SUNY Brockport lacrosse players have fought through adversity to get to the 2023 season. Members of the men’s and women’s team lost a season to COVID-19, lost teammates to graduation or transfers, and lost their coaching staffs. They both sit 0-1 in the SUNYAC after a close opening weekend from both teams. Each player has come in with a new outlook as each team finds their identity again.
Brockport Women’s Lacrosse
The Golden Eagles Women’s lacrosse team knew they would be much younger coming into fall of 2022. What they didn’t know, was that it would be head coach Stephen Wagner’s last semester with the team after an impressive 10-year career. His teams won The SUNYAC championship in 2019 and had three other finals appearances (2016, 2017) as well as three NCAA tournament appearances the same years.
Bryana Glasser took the helm in the fall, a former assistant coach and Irondequoit native. Coach Glasser brings in a familiarity having been on the coaching staff through the programs SUNYAC championship and came in during fall ball in 2022. Her career to this point speaks for itself. After a playing career at Hofstra University she went right to coaching. She spent short stints at a couple division one programs before earning a head coaching job at Siena College. She also coached the silver medal team in the 2017 Federation of International Lacrosse World Cup Festival.
Glasser brings a new philosophy to the Golden Eagles. Where Wagner was a big strategist who integrated new offensive and defensive sets based on opponents, Glasser is looking to make their offensive unit more focused on their own play.
“I think it’s important that you’re always playing where people thrive. Making sure that if you’re a driver you are in a position to drive. If you’re an off ball kid you’re gonna be in a position to be an off-ball kid, and actually cut and do the things.” Glasser said. “My philosophy is really building an offense based on what we have and doing that well.”
That concept is one currently taking over the lacrosse world with teams like the Rochester Knighthawks are implementing a self-reflective focus in the professional game. It hasn’t worked to perfection yet for Brockport, but it leads to individuals shining. The Golden Eagles have had three major standouts offensively so far this season, senior Cassidy Burnash has 23 goals while running the offense from behind the net. Sophomore Alayna Foos has totaled 16 goals while running the midfield and senior Courtney Cunningham has 10 goals on the year along with 13 caused turnovers to lead the team.
They are still trying to figure out the goalie situation, the three keepers have taken a by committee mentality as freshman Hannah Parsons starts now in conference play. Senior Erin Lant is ready and able to come in whenever the team needs an energy change on the defensive end.
In the midfield, Foos, Cunningham, and Paige Thowe play both ways, offense and defense, throughout almost the entire game. Glasser changed a lot of players positions to put them in places to succeed based on their skills. Foos started out by coming second in goals for the team last season while playing from behind the goal, this year she is running things from the center of the midfield and looking just as prolific. Thowe was a defender through the first game of the season before she was moved into the midfield three, scoring in her first game on offense.
The women’s first conference game was a hard fought battle against SUNY Cortland that went into the fourth quarter tied at 6-6. unfortunately for Brockport the numbers of Cortland finally prevailed and they took home the win 10-8.
That type of competition has been normal as Cortland was Brockport’s fourth opponent nationally ranked by the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association. Something coach Glasser had in mind when setting up their non-conference games.
“We’ve split our season up into two, so we’re almost done with the first season,” Glasser said. “This is kind of our preseason here so we’re learning a lot. You can’t ask for better competition than what we’ve seen.”
Coach Glasser set her team up for a tough “first season” to be prepared for conference play. They currently sit at .500 in conference play, 1-1 after a win on the road over SUNY Potsdam.