by Liam Tormey ’22
As the spring semester gets underway, so too does the season for the Providence College Men’s Lacrosse Team. The Friars are very excited for the upcoming season, to say the least.
Last season saw the Friars post a 7-9 record, with an elimination in the Big East Men’s Lacrosse Semifinals to Georgetown University. It was not the way the team had hoped to finish their season while being led by top scorers Nick Hatzipetrakos ’19 and Brendan Kearns ’19, but head coach Chris Gabrielli says there is a lot to be excited about with this particular team.
Gabrielli joked, “I certainly wish we could keep our top players around for 20 years like Tom Brady, but it’s also extremely rewarding to see the next wave of players emerge.” He added, “We have quite a few athletes on our team that no one is talking about now, but they will later.” Mixed in with the 11 current seniors on the roster, the combination of all different years on Gabrielli’s squad could result in some eye-opening play this season.
The senior year class always holds importance for any collegiate athletic team. Many of the players have gone through the ranks and have seen what it takes to be successful on the field. This year’s seniors are going to be no different. “The number one story of this year’s team is our senior class,” said Gabrielli. “All 11 seniors will play important game-day roles for our team in 2020, and this is rare.”
The seniors and the rest of the team will be led by captains Tim Hinrichs ’20 and Nick Shaw ’20. Hinrichs has appeared in 47 games since his freshman year for the Friars. He played 15 games last season, starting in 11 of them. He registered 29 points on 13 goals and 16 assists last season and looks to add to that total this season. Meanwhile Shaw has appeared in 30 games for the Friars since joining freshman year. Shaw had eight points last season with five goals and three assists. Gabrielli lauded the efforts of the two seniors, saying, “These two young men are excellent representatives of our program.”
Gabrielli has continued to grow the program since arriving eight years ago. This year may very well showcase just how far the program has come, as the coach mentioned that this year’s team has a different sort of confidence than in years past. He talked a lot about the culture of the team, saying it “has never been stronger, and we have never had such few distractions.” A large part of this is due to the senior class. Gabrielli stated, “This is a testament to their leadership style and caring for the success of the program. I trust this group to do the right thing every day, and to stick to our process.”
The Friars had their first official game this past Saturday in Boston, taking on the Boston University Terriers. Last season, PC lost their annual opener against BU at home 8-7, but Saturday was different. After a 2-2 start to the first quarter, the Friars scored six goals in the second and did not look back after halftime. The result was a victory for PC by a score of 12-5, with three goals coming from Matt Grillo ’22 who picked up right where he left off with 30 goals last season as a freshman.
Looking ahead to what comes next for PC, Gabrielli commented, “We have very high expectations every year, and this is due to the uncommon commitment that we demand of each other. We have put the work in to have high expectations, but the team knows that true success is earned on game day.” Gabrielli holds his players to very high standards and they know that. “Every team that we compete against has worked hard. Now we must honor the work that we have put in by executing on game day, while playing with tremendous passion and toughness.” Gabrielli knows his team has what it takes to take a big step this season.
The Friars first home game will be this upcoming Saturday against Holy Cross University at 3:30 p.m. The start of Big East play will pick up on March 28 with the team hosting St. John’s University.