Quinnipiac edges out win over struggling Marist team


Photo: Anthony W. Pacheco III

Gabriel Kukulka

On a rainy day in Hamden, Connecticut, the Quinnipiac men’s lacrosse team battled a close game against Marist, which the Bobcats narrowly won 14-12.

“We always prepare for the worst,” Quinnipiac head coach Mason Poli said about the weather. “We are out here when it’s snowing, we don’t take many practice days off. We embrace the weather and get after it and try not to have it affect (us) too much.”

The Bobcats had a chance to go above .500 with a win over a Marist team that was 2-5. 

The game got off to a fast start as Marist scored two goals within the first three minutes, coming from Joshua Balcarcel and Jamison Embury. Steven Germain scored a few minutes later to pull one back for the Bobcats.

A fast first quarter ended 3-2 in favor of the Red Foxes, with the Bobcats struggling to come back from their slow start.

Two minutes into the second quarter the Quinnipiac offense found their legs as Dylan Donnery put the ball in the upper right corner past Marist goalie Noble Smith to tie the game at three.

The Bobcats started to gain momentum and their first lead of the game came with 11:45 left in the second quarter when John Delucia scored a man-up goal, his second goal of the game. The Bobcats doubled their lead just 21 seconds later with another man-up goal, this time from Trey Gehen, who cut inside the Marist defense and scored from a yard out.

“I think overall we played well together,” said Delucia about the state of the team’s offense. “It takes all six on the field for offense. They are sliding fast and we just really try to focus on maybe not the first shot, but seeing who’s open and playing unselfish. I think we did a great job of that.”

The Red Foxes didn’t give up yet, and a great piece of individual skill by Jojo Pirreca made it a 5-4 game. Pirreca scored a behind the back goal to get Marist within one of the surging Bobcats.

With about three minutes remaining in the second quarter, Quinnipiac had blown defensive coverage and Sam Ferrel was able to walk in and take a shot from 10 yards out. The shot beat Quinnipiac goalie Nick DiMuccio to tie the game at five.

The highly competitive game started to get very physical in the final minutes of the half, and it was in those minutes where Germain cut past a defender and took a shot that went in on the right side of the net. Germain gave Quinnipiac a 6-5 at half.

Like it did at the beginning of the game, Quinnipiac once again got off to a slow start. Just six seconds into the second half Matt Fermo ran past the Quinnipiac defense off of the faceoff and scored. Less than a minute later Jojo Pirreca scored for Marist, and within one minute of the second half the Bobcats lead was gone.

“It’s something that we definitely have to work on,” said Poli about his team’s slow starts. “It’s starting to be a trend now, we’ve tried changing a few things up. I think it’s always tough when they pop that first faceoff, but we only gave up two there.”

The two teams battled back and forth throughout the entire third quarter, which ended 9-9. Something was bound to give between these two sides in the second half.

With 10:38 left in the game Dylan Donnery ran from the back right corner of the field, taking the ball directly in front of the Marist net and scoring. The goal gave the Bobcats the lead and completed Donnery’s hat trick. Quinnipiac scored two more goals within the next two minutes from Gehen and Trevor Douglas, respectfully. The goals gave Quinnipiac a 12-9 lead and a cushion for the remainder of the game.

The Bobcats saw the rest of the game out and defeated Marist 14-12. The win improves their MAAC record to 2-1 and their overall record to 4-3.

“This game was huge we looked at it as a very big game in our schedule,” said graduate student midfielder Demitri George. “We are looking forward to being back at it this week.”

Quinnipiac will welcome Manhattan to Hamden on Wednesday afternoon where the Bobcats will look to further improve their record in the MAAC.