It has been six seasons since men’s lacrosse has earned a berth into the SUNYAC playoffs, but 2015 has all the makings of being the year to end the drought.
The team is winless in its last 10 league games, including all three this season. That being said, 10 seniors that are 21-9 in non-conference play and have proven talent led Oswego State. This squad wants to snap this winless streak against conference opponents but, more importantly, is hungry for postseason play.
Senior Cody Hoose is chasing his spot in the Laker men’s lacrosse record books as he currently ranks sixth in program history with 152 points and second in assists with 92. The possibility of reaching such a feat only adds to his motivation to lead his team to the postseason.
Other seniors with high expectations for themselves include midfielders Nick Giampaolo and Matt Palmer. Giampaolo transferred to Oswego State before his sophomore season. In his first two seasons with the Lakers, he was named second team All-SUNYAC in 2013 and first team All-SUNYAC in 2014. Palmer was named third team All-SUNYAC last season as well.
Statistically this season, Oswego State ranks third in the conference in goals allowed as well as second in turnovers. The team also has committed the fewest penalties in league contests. These three statistics suggest a veteran-heavy roster prepared to compete in close contests.
Senior defender Ryan Kennish and sophomore goalie Wyatt Russo lead the defense. Kennish is the team’s most experienced defender. He has 42 career starts as a part of a defensive core made up of two senior, one junior, four sophmore and three freshmen. Russo has the second-best goals against average in the SUNYAC, allowing 7.55 goals per game.
While the team has succeeded on the defensive end, the real questions are on the offensive end.
Giampaolo, Hoose and Palmer have been consistent throughout their careers but need the support of secondary scoring at this time of year to turn the season around and reach the playoffs. Past standouts such as Jimmy Cordon, Connor Khammar and Troy Crevier will be needed. But, freshmen Luke Krizman and Tyler Nason are crucial too.
Krizman and Nason have combined for 30 points in their rookie season and are tied for third on the team in points. They give the team the potential to be eight deep on the offensive end. Plus, they can have six of them on the offense together, which is the team’s best chance at scoring.
Down the stretch, the Lakers are set to play three SUNYAC games at home against SUNY Plattsburgh (2-2 SUNYAC), at SUNY Cortland (3-0 SUNYAC) and at home against SUNY Geneseo (1-3 SUNYAC).
The two home contests are against Cardinal and Knight teams with only slightly better conference records. Victories in the two home tilts could be enough to lock the Lakers into one of the four playoff spots come SUNYAC Tournament times, depending on how everything shakes out.