Live Updates on Spring Athletes Exercising Added Year of Eligibility

This post will serve as a stream of updates on spring athletes exercising their extra year of eligibility and returning to Marist for the 2021 season. The ruling was announced by the NCAA on March 30.

Apr. 23 – Jake Weinman, Men’s Lacrosse

Will Bjarnar: The MAAC leader in goals per game (2.67) and a preseason All-Conference attacker will return in 2021, the team announced on Twitter including a personal statement from Weinman. Prior to the season’s cancellation, he had netted 16 goals and one assist for a total of 17 points in six starts. He also ranked 10th in the NCAA in man-up goals with four.

Apr. 20 – Joe Tierney, Men’s Lacrosse

Jess King: Prior to the season’s cancellation, Tierney hoped to lead the 2020 lacrosse team to another MAAC championship win and was looking forward to what would hopefully be an extended run in the NCAA tournament. In 2019, he ranked third on the team in goals (19), assists (12), and total points (31). He scored a career-high four goals against Canisius in the MAAC semifinals, and finished up the season with three goals in the championship game against Quinnipiac. His impressive playoff performance made him a shoo-in for — and the eventual recipient of — the MAAC Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player honor. In addition, he was named to the All-MAAC Second Team and MAAC All-Academic Team.

May 6 – Conor McNamara, Baseball

Jess King: Senior pitcher Conor McNamara will be returning to play for the Red Foxes in 2021, making it his fifth year with the program.

The decision to return to the Hudson Valley campus comes with some ease, despite an early end to the 2020 season due to concerns surrounding COVID-19. While losing almost the entire season to the pandemic, not much changes for McNamara. After suffering from a lingering shoulder injury, he proceeded with surgery in the summer of 2019 which already put a pin in his baseball career for the Spring of 2020.

McNamara, a New York native, appeared in 19 games for the Foxes in 2019, his junior year. He pitched 34 innings and came out with a 5.04 ERA and 36 strikeouts. Aside from his time playing for head coach Chris Tracz, McNamara made an impact playing in the prestigious Cape Cod League for the Brewster Whitecaps in the summer of 2017, where he led the team to the Cape Cod championship. With four appearances and two wins, he pulled a 2.19 ERA. Adding to his resumé, McNamara pitches for Ireland’s National Team, something he prides himself on as a second-generation Irish-American.

May 8 – Patrick Lightner, Baseball

Lily Caffrey-Levine: Infielder Patrick Lightner announced he will be taking his fifth-year option on Friday. Appearing in seven games and starting five in the 2020 season, he recorded three RBIs and two hits. In his four seasons thus far at Marist, Lightner has recorded a .260 slugging percentage and a .333 on-base percentage. With 31 RBIs, 58 hits, and a .942 fielding percentage, his numbers do not tell the story of what he has brought to this team. His versatility has been a huge asset and can continue to be during his additional year of eligibility.

May 9 – Wyatt Colangelo, Men’s Lacrosse

Bridget Reilly: Senior midfielder Wyatt Colangelo will be returning to the Tenney turf for the 2021 season for what should be a memorable come-back season for men’s lacrosse. 

Prior to the season’s cancellation, Colangelo was contributing in the backfield, primarily fielding ground balls and causing turnovers. This was all in an effort and in hopes for a two-peat at the MAAC Championship and making a statement in the NCAA tournament. 2021’s goals will be no different. 

May 9 – Jon Constant, Men’s Lacrosse

Bridget Reilly: Another midfielder, Jon Constant, will be joining the action in the men’s lacrosse race to the MAAC Championship and NCAA tournament come the 2021 season. Before the cancellation of the season, Constant started in all six games, picking up two assists and two ground balls. In 2018, he recorded a career-high two goals and one assist against Maryland. The senior from Wading River, New York is hoping to start off just as well in his extra eligibility year while keeping his eye on the MAAC prize.

May 11 – Sam Ahlgrim, Men’s Lacrosse

Jess King: Men’s lacrosse captain Sam Ahlgrim will take the NCAA up on its offer for another year of eligibility to play lacrosse for the Red Foxes next season. This decision, though, comes as a surprise to many fans. As a graduating senior, Ahlgrim had a job lined up for August. 

Concerns surrounding COVID-19 called for an abrupt change in plans, and it canceled Ahlgrim’s chance to defend the MAAC championship title with his teammates. Only a month ago, Ahlgrim seemed very adamant on the impossibility of returning for a fifth year. “Financially, it’s not really feasible for me to go back,” Ahlgrim shared with Yahoo Sports’ — and Marist’s own — Leander Schaerlaeckens. Still, 2020 has come with many twists already, so add this one to the list. 

Ahlgrim finished the six-game season with 11 ground balls and five forced turnovers, and seemed to be on track for his most impressive season in four years. Unfortunately, like other seniors, those accomplishments weren’t going to be recognized by a proper senior day ceremony. 

“Over the past few weeks, I’ve had a lot of time to reflect with my family about what Marist means to me. The chance to come back to Marist was too good of an opportunity to pass [on,]” Ahlgrim announced on Twitter. Leaving the Hudson Valley seemed too much to bear, so Ahlgrim took his fifth-year option. 

May 31- Jessica Lasaponara, Women’s Lacrosse

Mackenzie Meaney: Senior midfielder Jessica Lasaponara announced she would be coming back to complete for another season for Marist women’s lacrosse.

Lasaponara is one of the Red Foxes go-tos on the draw. In this short 2020 season she won five draws off the circle and was very aggressive in fighting for ground balls. Lasaponara is a star in the midfield. When it comes to transitioning the ball up the field from defense and dropping back quickly in effort to keep an eye the opposing team, she is always there. Lasaponara started in all six games this past season, and is looking to continue to make an impact in 2021.

June 1- Samantha Mehalick, Women’s Lacrosse

Mackenzie Meaney: Samantha Mehalick, women’s lacrosse captain and the most decorated attack player in program history will be returning for the 2021 season. 

In an earlier interview with Mehalick, she had not yet made a decision regarding the extra year of eligibility. She did state that a return was, “was not completely out of the picture.”

We now have our answer. The attack powerhouse played in six games for the Red Foxes in the 2020 season, before the cancellation due to COVID-19. She scored 23 goals in 2020, totaling her career goals to a staggering 204 and placing Mehalick at the top of the career scoring record. She can now add to the record as the program welcomes back one of its best players in history to compete for a MAAC title.

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