Pioneers fall on the road to conference rival Alfred


Pat Rivers, Assistant Sports Editor 

The Utica College men’s lacrosse team lost its eighth game of the season against Alfred University on Sunday. The visiting Pioneers were unable to keep up with the Saxons after jumping out to an early lead. Final score: Alfred 19 Utica 10.

The game started out as a back and forth battle, each team scoring one goal after another. At the end of the first quarter the Pioneers led 4-3. Dominic Castiglia scored twice in the opening period to give UC a well-needed spark. The freshmen phenom has been putting up big time numbers in each of his last 3 games, scoring 3, 5, and 6 goals respectively. Castiglia has now scored in every game, but one this season.

Head coach Mike Parnell speaks very highly of the freshmen and says, he has a very bright future here at UC.

“He’s a freshmen attackman, and he’s playing really well,” Parnell said. “He was a standout at Liverpool in Syracuse, and highly recruited coming out. Very talented. Very talented.”

Parnell added that they have to do a better job of giving him some support. Noting that Castiglia has led the Pioneers in goals by a substantial margin in recent games.

Throughout the season, turnovers have been the problem for the Pioneers. Game in and game out, after looking back on what they could have done better, turnovers have become a regular mention. Yet, there was a tiny difference in this one. The Pioneers turned the ball over 23 times, which is more than enough for one game. However, they also managed to force the Saxons into committing 21 turnovers of their own. Therefore, the teams should have offset each other in terms of costly mistakes.

Parnell says it wasn’t the number of turnovers that came back to haunt them in the end.

“It was when we turned it over and how we turned it over,” Parnell said. “We just made some mental mistakes that were just a little difficult for us.”

Ultimately, it was difficult for the Pioneers to score, and it was difficult for them to stop Alfred. Aside from Castiglia’s six goals, the Pioneers would have had no answer for the Saxons on offense.

As for defense, the Pioneers also couldn’t figure out how to stop Alfred as the host Saxons scored the most points on UC all season. Despite this, Parnell fully believes that this was a game they should have won and could have won if they took better care of the ball.

Alfred had 45 shot attempts in comparison with the Pioneers’ 31. The Saxons had as many shots on goal as UC had shots in total. Of those 31 shots on goal, UC’s senior goalie Andrew DiOrio totaled 12 stops. While Alfred’s Drew Buckner only had nine stops on 22 shots on goal from the Pioneers.

Alfred’s attackman Jake Lynch led the Saxons with five goals himself. Two of his cohorts Derek Bishopp and Tanner Morse each added 3 goals respectively. The three of them totaled more goals than UC’s entire team in the game.

The Pioneers hosted No. 18 Nazareth College on Wednesday afternoon. UC got out to an early lead once again winning 4-1 mid-way through the second quarter. However, the Golden Flyers took control of the game quickly and scored nine consecutive goals to end the first-half.

UC lost to Nazareth 20-7. Ryan Desveaux, Brickman House, Matthew Miller, Alex Finnegan each finished with three points. The Pioneers will host Stevens Institute of Technology next Wednesday. The game is scheduled to start at 4 p.m.

Featured image; Senior Patrick Mulligan prepares to take a shot. The Pioneers lost 19-10 to conference rival Alfred on Sunday. Photo by Jim Nicolaus.