By Matt Noonan
CJ Seling was beaming just two days after the Centenary College of Louisiana men’s lacrosse team scored its first varsity win over the University of Dallas. And he had a good reason to smile.
The Gents’ three-goal (7-4) victory over the Crusaders was the culmination of both commitment and hard work by a group of student-athletes that Seling welcomed to a school, which recently relaunched the men’s lacrosse program as a club team in 2019 before competing at the varsity level one year later. And despite playing just six contests last spring before the current Covid-19 pandemic sidelined the squad, Seling began to notice his unit improve from week-to-week – he considered this some serious growth for a young squad that is currently made up of two seniors, eight sophomores, and eight freshmen.
That growth, which Seling highlighted in a phone interview on Tuesday, was on display Sunday against a Dallas squad that was limited to four goals on 13 shots. The Centenary offense produced a season-best 56 shots while Mark Temple and Jacob Miller combined for four goals and three assists.
Said Seling, “To keep a team to four goals was huge for us … (it shows) the growth (from the past two seasons), but also the potential we have for moving this program forward.”
Indeed, Seling’s squad has potential for more success – perhaps Sunday’s win could be viewed as a turning point for the state’s only NCAA Division III program that recently returned to the practice field with smiles from ear to ear. Seling and his team know there is still a lot of work to be done, but winning that first game in program history is exciting.
“No win is ever easy as you still have to go out and execute,” Seling explained, “but our guys did that and we’re proud of them.”
The Gents will attempt to continue their recent momentum tomorrow, March 12 when they visit Huntingdon College with face-off scheduled for 8 p.m. eastern, 7 p.m. central time.
News and Notes from the NCAA D-III Lacrosse World
- The New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) announced plans to return to the field this spring, which means it is possible that we could see some lacrosse games played, beginning next month. However, for lacrosse games to occur, at least six schools must commit to a shortened season that would run from mid-April to mid-May.
- It’s been roughly a year since the Alfred University men’s and women’s lacrosse teams competed, but the plan as of this afternoon is for both teams to return to the field this week.
Both teams are scheduled to entertain Elmira College over the next two days – the men’s team will face-off against the Soaring Eagles at 4 p.m. this afternoon while the women’s team will play on Saturday, March 13 at 3 p.m.
Following the conclusion of the 2021 season, both Elmira teams will be transition from varsity to club status for the 2021-22 school year.
- The USA South men’s lacrosse preseason coaches polls were announced earlier today – Pfeiffer University is expected to win the East Division while Piedmont College is the favorite in the West Division. Greensboro College and LaGrange College each secured one first-place vote.
Staying in the USA South, Meredith College, which won the conference tournament crown in 2019, was picked to win the women’s East Division while Averett University, which placed second in the preseason coaches poll, secured one first-place vote. Both Pfeiffer and Piedmont secured a two-way tie with two-first-place votes in the West Division.
- The Capital University women’s lacrosse team recently scored their fourth-straight win on Wednesday with a 21-2 victory against Heidelberg University. Brianna Rampi highlighted the win with six goals while Brooke Delara recorded a season-best eight points on seven assist and one goal.
Capital will attempt to capture its fifth-straight contest on Saturday when they visit John Carroll University for their fourth Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) meeting of the season.
- The Centennial Conference (CC) announced its spring schedule today with men’s and women’s lacrosse games set to begin next Saturday, March 20.
- Finally, a quartet of Eastern Connecticut University men’s lacrosse players earned weekly honors from the Little East Conference (LEC) on Monday, March 8, including Shane Haggerty, who was tabbed the Rookie of the Week after tallying nine points on six goals and three assists in a pair of early-season contests.