The spring sports season is in full swing for Laser teams, and many programs are consistently tallying wins in Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) play. Namely, the baseball, softball, and lacrosse teams have all succeeded in their own ways thus far in 2022.
This year’s baseball roster is littered with first and second-year players, however, it hasn’t taken long for the team to hit its stride. At 11-5, the Lasers currently sit tied for second in the GNAC standings. “We knew we had the talent, we just didn’t know how quickly our guys could get the experience necessary to win at this level, especially in our conference,” said Head Coach Bill Uberti.
According to Uberti, the team’s keys to success have been “timely hitting, being disciplined offensively. And, you know, playing defense, throwing and catching the ball at a high level… and throwing strikes on the mound.”
Uberti and his group have their sights set on success in the postseason as well. Last year, the team lost 7-6 in the semi-finals to Johnson & Wales. This year, Uberti is hoping for a different result.
“We know that we’re capable of playing defense at a high level, we know that we have the arms that have the talent to get the top teams in this conference out,” said Uberti. “I don’t think we’ve played our best baseball yet.”
After finishing with a 2-10 record in the GNAC last season, the softball program has found itself with three more conference wins this year, with games still left to play. At 5-9 so far in the GNAC, the team has made great improvements that are translating on and off of the field.
Sophomore Eryn Sheeley says, “We are a very close-knit team. We spend every waking moment together and it shows on the field with one another and how much we care for each other. For being a pitcher, I can say that these girls will always have my back and [they] are always there to pick me up.”
According to Sheeley, part of their success stems from their ability to foster positive relationships among teammates.
“The year of COVID-19 was hard for all of us. We didn’t play as many games and couldn’t spend as much time together which sometimes hurt us,” said Sheeley. “This year we can be with each other all the time and create this environment for ourselves where our bonds with each other can grow.”
Sheeley also pointed to the team’s regiment over the last year as a key factor in their improvement. “The 6 a.m. lifts, conditioning, extra practices all paid off as we are beating teams and putting up good fights against teams that may have towered over us in the past,” she said.
As reigning GNAC champions, men’s lacrosse has had high expectations going into this season. Expectations they have somehow managed to meet.
“I think the key to our success has really been playing as a team and having confidence,” said senior goalie Alex Beauchemin.
After starting the season with five straight losses to non-conference opponents, the Lasers have gone on to win their last 10 games in a row.
“You can tell how much different this team is now compared to the beginning of the year,” said Beauchemin. “When everyone is having fun this team is unstoppable.”
At 8-0 in GNAC play, they currently share the top spot in the conference with the team they beat in the championship last year— Norwich University.
As the regular season wraps up, Beauchemin and his teammates seek to repeat as champs. “I think we can absolutely win the GNAC again this year, it’s just going to take a full 100% effort from every guy on this squad,” said Beauchemin.
The women’s lacrosse team has been successful this season at making the best out of a tough situation. With the team being understaffed going into its first games, its roster ended up being filled out by a mixture of field hockey and basketball players, and former athletes.
Despite these challenges, the team has fought to compete so far in conference play, accomplishing feats such as defeating long-time rival Regis for the first time in several years.
The team sits at 5-6 in-conference with just two games remaining, which places them at seventh— right in the middle of the GNAC pack.
“It has been very exciting to see all of the teams succeed this year and have competitive and winning seasons,” said Director of Athletics Kristy Walter. “I am happy… that fans are back in the stands and that the athletes are able to compete with less restrictions this spring.”