Men's lacrosse team finishes fall season strong

The Mercer University Men’s Lacrosse Team has been working on the field in the fall in hopes of acquiring success equal to that of last season. After only their third year of competitive play, the team managed to win the Atlantic Sun Regular Season Championship. Unfortunately, the Bears came up short, losing in the semi-finals of the conference tournament.

Last season, the Bears finished with an overall record of 7-7 and 4-1 in conference to grasp the regular season title. In addition to winning conference, the team had six members named to the Atlantic Sun All-Conference team, and head coach Kyle Hannan was named Atlantic Sun Coach of the Year.

Of the six Mercer players receiving honors, four will return this spring. Senior Timmy Geran, Juniors Chris Baxa and Mike Nugent and Sophomore Colin Massa all earned end of the season distinctions and will remain vital in the success of this upcoming season.

The off season for the team has included practice, weights, yoga and a few preseason scrimmages as the team continues to prepare for the spring season. As a vital part of the 2014 team, Mike Nugent, goalkeeper for the Bears, explains that the team has been working hard.

“For the off season, we have been in the weight room working hard, in yoga on Mondays and Fridays trying to increase flexibility, and on the field we have been out been competing and trying to make each practice intense and competitive,” said Nugent.

After having three scrimmages this fall and having success in all three, the Bears were able to measure all their hard work in the off season and know they have prepared the right way for the spring season.

The Bears played two home scrimmages against Coker and Tampa, defeating both teams. The Bears then traveled to play Jacksonville University and were victorious again.

“Our scrimmages this fall were a great way to measure where the team is at right now,” said Nugent. “It is great to get a win versus one of our rivals, Jacksonville, but at the end of the day, we have to keep it in perspective that its scrimmage, and we have to continue working hard to keep getting positive results in the spring.”

Teammate Timothy Geran was also pleased with the team’s performance.

“The scrimmages went well, and we were able to win all three, but we definitely made mistakes that we need to work on, but we have plenty of time before season starts,” said Geran.

Last year’s success for the team has paved the way for high expectations for the lacrosse team to repeat success in this upcoming season.

“Last year’s success was great; I think it has provided us with a good atmosphere in the locker room, and as a result, it has made our guys more excited to compete and get better day in and day out,” said Nugent.

The Bears have welcomed 15 newcomers to the squad, with several newcomers having the opportunity to compete for spots on the field.

“I believe that the fall went really well. We have a handful of freshmen that are all going to make a huge impact,” said Geran. “After losing seniors who were a big part of our team, we need some guys to step up.”

This team has set a goal to go out and win the Southern Conference tournament this spring, and Nugent is ready to see how the team performs.

“We expect every player to contribute to our success we can’t get better unless everyone is all in,” said Nugent. “At the end of this season, I would like for us to walk away with a SOCON championship and an NCAA bid to the tournament.”