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Emotions were running high in this year’s men’s lacrosse alumni game that took place last Saturday, October 1.
Besides a shared enthusiasm of the team’s skills needed to reach the GNAC championship, there was also a shared moment among the team, coaches, and fans in memoriam to one of the team’s former players.
This touching moment came at the end of game, with a heartfelt tribute to Matt Dillon, an Emmanuel Class of 2016 alumni and former lacrosse player who died this summer.
The players removed their jerseys to put on a t-shirt sporting the number 39, which was Dillon’s number when he was on the team.
The alumni game has always been an important aspect of the preseason, but given the recent tragedy this game held a great importance for the team.
“This year [the alumni game] was in honor of Matt Dillon who passed away, so there was even more meaning to it,” senior Donnie Litzelman ‘17 states.
Though faced with this tragedy, the team continues to show their strength and push forward to their approaching season.
The Saints have won the GNAC championship the past three years, and hope to continue this tradition and receive their fourth consecutive title.
Honored to be with current players, alumni and parents for our alumni game today! Thank you for for helping us build this team! #39#ECSaints pic.twitter.com/KQfjZ9Odaj
— Brendan McWilliams (@CoachBMcW) October 1, 2016
“I think the team has all the capabilities of winning a fourth,” Litzelman ‘17 stated. The Saints have an impressive roster, including Division-III New England ECAC all-star Chris Baglivi ‘17 and Coach Brendan McWilliams, voted 2014 GNAC coach of the year. The team is well stacked against their competition.
“It’s just going to come down to the amount of work we put in! I am looking forward to the season and to see how well we work as a team,” Litzelman ‘17 continued.
Taking place on a cold, rainy morning, both the current players and the alumni displayed their abilities while bringing their enthusiasm to the field. Their cheers from the sidelines were loud enough to be heard from across the street. Though playing admirably, the current students ended up losing the game to the alumni team.
A slow start to the game resulted in a tie of 1-1 after the first period. After the intermission however the alumni came back strong, pushing the half time score to 6-2.
With an additional four goals for the alumni and two for the current team in the second half, the alumni pulled out a win with a score of 10-5 over the current students.
The loss was in good spirits, as the two teams still share a great amount of comradery, finishing the game with group sprints down the field.
“Having everyone back and all the energy around the game is the most enjoyable part,” stated Litzelman ‘17, who was appreciating his last alumni game.
“It’s senior year so I have one last go with my team, and every part, from the practices to the bus rides to the games are all part of the experience,” said Litzelman ‘17.
The alumni game starts off a list of lasts for seniors such as Litzelman ‘17, who are looking forward to completing their last season with the same dedication and accomplishment they have the past three years.