to get out on the field one more time. Messed around a little bit, played some box lacrosse and got them to enjoy each other as a team one last time.”

As for the time in quarantine, Poli said the focus is for the players and staff to spend time with their families, as well as making their health a top priority. However, Poli also emphasized that the team is still communicating together. 

“I think our biggest message is stay in contact,” Poli said. “Stay in contact with each other. Let’s go through this together … Let’s come out of this stronger together.”

While the seniors do have the option to come back for another year thanks to the NCAA granting an extra year of eligibility, it’s not a guarantee that every senior will take that opportunity. With plenty of other factors going into that decision, Poli knows that for some of his players, they’ve stepped on the field for the last time as a Bobcat. 

“It’s something I’ve been struggling with,” Poli said on what he wants to tell those seniors. “I think for them, it’s to have that sense of accomplishment. We kind of went through this the other day as a team. I asked the guys what they were proud of. Think back on those good times. What are you proud of, what have you accomplished with this program. Think of all the relationships you’ve built, all the bus trips and the moments in the locker room. 

“Those are the moments that we need to hold on to and those are the important things in life.”