The Student News Site of Canalside Chronicles

Canalside Chronicles

The Student News Site of Canalside Chronicles

Canalside Chronicles

The Student News Site of Canalside Chronicles

Canalside Chronicles

A second chance
May 7, 2024

Brockport men’s lax ready for flight

Brockport+mens+lax+ready+for+flight

By: Aiden Locke

BROCKPORT, NY — After a season full of adversity, foundation building and connecting, the Brockport men’s lacrosse team is primed to take a big step. The 2023 season was the first under head coach Collin Cornaire which saw massive offensive struggles. Limited first-year recruits, no transfers and a roster size half of what it should’ve been was a troubling situation for Cornaire to step into. However, he took on the challenge of rebuilding this once outstanding program.

#18 Nate Askin looking for a teammate to pass the ball too. Photo credit: Haley Brown Brockport Athletics

Brockport’s lacrosse team is reinforced heading into the 2024 season. Some key players returning include non-bigger than 2023’s leading goal scorer, junior midfielder Nate Askin. Nate had 22 goals in 2023. Brockport was able to secure his brother Nick, a former three-year DII lacrosse player for Erie College as a graduate transfer. Nick is expected to hop right into the lineup at attack. He’ll move deeper into the offensive zone from his previous position in midfield. This addition should help not only Nate score more goals, but the entire team as well.

“It’s changed, we’re dodging and creating offense for middies and we’re also creating offense for ourselves at attack,” Nick Askin said.

One of the primary reasons for Nick Askin’s move to attack is his injury history. He’s suffered a couple of knee injuries which required surgery. Moving to attack will take some of the load off of him with significantly less defensive responsibilities in his new role. However, this won’t handicap his game as he’s known for being an excellent offense-minded player. His arrival should reflect positively on the offensive production in 2024.

The Brockport sideline during their game against SUNY New Paltz in 2023. Photo credit: Haley Brown Brockport Athletics

Brockport was built on great goaltending and overall solid defensive play in 2023. This had to be the case as Brockport’s offense struggled to generate consistent production. Brockport will have to cope with a couple big losses defensively and non-more impactful than goalie Cam Kuzniar. Donkey as he was called, saved 58% of shots faces which was not just one of the best marks in DIII but across the entire country at any level.

#33 Cam Kuzniar getting ready to stop a shot. Photo credit: Liv Metz Brockport Athletics

“A ton of changes right off the bat, we have 24 new guys,” Cornaire said. “A lot of them are offensive guys, so getting them up to speed to where were at as a team, where the programs at. Culture wise trying to get them intermingled with as many returners as we possibly could in the off season just to have some sort of familiarity once they got on campus.”

The lack of depth was a massive factor for their 4-10 season in 2023. The Golden Eagles housed a roster size of just 33 in 2023. They return 25 players and bring in 24 which would bring the roster up to a respectable 49.

“It’s a 50/50 team of new guys and returners so we know relationships are going to be key,” Cornaire said. “Any extra chemistry we could get would make fall-ball as smooth a transition as possible.”

The Brockport defense lost three starters to graduation, which means new guys will have to step up and fill the void in a unit which allowed a respectable 11 goals-per-game in 2023.

“For defense, Tim’s (Hubbard) being a good leader because he was there last year and he did well,” Nate Askin said.

Brockport also had a decent 81.3 clear percentage, but certainly a stat they want to see improve. Groundballs were one of their biggest issues as a team last season. Brockport recovered 315 groundballs compared to their opponent’s season totals of 431 in 2023. Brockport’s defensive unit has been putting in plenty of work over the offseason and fall-ball to prepare for the 2024 campaign.

#40 Alex Jacobs and #33 Cam Kuzniar going for a high five. Photo credit: Liv Metz Brockport Athletics

“It’s gritty, they want to go against you and compete,” Nick Askin said. “They want you to dodge them every time, they want to get better, and I think they know what it takes.”

The faceoff circle was undoubtedly their biggest issue in 2023. Brockport won just 39.7% of their faceoffs last season which is a recipe for disaster for any lacrosse team. Growth should certainly be expected in the circle with a couple fresh faces and gradual growth from veterans that are still on the roster.

A faceoff between Brockport and New Paltz. Photo credit: Haley Brown Brockport Athletics

“Drew’s (DiPalma) looking really solid this year,” Nate Askin said. “He’s looking fast, and he’s also getting it to himself a lot better this year which was the problem last year.”

The future of the Golden Eagles men’s lacrosse team is much brighter than it was a year ago. The 24 new players, a full offseason under coach Cornaire and plenty of returning starters has this Brockport team in a positive position moving forward. Brockport will look to be in the mix and be a competitive team in the SUNYAC in 2023. Their season will start in Pittsburgh, PA as they take on Chatham University on Saturday February 24. You can catch all the action from the Brockport men’s lacrosse season live on 89.1 The Point.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All Canalside Chronicles Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *