The journey for another Little East Conference title and a ticket to the NCAA tournament began just five short weeks ago for the KSC men’s lacrosse team.

Coming into this season the Owls were voted as Little East Conference favorites for the sixth year in a row.

According to the LEC preseason poll, the Owls got all seven first-place votes.

In second place was rival Eastern Connecticut State University, who only received one first-place vote.

Brian Cantore / File Photo

Brian Cantore / File Photo

With Head Coach Mark Theriault starting his seventeenth season with the Owls, he said he is excited to see what the team is going to do this year.

“I feel we have a really talented group, but at the same time I think the main thing is to make sure the team gels as a team,” Theriault said.

He continued, “Our schedule in the early part of the season is all with teams that are ranked in the top thirty of the country . . . So we need to make sure that we are running at all cylinders and doing what we need to do in order to play with these teams.”

The weather has also played a big factor for the Owls. With ice frozen over the turf, the Owls have moved to off-field training to make sure they are in top shape for the competition.

Senior offensive midfielder Ryan Hart said Coach Theriault has the team doing a lot of different workouts to get ready for the season.

“We’ve been practicing in the gym, we’ve been practicing in a green field bubble in Bedford. We’ve been on the turf with limited space, sometimes on the ice, but there is a little cleared spot now,” Hart said.

Hart continued, “Sometimes we just play basketball, we did yoga one day, and team lifts. So we are kind of all over the place at this point because we haven’t had any consistency [with the field].”

The team starts the season with many new faces. This season the Owls have a total of fifteen first-years on the team. However, taking the first-years under their wings is not a challenge for any of the upperclassmen.

Junior midfielder Joey Sialiano said the first-years are working hard to be the best that they can be.

“We are trying to push the freshmen to get better on and off the field, so that come next year those guys can step up when we have guys graduating,” Sialiano said.

Junior defensive midfielder Connor O’Brien added that even though the transition from high school to college can be tough, the first-year players are doing a great job keeping up.

“Everyone is on the same page as far as moving faster and getting stronger. The passes are harder, the shots are harder, but right now and during the fall season they are getting used to that,” O’Brien said.

Sialiano and O’Brien have high hopes for the upcoming  season. The defending LEC champions are looking to regain that title and hopefully advance further into the NCAA Tournament.

“We are definitely looking forward to going hard against every team. We are looking to get the LEC Championship and definitely make it to the NCAA tournament like we did last year . . . and hopefully making it to the national championship,” Sialiano said.

“Hopefully we can play some good hard-nose lacrosse, then we can make some noise and progress through the NCAA tournament,” O’Brien said.

The Owls earned their first win of the season at 12 to 11 against Renneslaer Polytechnic Institute on Feb. 28., with the game-winning goal scored in overtime.

Connor Smith can be contacted at

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