A Fresh Start For PC Lacrosse: New Coach and Youth Show Promise

by Justin Bishop '24 on May 4, 2023
Sports Co-Editor

Friar Sports

Justin Bishop ’24

Sports Staff

The Providence Lacrosse team closed out regular season play with a 12–11 OT win over Big East Conference opponent St. John’s University on Saturday, April 30. The team finished with an overall record of 6–8 with a Big East conference record of 2–3, good enough to clinch a bid in the Big East Conference tournament which will take place at Marquette University on May 4 and 6.

In their first year with head coach Bobby Benson, the Friars finished with the same overall record as last season but improved in conference play. Benson spent the last two seasons at Maryland and was the offensive coordinator during the Terps’ run to the national title in 2022. Maryland posted a 33–1 overall record during Benson’s two seasons in College Park, earned two Big Ten titles, and made back-to-back appearances in the NCAA Championship Game.

The Friars had a difficult schedule out of conference this year, with two tough losses to ranked teams in the University of North Carolina losing 25–8 in Chapel Hill and St. Joseph’s University losing 19–6. The conference did not get any easier for the team as the Big East had three out of six teams inside the top 12: Georgetown University, Villanova University, and Denver University. The Friars played all three of the Big East juggernauts in a row and two of them on the road, in Washington D.C. and all the way in Denver. A key win came against Stony Brook University, with the Friars winning 10–9 in OT for their first ever lacrosse victory over Stony Brook. Another victory came against conference opponent Marquette University, as the Friars defeated the Golden Eagles 16–14.

Photo Courtesy of Brian Foley for Foley Photograph

Providence stand-out players included Ryan Bell ’25, who led the team in 60 points over the 14 game season with  30 recovered ground balls. Bell totaled 21 goals on the year and a resounding 39 assists, which was 29 more assists than the next closest player. The sophomore midfielder also reached 100 points in his career as a Friar in the final game this year against St. John’s. Another star this year was midfielder Michael Chabra ’24 who notched 34 goals this year, leading the team. Both Chabra and Bell recieved 1st Team All-Big East accolades. Close behind him was attackman Jack Horrigan ’25 who had 31 goals this year. All three of these players consistently had Big East honors ranging from Player of the Week to Weekly Honor Roll. Defensive standouts included goalie James Corasaniti ’22GS who transferred from Fairfield this year and started every game for Providence. Corasaniti was voted Big East Goalie of the Year, along with 1st Team All-Big East with Bell and Chabra. Grant Latimer ’23 led the defensive unit with career highs in caused turnovers and recovered ground balls with 15 and 23 respectively. Sophomore Gregg Dennison ’25 tallied 11 Caused Turnovers in only 10 games played. The team struggled at the faceoff position, as both specialists fell under 50 percent in faceoffs.

In the Big East tournament, the Friars will take on the top dog in the Big East for the second straight year, Georgetown University. Providence fell to the Hoyas 13–11 down in D.C. earlier this year and had played their best overall game of the season. The one mistake was going 7–27 at the faceoff stripe. If they could find a way to fix their faceoff woes and jump out to an early lead, the Friars could very well win against the No. 9 team in the country. The team takes on Georgetown at 5:30 on Thursday, May 4 on CBS Sports.