BOSTON, Mass. – After winning seven games during their inaugural season in 2012, the Emmanuel College Men's Lacrosse program increased its strength of schedule and came right back with seven more wins in 2013. The Saints posted a 7-10 overall record including a 4-5 mark in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference which was good for the No. 5 seed in the GNAC Playoffs. All five GNAC losses were by a single goal as EC was able to hang with every team in the league. They proved as much on April 23 in the GNAC Quarterfinals when they notched the program's first-ever playoff victory over Saint Joseph's (ME), 9-8.
The men jumped out to a great start to the 2013 campaign with victories over SUNY Maritime (14-7) and UMass Boston (9-4) in their first week of action. Freshman attacker Kaile MacLean-Daley (Moretown, Vt.) scored five goals in his collegiate debut against SUNY Maritime to lead the way and earn him GNAC Rookie of the Week honors. Sophomore goalie Austin Lauzier (Bedford, N.H.) posted a 10-save outing vs. UMass Boston to help the Saints jump out to a 2-0 record for the best start in the program's young history.
The Saints packed their bags and headed to Myrtle Beach, S.C. for their spring break trip to face some very tough competition in Elizabethtown College and Hilbert College. On March 10, EC suffered its first loss of the year in a 15-5 contest vs. Elizabethtown. Three days later, the Saints would fall to Hilbert, 10-6 to even their record at 2-2 on the year. On their way back home, Emmanuel stopped at Keuka College in Baltimore, Md. for another non-conference match up that resulted in a 21-7 loss. Freshman midfielder Chris Curtis (Ashland, Mass.) scored three goals.
On March 21, Emmanuel opened up their GNAC schedule against Saint Joseph's (ME) with a tough 5-4 loss. The Saints lead 2-0 midway through the third quarter but four unanswered goals from the Monks would make it an uphill battle in the quarter. Lauzier made 11 saves in the loss while MacLean-Daley finished with two goals.
Later that week, Emmanuel fell to Norwich University in one of the most exciting games of the year that saw the Cadets capture a 7-6 victory, thwarting off a late EC rally. The Saints trailed by four goals with three minutes remaining and were able to cut it to a one-goal game with just under a minute to play. The Saints had the final possession of the game but were unable to net the equalizer.
The losing streak continued with another one-goal loss to Anna Maria on March 26 as Emmanuel fell, 11-10 on the road to the AMCats. Junior attackman Jack Jaskolski (St. Clair Shores, Mich.) recorded a hat trick while freshman defenseman Pat Heffernan (Pembroke, Mass.) scooped up five groundballs.
Emmanuel closed out the month of March with a much-need 6-4 victory over Rivier University to register their first GNAC win of the year. MacLean-Daley and Jaskolski each scored twice in the win.
On April 3 against a very strong Salem State University team, the Saints led most of the way, never trailing in regulation but a late comeback by the Vikings forced an overtime session that the visitors would ultimately prevail in, 7-6.
The Saints regrouped and took out some of their frustration on Emerson College in a 16-4 GNAC victory on April 6 that saw seven different players find the back of the net including a four-goal outing by sophomore middie Ryan Sabuda (Indianapolis, Ind.).
Against Mount Ida College, the two-time defending GNAC Champions, Emmanuel gave the Mustangs everything they had but again came up just short in an 8-7 loss. Lauzier was brilliant making 13 saves while Heffernan and freshman midfielder Michael Rogers (New Haven, Conn.) each came up with five groundballs.
Heading into the final week of the regular season, EC was able to register the program's most exciting win with a last-second goal against Becker College to propel the Saints to a 9-8 GNAC win. The Saints trailed by a goal midway through the final quarter before freshman middie Justin Kelly (Collegeville, Pa.) was able to pocket the equalizer with 1:17 to play, tying the score at 8-8. With one second remaining on the clock, sophomore attackman Evan Dolber (Malden, Mass.) scored the game-winner with Kelly coming up with the assist.
In their final home game of the 2013 campaign, EC would again fall to a GNAC foe by a single goal, this time dropping a 4-3 decision to Lasell College in double overtime. The Saints led 3-1 entering the final quarter in regulation but a Laser goal with 2:18 left to play would send the match into extra time, ultimately going in favor of Lasell. The Saints outshot the Lasers 45-25 in the contest.
With a 4-5 record, EC earned the No. 5 seed in the GNAC playoffs, their highest seed in the program's two-year history. Emmanuel would face Saint Joseph's College (ME) in a rematch of the March 21 meeting that saw the Monks hold on for a 5-4 win. This time around it would be the Saints who held on for the one-goal victory with a 9-8 win. Emmanuel led 9-4 heading into the final quarter but the Monks were able to make it a one-goal game with four unanswered goals. Emmanuel dodged the late rally for the program's first-ever playoff victory behind 19 saves from Lauzier and two goal efforts from Curtis and MacLean-Daley.
In the GNAC Semifinals, the Saints faced off against the No. 1 seeded Norwich University Cadets. EC led early on but fell behind midway through the second quarter and was never able to recover as the Cadets came out with the 13-8 win. Norwich would go on to capture their program's first GNAC Championship.
Heffernan was named to the GNAC All-Conference First Team, becoming the program's first All-Conference recipient. Rogers was tabbed a GNAC All-Conference Second Team selection in the short-stick specialist category. MacLean-Daley finished the year with a team-high 30 goals, a single-season program record.
With not one senior on the 2013 roster, the Saints will continue to build the program as they welcome in another recruiting class this fall.