by Eileen Flynn ’20
The Providence College Men’s Lacrosse Team has been waiting for a chance to play another game since the gut-wrenching Big East Championship game last May. The Friars upset Big East rival Villanova University in the semi-final game, winning their first ever Big East Tournament win and advancing on to the championship game. The team played their hearts out against defending champion, Marquette University. They fell to the Golden Eagles by just one goal on their home turf, concluding their 2017 season with a record of 14-7.
The Friars have had the past eight months to work hard in their off-season, using this heartbreak to motivate them for a 2018 season with better results. Head Coach Chris Gabrielli added Conner Byrne ’18, and Brendan Kearns ’19 will join returning leaders, James Barclay ’18, Tate Boyce ’19, and Austin Goltz ’17 as captains.
The returning captains will lead by example, and continue their successful careers as Friars. Barclay helps protect Boyce as he holds up the defensive end; he has caused 35 turnovers and has started all 47 games of the past three years at PC. Boyce returns after a decorated 2017 season. He received the USILA/Nike Third-Team All-America honors and Inside Lacrosse Honorable Mention All-American accolades. The Friars appreciate his steadiness in net, as Boyce reported an 8.05 goals against average and a 0.569 save percentage. He was ranked sixth in the NCAA against all other Division I goalkeepers. Goltz returns as a graduate student and his veteran status will help lead the younger Friars. He played in 15 games last season and finished with 18 points.
Big East All-star Byrne, will be a positive addition to the team as a new captain. In midfield, he has started in 39 games and scored nine goals and four assists in the 2017 season. As a senior, Kearns will want to make his last season the best for himself and his team. As an attackman he has posted 32 goals and 13 assists in his two years at PC.
The regular season opens up on Saturday, February 3 at Boston University. The Friars will then return home and pick-up their momentum with a three game home stretch, hosting the College of the Holy Cross, Bryant University, and St. Joseph’s University.
The team will travel to the University of Connecticut to Sacred Heart University’s territory on March 3 before yet another three-game homestead against University of Massachusets at Lowell, Harvard University and Hofstra University. At the first Big East matchup is on March 31, the Friars will face-off against St. John’s University.
The Friars will have to wait until April 14 for their highly anticipated rematch against Marquette University. The Friars are expected to come back looking better than ever, and have another historic year for the program.