Varsity Blues men’s lacrosse looks stronger after new roster additions

Last season, the Varsity Blues men’s lacrosse team finished with a disappointing 4–8 record in regular season play, in fifth place in the west division of the Canadian University Field Lacrosse Association.

“The men’s team is very excited about the upcoming season,” said head coach Joe Nizich. He explained that the team’s roster is now veteran and has been strengthened by the addition of top athletes. 

Corey Wright is a defensive player and has been named an All-Canadian three times. He will be returning to the team alongside fellow All-Canadians, midfielders Michael Buwalda and Jordan Robertson. 

Buwalda had a strong season last year, leading the team in goals and ranking fourth in the league with 33 goals in 12 games. 

AJ Masson, a National Lacrosse League draft pick and a Major Lacrosse Series player, will be sitting on the roster in the attack position. Before joining the Blues, Masson played four seasons of Lacrosse at the University of Vermont. In these three years, he was named a 2010 American East all-rookie team member and was a three-time member of the American East all-academic team.

Besides the numerous star returning players, rookies to the team but veterans to the league will be joining the Blues. Mike McKegney, who played for Western in previous years, and Marc Santos from Queen’s will be joining the team. 

“Goaltending will be a challenge as our starting goalie of the past two years, Lowell Hunt, will not play due to injury,” said Nizich.  

“First–year goalie Taylor Stinson has some big shoes to fill but he seems up to the task, and with Lowell’s coaching, will improve and gain more confidence as the season progresses,” he said.  

Last year in the playoffs, the Blues played only one game and fell to the Western Mustangs in a close 9–8 loss. This year, Nizich believes that the team can perform strongly in the west division playoffs which will earn them a spot in the Baggataway Cup provincial championships. 

Brock and Western led the west division last season with 11–1 and 10–2 records, respectively. U of T will be in for a tough end of the season, facing both of these teams twice in the team’s final six games

“Along with the women’s team, we are pleased that some of our practices will be held on the new back campus fields,” said Nizich. The team’s games, however, will continue to be played at Varsity Centre. 

The team’s next home game will take place on September 21 at 7:00 pm against Wilfred Laurier after a three-game road trip against Laurentian, Nippising, and McMaster. 

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