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Men’s Lacrosse Closes Another Winless Season

Julian Perez
Concordia University Chicago men’s lacrosse lost 5-22 to Beloit College in their final game of the season on April 23.

When the horn sounded at Reddan Park in Madison, Wisc. on Saturday, April 3, 2021, the 68 people in attendance witnessed CUC’s men’s lacrosse team win 16-7 over the Edgewood College Eagles. Senior Clayton Emery scored six goals for the Maroon and Gold, in what at the time seemed like a relatively routine win for CUC.

In fact, it was the last time the lacrosse team has won a game since that date.

Senior defender Zachary Lewandowski is the only player on this year’s squad who was part of that last win. “My sophomore year took a major toll on me emotionally,” Lewandowski says. “I put everything I had into that year, and I have not been the same player since I lost hope.” 

Fast forward 1,116 days to April 23 this year, when CUC closed out the 2024 season at home with a 5-22 loss to Beloit College — the Cougars’ 46th consecutive loss. 

“Obviously, no one wants to lose, and it really is tough to just lose over and over again,” says junior midfielder Seba Miller. “But I think that every day we show up to practice, we are getting better. That’s all we can really ask for is to show up and compete every day in an effort to try and get that first win.”

CUC’s lacrosse losing streak is unusually long, but it isn’t close to breaking any records. The longest winless drought across college lacrosse is 92 games by the City College of New York, covering a nine-year span between 1979 to 1988.

“I was vaguely aware that the team had struggled, but I didn’t know exactly how much,” says freshman goalie Alan Saban. “I was quite surprised when I realized how long the winning drought had gone on.”

Saban is one of eight new players — including five freshmen, two sophomores and one junior — who joined just five returning players from last season. That equates to a lot of new faces, and a sparse bench.

In a sport that fields three attackers, three midfielders, three defenders, and a goalie in the starting lineup, only 13 total players on the team means depth is a problem. Having more players on the bench allows the team to make frequent substitutions throughout the game to rotate in fresh and energized players.

Most other men’s lacrosse teams in the NACC have 20 players or more on their roster. The only other team in the NACC with fewer than 20 players on the roster is Marian University, with 19.

With a nearly completely new roster this season, the 2024 lacrosse season has not gone well for CUC. The Cougars finished the season winless with a record of 0-12 (0-8 in conference play), conceding 220 goals and only scoring 24, which was the lowest in the NACC. The second-lowest goal scoring team was Beloit College, who scored 100 goals this season. 

The head lacrosse coaching position has recently seemed like a revolving door. Over the past four lacrosse seasons, the Cougars have played under three different head coaches, with former head coach Scott Gwyn leaving the team after the 2023 season.

Aurora University’s head coach Reid Mayberry, on the other hand, has been with the team since 2019. Mayberry has led the Aurora men’s lacrosse team to a 32-2 conference record over that span, along with an appearance in the NCAA Division III tournament last season.

Just finishing his first season at CUC, new head coach Christopher Button looked to end CUC’s losing streak. Button previously spent five years as the head lacrosse coach at Benedictine University. In 2021, he led Benedictine to the NACC tournament championship, and he ended his time there with a 41-14 overall record. 

“Coach Button has had a huge impact on our team,” says Miller, “I’d say that within the first two weeks of him being here he taught me more about the game than I ever knew.”

While ending the season winless for the third year in a row, the players feel optimistic about the future.

“Personally, I think as a team we look a lot better than in the last two years,” says Lewandowski. “We have a coach who comes from a winning background, and who is able to light a fire under us whenever we need it.”

“There are definite signs of improvement here and there,” said senior goalie Peter Borkowski. “The biggest thing is just to focus on the little things that go well and build off of those.” 

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About the Contributors
Julian Perez, Photographer