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Brockport Men's Lacrosse season preview

By: Chamberlain Bauder

BROCKPORT, NY---The Brockport men’s lacrosse team will open their season at the Pinnacle Athletic Complex tomorrow against St. John Fisher. After graduating five starters, the team has a new look to it as they head in Colin Cornaire’s second season as head coach.  

Members of the Brockport Golden Eagles Men's lacrosse team. Photo credit: Liv Metz Brockport Athletics

In the 2022-23 season, Cornaire only brought in one recruit as his timeline for hire didn’t allow him to put together a freshman class for his first year at Brockport. Now in 2024 there are 15 freshmen on the roster. 


“The message was clear, we have to get some chemistry as quickly as possible,” Cornaire said. “They reached out to all the new guys and got the conversation flowing. The second day on campus the guys had a players only meeting where they just discussed wht they wanna do and what they want to achieve together… All credit to the upperclassmen just really taking it upon themselves to make sure everyone was feeling a part of this team.” 


Along with new faces on the younger side, one new graduate transfer will make big waves on the Golden Eagles this season. Nick Askin transferred from division two Lake Erie College where he was a conference rookie of the year before a devastating knee injury converted him from a midfielder to an attackman. Now he gets to play with his little brother Nate, a second team all-conference selection, Nick could prove to be the best attackman Brockport has had since COVID-19. 


“Nick is just a natural leader, he leads by how hard he goes, his intensity in practice, his focus and his energy,” Cornaire said. “Especially for the two young guys (Mark Zappula and Logan Postel) not a lot of pressure on them when they’ve got a linemate like Nick Askin.” 


While the biggest flash of a change has been at the attack with Askin, significantly more changes happened on the defensive end this season. In 2023, three of Brockport’s starting long pole defenders were seniors along with their goalie, All-conference Cam Kuzniar.  


This season Brockport will take the field with someone in net who saw Kuzniar play, he knows what it takes to win in the SUNYAC but he has a different style compared to what Brockport’s defense saw last year. 


Last year, because of the ability of Kuzniar and the atmosphere of most games with a lack of possession, Brockport played a lot of zone defense. The Golden Eagles want to get away from it this season as they look to cut down the number of shots they allow. Last season in the zone they couldn’t keep up with Cortland or Geneseo because of the shots. Cortland put up 36 first half shots on goal in their matchup last season while Geneseo had 31 at halftime on their way to more than double Brockport’ shot total. 


“Last year our defensive struggles came from our lack of offense, just the majority of the game being played on that side of the field,” Cornaire said. “We had to run a zone because we had a lack of D-middies so that certainly hurt us. But in terms of just being used to the system and having another year under their belt, the boys are feeling much more confident and they’re making the plays that they didn’t make last year and being a little bit more aggressive.” 


This season the man defense will have a backbone of Tim Hubbard, Mike Marincic, and Patrick Erway. The trio at close defense allows for a good combination of physicality and ability in one-on-one situations as well as off-ball presence and communication. In net the likely starter is Jack Acker, a Junior who was able to learn under Kuzniar last season and his defensemen are comfortable and confident in his ability to direct the defense. 


The middle of the field is where the least change occurred for the Golden Eagles. Ryan Haugh and Blake Pelozzi are both defensive captains at short stick D-middie while Jackson Worden returns from injury in offensive midfield alongside Junior captain Nate Askin.  


The consistency out of the box will be key for Brockport this season to both create more in transition and score more. One key factor that slowed Brockport’s offense last year was the midfield centric offensive approach the team took. Because so much offense ran through the three offensive players up top, most defenses would put two of they long polls on midfielders and shut off the Brockport offense. Now this year, with an Askin at attack, that is much less of a concern. 


“Nate’s certainly not overshadowed in the slightest but it’s going to take a lot of the attention away from him which has helped him tremendously,” Cornaire said. “It’s just the consistency of having the same starting lineup at least this whole season, even going back in the fall. Guys know where they’re supposed to be. Guys know where their teammates are going to be off-ball with their tendencies and you cannot overstate how important that is for an offense which we just truly never had last year.” 


The Golden Eagles will start their season against arguably the toughest opponent in Cornaire’s two years as head coach. St. John Fisher will present a significant challenge to Brockprot similar to what they will face against Geneseo and Cortland if not better. Saturday will likely be a game where Brockport looks for the little victories before they really get rolling at home against Clarkson for their second game. 

Tune into 89.1 The Point at 12:45 p.m. for the pregame show with the first face-off scheduled for 1:00 p.m for Brockport's season opener on Feb. 17.

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