Nearly a decade has passed since the Manhattan College men’s lacrosse team has seen another 100-point scorer. However, less than a month ago Parker Giarratana put an end to that streak.
A junior attacker and native Floridian, Giarratana scored his 100th point on the road against the Bellarmine University Knights in Chester, Pa. on Feb. 24. The unassisted goal was scored in the second quarter, leading Giarratana to become the ninth member of the 100-point club.
A longtime sport for Giarratana, the junior has been playing lacrosse since the fourth grade. At the time, Giarratana’s older cousins moved in with his family and introduced him and his older brother to the sport. Ever since then, Giarratana hasn’t been able to put down the lacrosse stick.
When thinking back to his first ever lacrosse game he said, “I remember running around not really not knowing what to do, not really knowing the sport that well, but just going out there running around trying to have some fun. That’s why I picked up the stick, just to have fun and it’s been positive ever since.”
As a freshman, Giarratana earned several MAAC honors as he was named to the MAAC All-Rookie Team, named to the All-MAAC Second Team, won MAAC Rookie of the Week five times and won the MAAC Rookie of the Year award. In 2017, Giarratana also ranked fourth in the MAAC in goals per game (2.07). This leads up to Giarratana’s latest achievement this year: scoring 100 points.
“I’m pretty proud of it… I didn’t really think I was going to get here, but I’m still very proud of it,” said Giarratana.
While some may see Giarratana’s 100th point as a single player’s achievement, Giarratana and head coach Drew Kelleher both disagree.
In a preseason interview with The Quadrangle which appeared in the second issue of 2018, Giarratana mentioned he is there for his team and their goals.
“There’s really no expectations for me personally,” Giarratana told The Quad in January. “I’m here for my team. Whatever I have to do to help my team win and accomplish our goals, that’s what I’m really gonna do.”
He confirms that he still feels the same now. He also hopes for some good weeks moving forward, noting that he and his teammates are excited for conference play.
“Parker’s accomplishment, while certainly a tremendous tribute to his hard work and what he’s been working on and what he’s invested a lot of time into, it’s not possible without the help of a lot of guys,” said Kelleher. “Whether it’s guys who are now alumni, to guys on the current roster, it’s a new tribute to our program going in the right direction and obviously Parker certainly deserves a ton of credit, but I think he’d be the first to tell you that his teammates were really important.”
Giarratana, nodding his head in agreement with Kelleher simply added, “I can’t complain with that.”
Beginning in 2002, three lacrosse players, Nick Silva ‘03, Eugene Tanner ‘05, and Justin Otto ‘05 each joined the 100-point club respectively in 2002, 2003 and 2004. Now, 14 years later with Giarratana earning a spot in the club, one must wonder if there will be a similar hat trick.
“We have a lot of really talented offensive guys on this team that are giving us valuable minutes right now and certainly hope we can get some guys [joining the 100 point club,]” said Kelleher.
Regardless, the focus for this lacrosse team is rarely placed on the achievements of one player, but mostly on what the team can accomplish as a whole.
While Giarratana hopes to be MAAC Offensive Player of the Year, he stresses that his main objective is helping the team win as many games as they can, qualifying for the MAAC Tournament and possibly playing in the MAAC Championship as a team.
In fact, one of Giarratana’s favorite lacrosse memories at Manhattan includes the team’s reaction after an overtime goal scored against Marist during his freshman year.
“The memory was just the whole team celebrating, it was our first MAAC win … overall as a team we played very well and that’s why it’s probably one of my favorites,” said Giarratana.
With the Jaspers beginning conference play, they are only hopeful for the rest of the season and what they can all accomplish.
“If fans come to the games, they’ll see a group of guys that play really hard…I think we’re only getting better and obviously guys like Parker, and guys in our senior class and our older guys have done a really good job at changing the identity of our program,” said Kelleher. “I think the Manhattan community should be really proud of what they’ve been able to accomplish.”