Senior Bryan Rotatori went into Tuesday’s game against Bowdoin College with the mindset to win, but little did he know he would be achieving a milestone. Rotatori scored his 100th goal and didn’t even realize it. Rotatori said he had no idea he reached his milestone until someone tweeted at him later that day. Rotatori has 102 goals and 201 points racked up throughout his Keene State lacrosse career.
Rotatori is from Grafton, Massachusetts, and serves as the senior captain. Head men’s lacrosse coach Mark Theriault said he’s been a starter ever since he stepped foot on the Keene State College (KSC) campus. “He’s one of the leading scorers and definitely one of those hard-working kids that’s always on the field before I get there and always there after I leave for the night. He’s just extremely hard-working and the work ethic is by far the best person on the team,” Theriault said.
Rotatori first started playing lacrosse when he was just six years old. Teammate and fellow senior Tyler Reilly has been playing with Rotatori since they were kids. “Roto is a great friend and teammate to have. I’ve been playing with him since we were six and I’ve been friends with him even longer. His work ethic is better than anyone else I’ve played with on and off the field. Every decision he makes off the field is based around how it will effect his lacrosse playing. On the field, he has a strong case for being the most versatile player in the division,” Reilly said.
Rotatori has not only grown as a player, but as a person as well, Theriault said.
“It’s just amazing to think, you know, I just remember watching him play in Grafton High School games and then that summer. He and Tyler Reilly made the All-American game at Harvard Stadium and then being very excited to him and now I blinked and they’re seniors and graduating. How quickly everything goes by, but I’m really proud of him as a player and have definitely seen him grow not just as a lacrosse player or a professional in the P[hysical] E[ducation] field, but as a person,” Theriault said.
Rotatori gives credit to his father. “My biggest inspiration is my father, for sure. He’s always been a good role model for me, he always let me choose what I wanted to do, he didn’t force me into anything and anytime I need anything, I can call him up and he’s always willing to talk and answer questions. My dad was a big time lacrosse player back in college; he played at UMass Amherst and then played professionally,” Rotatori said.
Rotatori has had few set-backs while being a collegiate athlete. He’s only been injured once and missed two games out of his entire career. Reilly said Rotatori can do it all. “He can score goals, he can play defense [and] take face offs. You name it, he can do it and he can do it well. That’s what sets him apart. Even in the games where he doesn’t put up big-time goal numbers, he impacts the game in a handful of ways and as long as the team wins, he’s satisfied,” Reilly said.
Rotatori doesn’t deal with the nonsense, Theriault said. “Rotatori is going to say it how it is; he’s a leader and he leads by example. He’s not just a talker for the sake of talking. He’s kind of the ‘follow me into battle’ kind of guy. If you’re going to work hard like he does, then he definitely will have a respect for you and he demands that from the other guys on the team,” Theriault said.
He continued, “He doesn’t care if you’re the best player on the team or the worst, his expectation for you is the same no matter what. Sometimes, people candy coat things, that just need to be said and he’s willing to do that which is wonderful.”
Rotatori’s biggest personal accomplishment thus far was last year when he received All American. This year, his goals are third or second team All American.
As a team, Theriault said he would like to finish out the Little East Conference (LEC) undefeated in the regular season, win the LEC championship and then go into the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) tournament. “If we play like we played this past Wednesday (April 12 ) against Bowdoin, then teams are going to need to look out for us,” Theriault said.
He continued, “On theory, on paper, we should win, but at the same time as I tell the guys, we have a target on our backs because we are the three-time defending champions. Everyone gets up for us, we’re expected to win and sometimes with that, there can be a little bit of an assumption.”
Theriault continued to say no matter who the Owls are up against, whether it be UMass Boston or any other team, they are going to treat them like they are the number one team in the country. “You can’t just assume,” Theriault said.
The lacrosse team hasn’t always been on cloud nine this season.
“The team atmosphere this year has been a little crazy. We had some setbacks in Florida this year when we played Nichols [College],” Rotatori said. “We had a huge breakdown as a team, but it’s been building. The Owls have been on a five-game winning streak and have yet to look back.
Shelby Iava can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org