Men’s Lacrosse Plays Record-Setting Game, Secures Opening Day Win

Owen Brown, Sports Editor

The Trailblazers lost to Mitchell College last year after being up at halftime, so this year the team aimed to turn things around and not repeat that loss. (photo courtesy of Matthew Wallace)

Despite the cold, snowy conditions at Shewcraft Field Sunday afternoon, the MCLA Men’s Lacrosse team was on fire, securing an opening-day victory over the Mitchell College Mariners by a final score of 24-3. Making up for the postponement from February 25, the Trailblazers begin their season 1-0, while the Mariners fall to 0-2.

Scoring the most points in a game in program history, the team emphasized knowing their roles and staying on their assignments as crucial pieces to help them toward getting the victory.

“I tried to emphasize the individual, in terms of every player just doing their assignment and not trying to do someone else’s assignment,” said Coach Kevin Pezanowski. “We lost to Mitchell last year on the road in a game where we were up at halftime, so we didn’t want to take anything for granted and certainly wanted to make sure we tried to play an entire game and it ended up with us getting a win.”

Right out of the gate, the Trailblazers’ offense was on it, with reigning NAC Rookie of the Year Nate Haley ‘25 picking up right where he left off, getting the first goal of the season only 21 seconds into the game to go up 1-0. Soon after that, Boden Dock ‘25, who made the switch from defense to attack this season, would rack up his first goal only a minute and 20 seconds after to go up 2-0.

Dock, who was second on the team with seven goals, emphasized his love for his teammates and wanting to do whatever it took to win.

“I played box in the summer, so it really helps my inside game, but I would do anything for these guys, wherever they need me I’ll play, and it happens to be attack,” he said. “For now, I’m doing the best I can for these guys, because the goal is the playoffs, and I wanna go there.”

The scoring barrage continued throughout the rest of the quarter for the Trailblazers, as Haley picked up two more for the hat trick. Jaquan Chinnis ‘25 and Anthony Andolina ‘26 each picked up a goal, with assists by Dock (2), Haley, Johnny Hebert ‘23, and Michael Stowe ‘26 to close out the first.

In the second quarter, it was the same story for MCLA, as four goals were put up by Dock, Chinnis, Andolina, and Haley, with assists coming from Haley and Hebert as well. Additionally, the defense helped to step up, adding pressure to the Mariners and causing 12 turnovers total in the first half, and shutting them out 10-0 by the end of the quarter.

“They’re scary in practice and they’re scary in games, and they’ll win us games every single day,” said Dock. “They’re a hard-working crew, I know they’re doing their work so well together.”

Entering the third, Matthew Wallace ‘23 would be the first to score only 35 seconds into the second half. Dock himself would also start to get hot, getting a hat trick of three throughout the quarter. The Mariners would also score their first two goals of the season, with Jon Parra-Tobey and Dylan Kinsella each getting one. However, the Trailblazers, with eight goals through Dock, Haley, Andolina, Herbert, Wallace, and Chad Trottier ‘24, and assists by Hebert (2), Haley, Trottier, Andolina, and Estid Guzman ‘24, would end the quarter with a commanding 16-2 lead.

With seven different players scoring and ten players recording assists, the Trailblazers have an arsenal of players to put shots on goal and the ability to distribute the ball, something that they believe will only propel them throughout the season.

“With the addition of some players and some depth and some better skill players, things definitely have turned around a little bit,” said Coach Pezanowski. “I think it’s really us just continuing to emphasize ball distribution, and just for these guys to realize, you don’t have to be the one that finishes, to be the one to help in that goal.”

As the fourth quarter approached, the Trailblazers continued putting their foot to the gas pedal, as six more goals would give them 24 on the day, and the new all-time record high for the program. Haley would score first at the 12:50 mark, adding another hat trick of three and two assists in the quarter, along with Dock’s two and Hebert’s one. Haley, Wallace, and Nate Allen ‘23 would also record assists as well. The Mariners would also score another goal by Alexander Walker, but it was not enough as MCLA would grab the 24-3 victory.

The team feels their preparation going into the season has been crucial, and by securing the win, they have been able to set the bar for the season and look to find ways to improve, in order to continue elevating that bar going forward.

“Quick, simple passing, staying out of the box would be a huge help, clearing sometimes is a little shaky, but other than that, we’re ready to rock,” said Dock. “This is probably, compared to last year, the most prepared we’ve ever been, having a scrimmage last week has been a huge help, and now we go the rest of the season, hopefully coming out on top.”

Haley would lead all Trailblazers with eight goals and five assists total, with Dock not too far behind with seven goals and two assists. Andolina would add a hat trick and an assist of his own, and Hebert would add four assists, with himself and Chinnis each adding a pair of goals.

John Hankel would record the win, saving seven shots on ten attempts, and Trottier and Matt Ortiz ‘23 went 19-28 in faceoffs, good for a 67-success percentage.
On the Mariners’ side, Kinsella, Simpson, and Parra-Tobey would each record a goal, with Raphael Vogt recording an assist. Ethan Wheeler would also record 16 saves in 40 attempts, good for a 40 percent success rate.

The Trailblazers continue their home stretch at Shewcraft Field, with their next game coming Saturday, March 4, against Regis College, followed by a Wednesday matchup on March 8.