New seems to be the motto of Marist College lately. Along with the opening of the McCann Center, a new team to campus this spring semester is the men’s club lacrosse team.
A project that has been in the works for junior co-captains Vincent Acocella and Joseph Curry — who are also co-presidents and founders — since freshman year is finally becoming a reality. As a freshman, Acocella proclaimed to his philosophy class that he would be starting a club lacrosse team.
“My freshman year I was very passionate about starting this team,” he said. “After I announced it in my class, Joe introduced himself and said he would love to help. We have been working together since.”
This new team had been an idea before Acocella and Curry even stepped foot on campus. Former students had attempted to create the club, but could not get approval from athletics prior to their graduation. When Acocella heard the unfortunate news, he knew he had to pick up where those students had left off. He got right to work.
“We were faced with a wall,” Acocella said. “This process took over five semesters and was very difficult to get going due to the lack of athletic fields Marist has available.”
Although there were original problems, athletics and their department were supportive and helpful throughout this whole process and continue that support today. That does not just go for the new lacrosse team either, but for all sports teams and clubs.
“There are certainly challenges. We have 23 varsity sports, now 16 club sports, and then intramurals that happen late at night,” club sports director Julie Byron said. “We do work really hard to accommodate our clubs, and we have to manage all of those things. It’s all one big collaborative effort.”
After all their hard work and determination to bring a club lacrosse team to campus, they finally received the news they have longed to hear.
“In the fall of 2019, athletics pushed through and then the student government association officially gave us the charter we needed,” Acocella said. “It was surreal.”
After the long wait was over, the work was just beginning for the two good friends, turned co-founders. They still have a lot of work to do before they could officially get this team off the ground. They will need to coordinate tryouts, practices, and games.
According to Acocella, “there will be no tryouts, we encourage anyone with experience to come and play for us. We encourage players to step up and set an example for others.”
With a few weeks to go before the first games and practices are set to begin, everything seems to be good to go. The team’s schedule is set and ready. The action commences on March 1 when the Red Foxes will take on the University of Albany.
“The schedule will consist of one-to-two practices a week, with eight games – on Saturday’s and Sunday’s – throughout the duration of the spring semester,” Acocella said. “The games will be held at Tenney Stadium, and after spring break, the North End field will be open and available, we hope to have practices and potentially games there as well.”
The Red Foxes have joined the Division II New York Metro Conference. This conference features the likes of: The City College of New York, Columbia, Monmouth, Montclair State, NYU, Ramapo, and Stevens Tech.
With confidence at an all-time high since setting out this campaign a few short years ago, Acocella and Curry have their sights set on the bright future.
“We hope that in five years, the team will continue to expand and our ideals on leadership and teamwork will stay true to the organization,” Acocella said. “Along with that, I hope that an alumni network will be formed to create networking opportunities and bonds between upperclassmen and underclassmen.”
Correction: A previous version of this article did not have a comment from Marist Athletics in regards to pushback against the establishment of a club lacrosse team. It has since been edited and updated.
Edited by Amelia Nick & Jonathan Kinane