Opening day for the Ursinus College men’s lacrosse season, Feb. 17, is swiftly approaching and the Bears are eager to crack the postseason this year.
For the third season in a row, the Bears have been ranked by the 2018 Inside Lacrosse Face-Off Yearbook preseason poll. This season they are ranked 23rd in Division III, joining three other Centennial Conference (CC) teams in the poll: including Gettysburg (No. 7), Dickinson (No. 11), and Franklin & Marshall (F&M) (No. 15).
Ursinus will be bringing back a strong unit this season, including its top six scorers from a group that finished 9-5 overall, barely missing postseason play last year.
Head coach Jamie Steele shared, “Our goal is to get 6% better every day. ‘Purpose’ is our team phrase. We are trying to live, play, study, and interact socially with purpose, which we believe will set us up for success.”
The Bears have been working hard in their offseason as game time approaches.
“We had a great offseason and the guys worked very hard. A huge thank you to [assistants] Eric Hoffman and Michael Moronese for the work they did with our team and Aki [Kashigawi], our trainer, for always working to keep them healthy,” said Coach Steele.
Junior attack Peter DeSimone, who in the 2017 season ranked fourth in the CC with 38 goals, just one shy of the single-season program record, joined teammate and senior midfielder Gerard Brown on Inside Lacrosse’s preseason DIII All-American list as honorable mentions. DeSimone is excited for the season: “I’m just really excited to get back on the field with some of my best friends and see what we can do this year.”
DeSimone enters the 2018 season just ten points away from 100 career points. He wants to cross that threshold and accomplish other goals this season.
“I would be lying if beating Gettysburg wasn’t a goal that I had in mind this year; we have never beaten them in our program’s history. So, [it] would be great to get that done,” said DeSimone.
Senior Lou Harrison agrees with DeSimone about the team’s determination for success.
“After barely missing postseason play last year, we are determined to make it back into the playoffs and take a run at winning the conference,” said Harrison.
The Bears are using the heartbreaking, season-ending loss to Dickinson in 2017, which eliminated the team from postseason play, as a drive for success moving forward.
“I don’t think anybody has really gotten that Dickinson game out of their minds; it was just such a heartbreaking way to end the season last year. We’re doing everything in our power to get back to the CC playoffs and make some noise. [Last] year’s [loss] is definitely driving us to make that happen,” said DeSimone.
In addition to conference clashes with Gettysburg, Dickinson, and reigning champion F&M, the Bears will also take on CC No. 8 Cabrini this season.
The men’s lacrosse team opens the season at Frostburg State on Feb. 17 and will have their home opener at Patterson Field against the University of Mary Washington on Feb. 24 at 3 p.m.