Men’s lacrosse starts season with a win, a loss, and two cancellations

Dan Flatley, Crier Staff

The Saint Anselm men’s lacrosse team has played two games of the originally scheduled four games thus far through the season. In the season opener, Junior Patrick Sweeney of the nationally-ranked Hawks men’s lacrosse team scored a team-leading seven points to help the Hawks to a convincing 19-2 victory over Post University on Saturday, March 10.

Sweeney equaled a career-high mark on Saturday, tallying seven points off five goals and two assists to reach 50 career goals in only 29 contests since 2016. Senior Ryan Hesseltine recorded a career-best seven points for the Hawks scoring four goals and three assists to set career-high marks in all three statistics. This performance by Hesseltine was good enough to earn him NorthEast-10 Conference Player of the Week honors. The senior’s performance led him to become the first Hawk to earn NE10 Player of the Week honors since Ryan Mee on March 24, 2014.

Prior to the game against Post University, though, the Hawks were scheduled to play against Seton Hill University on Saturday, March 3, at 12 p.m. on the Grappone Stadium turf field. This game was postponed without a scheduled makeup date. Following the season opening win against Post University, Saint Anselm College and Long Island University – Post were scheduled to play a game on Wednesday, March 14, at 4 p.m. That game was also postponed without a makeup date scheduled.


The only other game played so far for Hawks men’s lacrosse did not have a favorable finish for the Hawks. Junior Patrick Sweeney again paced the Hawks team with a goal and two assists during Saturday’s 15-8 loss to nationally-ranked Adelphi at Motamed Field. Junior Nick Richard drew the loss in goal for Saint Anselm, allowing 15 goals on 24 total shots.

Asked about the team’s biggest strengths, senior captain Drew Bourdeau said, “I think our biggest strength is definitely our defense. I am kind of biased because I do play defense, but we returned everyone but one player on the defensive end, so we have a ton of experience. A majority of the defense is built with Seniors who have played since our freshman year so a lot of us have a ton of game experience. Where we need to improve is our confidence. We have a lot of young talented players on the offensive side of the ball and they just need to believe in themselves and their abilities as lacrosse players more and the things they’ll be able to accomplish this year are limitless.”

He continued in the interview by discussing the loss against Adelphi, saying, “This past game against Adelphi we played a great team and you could just see our lack of confidence in big games. We made a lot of mental mistakes on the clear and we were in the penalty box too much. We shot ourselves in the foot, but we will spend a lot of time in the film room and we have a great coach who is great at making adjustments that will help us play better this upcoming weekend than we did last weekend.”

Bourdeau spoke about only two more topics during the brief interview with the Crier. He mentioned a few names of players that he believes have been playing really well. He said, “Freshman Matty Ward has been playing lights out. He really understands his role and has been the most consistent player in our past two games. I could not be prouder of him, and I am looking to see how much more he grows throughout the season. Seniors Ryan Hesseltine and Derrick LaBranche have also been playing unbelievable which is great for our young guys to see and to look up to.”

He finished up by talking about the difficult stretch upcoming for Saint Anselm men’s lacrosse. He said, “We are looking to get more confident playing in big games. The bigger games we get the more experience we will get and the more confidence our younger players will get. We are also looking for our upperclassmen leaders to step up more in these big games and lead by example for the younger guys.”

The Hawks host Franklin Pierce next Saturday, Mar. 24 at 12 p.m. in Manchester, N.H. They will then play rival Southern New Hampshire University on Tuesday, March 27, followed by the second overall ranked Le Moyne on Saturday, March 31. The Hawks then play top overall ranked Merrimack College on Tuesday, April 3.