Manhattan College Men’s Lacrosse has the opportunity to be the First MAAC Team to Win Back to Back Championships 

Manhattan College men’s lacrosse team is the MAAC’s regular season
co-champion heading into conference playoffs.

By Maddie Mulkigian, Senior Writer

Coming off of winning the 2022 Championship, Manhattan College’s men’s lacrosse team has the opportunity to achieve what a MAAC men’s lacrosse team has never been able to accomplish: winning back-to-back MAAC titles. 

The Jaspers proved that they are ready for this challenge as they recently became the MAAC’s 2023 regular season co-champions. The Jaspers tied with Mount St. Mary’s in first place after conference play.

“We’ve taken every team in the league’s best shot, and have finished first in the regular season, which is a big accomplishment,” head coach John Odierna said. “It’s only the third time that’s happened in the program’s history that we’ve been first. We’re trying to make this the standard, we want to be in this position every year. So I think it says a lot about the work that we’ve all put in to establish our culture and our expectations of what we want to be the standard.” 

When speaking to The Quadrangle, the Jaspers made it clear that they are nowhere near finished after being awarded the MAAC’s regular season champions. 

“I really think that we’re always never satisfied,” senior Lucas Adams said. “We’re always hungry, we never want to just sit in one place. We want to keep growing and getting better as a program each time. I think on top of winning the conference again, we also want to see where we can build off from there.” 

Manhattan ended the regular season with a record of 10-4 with only two conference losses against Marist and Siena. Both Marist and Siena will be playing in the MAAC quarterfinals with the hopes of beating the Jaspers for the second time this season. However, the Jaspers are prepared to not let that happen. 

“They don’t give out rings for being the regular season champions,” senior Nik Nickerson said. “It’s an awesome, awesome accomplishment, obviously, but, you know, we really want to run it back and be two-time champions, you know, for the first time and make MAAC history.”

The Jaspers recently were awarded a slew of MAAC yearly awards with the leader and head coach John Odierna being named the conference’s coach of the year. In his first year as Manhattan’s head coach, Odierna is already making an impact on the field as he looks to lead the team to their second MAAC championship in a row. 

“I’m extremely lucky in my first year as a head coach to have a group that I’m so comfortable with and have great relationships with,” Odierna said. “I enjoy interacting with everyone on our team every day and I think that’s really important. And we wouldn’t be here without these guys and all the hard work that they’ve put in. So I consider myself very lucky to spend time with them every day.”

The MAAC also announced that Kyle Gucwa, Christian Clifford and Joe Persico made the First Team All-MAAC. Tadhg O’Riordan joined the Second Team All-MAAC and Liam Peabody made the MAAC All-Rookie Team. 

The Jaspers proved throughout their regular season the amount of depth and talent that fill this team and earned themselves a bye in the first round of playoffs, but they remain aware of the stellar performances that will be needed for them to bring home another MAAC trophy. 

“We’re striving to be the best Manhattan team ever and that has been something we’ve discussed before and we have the opportunity to do that,” Shanley said. “Keeping ourselves not only focused on one goal at a time but doing the right thing on and off the field, it’s gonna help us get there.”

Due to their first-place standing, the Jaspers will have home field advantage throughout the MAAC Tournament. 

“[Gaelic Park] is unique,” Nickerson said. “It’s a cool place to play. I’m definitely proud of it and it’s gritty. I know that other teams, they probably get, you know, some sweet field or whatever. But I think our field is pretty sweet too. And I think that’s an advantage for sure.”

The Jaspers will be playing against the lowest remaining seed after this weekend’s quarterfinal games between Siena and Sacred Heart as well as Marist versus Quinnipiac. Manhattan’s first playoff game will be on May 4 at Gaelic Park.