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Looking Back at the Inaugural Season of Buccaneer Men's Lacrosse

May 23, 2013 at 9:40 am

The inaugural season of Beloit Men’s Lacrosse proved to be a success. Head Coach Bob Dignazio piloted his team of 19 freshmen to a 6-6 mark, including a 5-1 record on the team’s brand-new Karris Field at historic Strong Stadium. The Bucs recorded the program’s first-ever win in their home opener on March 16, defeating DePauw University 16-1.

After early-season scrimmages against Kenyon and Augustana, the 2013 season began with a series of close losses. On February 24, the Bucs traveled to St. Louis to take on Fontbonne in Beloit’s first-ever varsity lacrosse game. Although the Bucs took a 3-1 lead early in the second quarter, both teams were knotted at 7 goals apiece with less than five minutes remaining. However, Fontbonne outscored Beloit 3-1 in the final 4:07 to take the 10-8 win. On Spring Break, the Bucs dropped two consecutive one-goal games. Heading into their home opener, the Bucs had played all five of their opponents tough, but had not recorded a W.

The victory in their home opener gave the Bucs the confidence they needed as they rattled off six wins in their final seven games. The most thrilling came on Saturday, March 23, when Beloit edged Olivet 11-10 at Strong Stadium. The Comets had entered the game with a 6-1 record.

Liam O’Connor (Portsmouth, RI / Portsmouth Abbey) led the Bucs in both points (45) and assists (26). Fellow attackman Aidan Whinnery (Middleton, WI / Middleton) finished the season with 42 points. At the midfield, Jake Pritscher (Hoffman Estates, IL / Conant) tallied 40 points, while Tommy Porkka (Brookfield, WI/ Brookfield Central) recorded 29. Midfielder Jack Jenkins’ (Deforest, WI / Deforest) biggest contribution came in transition, as he picked up 81 ground balls to lead the team. As a unit, the Bucs’ offense ranked #18 in shot percentage nationally.

On the other end of the field, the Bucs’ defensive unit held opponents to under 9 goals per game. Goalies Trevor Kenahan (Swampscott, Mass / Portsmouth Abbey), Jace Hodder (Calabassas, CA / Calabassas), and Jacob Mayer (San Diego, CA / Rancho Bernardo) combined for a .592 team save percentage. Kenahan started 10 games while Hodder started 2. Longsticks Erik Macaulay (Eldursburg, MD / Liberty) and Nick Yielding (Channahon, IL / Minooka) started every game for the Bucs.

Defenseman Tyler Jackson (Frankfort, IL / Lincoln-Way East), who suffered a season-ending injury in the team’s season opener, captained the team along with O’Connor, Porkka, and Kenahan.