There is only one word to describe the Mercyhurst men’s lacrosse season thus far — perfect. The Lakers have soared to an untouchable perfect 10-0 to start the 2013 season. Rightfully so, the ‘Hurst has been residing at No. 1 in the national rankings.
Recently, the team faced No. 9 Dowling College in a rematch from last year’s national semifinal. This year, the Lakers came out on top.
The final score was 12-11 after senior James Chayka scored with 12.9 seconds left. The Lakers trailed 4-0 during the game and 9-6 before fighting back and defending their undefeated season. Chayka also scored a goal with 5:11 remaining to tie the score at 10. Mercyhurst outshot Dowling 46 to 34, and also picked up 12 more ground balls than the visitors.
Chayka finished with a career-high five goals, four that came in the fourth quarter. Junior Jake McAndrew added three goals and an assist. Senior Brian Scheetz also had three assists.
The Lakers turned around and played Alderson-Broaddus the following day and won convincingly, 19-5, on a celebratory senior day. The team honored nine seniors: James Chayka, Dan Cuddy, Kyle Lindsay, Peter Plaskey, Zac Reid, Walter Rodenhouse, Brent Rotz, Mark Saltrelli and Brian Scheetz. They also won their 50th career game at Mercyhurst.
The win bumped Mercyhurst to 10-0 overall and 5-0 in the league. The team has three games left before its postseason playoff run begins.
Scheetz attributed hard work in the offseason as a direct result of the team’s success now.
“This year we worked harder than ever in the offseason, we lifted and ran four days a week,” said Scheetz. “This offseason was definitely my most rigorous training in four years at Mercyhurst.”
One of their most interesting off-season workouts came around Halloween when their coach decided to get in the spirit and incorporate a pumpkin into the team’s run.
“We completed a run to the lake and back in four different groups, each group had to carry a hefty pumpkin and return back to campus in an hour.”
Scheetz also noted the team’s toughest competition was against Dowling; however, the rest of the season their competition will be tough each game.
The 2013 senior class is poised and ready to settle for nothing less than another national championship.
“This class has been very successful at Mercyhurst, and we want to leave a lasting legacy,” said Scheetz. “We hope that we have elevated the program to have a national championship caliber each year from here on out, and it starts in 2013.”
The Lakers are on track to win the East Coast Athletics Conference. They could be the first title-holders for this newly formed conference.
The Lakers next face Long Island University-Post away on April 13. The team has wrapped up its regular season home play.