Pioneers head to 1st E8 tourney


UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - The Utica College men’s lacrosse team is set to travel to Nazareth College on Wednesday, May 1 for the first round of the conference tournament. The fourth seeded Pioneers will take on top-seeded Nazareth at 4 p.m.

The Pioneers set a program record for most wins in a single season (9) after they defeated the visiting St. John Fisher Cardinals, 10-9, in double overtime on Saturday, April 27. The win also earned them a berth to the post season for the first time in program’s 13 year history. Head Coach Mike Parnell is in his eighth season at the helm. 

UC leads its opponents in a handful of statistical categories this season including goals per game (11.13 vs. opp. 8.07), shot on goal percentage (.574 vs. opp. .566), shots per game (42.1 vs. opp. 32.6), and total assists (105 vs. opp. 65) to name a few.

The Pioneers are led by seniors Ben Winkler and Justin Edelstein and freshman Trent Jacobs. Winkler currently leads all Pioneers with 49 points off a team-high 39 goals to go along with 10 assists. His 39 goals rank him fourth in the Empire 8. Winkler, who scored his 100th career goal with an overtime game-winning goal against Misericordia on Mar. 29, scored UCs double overtime goal against Fisher to send the Pioneers to the post season. He has tallied a team-high 157 shots this year, good enough for third in the conference, and adds 17 groundballs on the year. Newcomer, Jacobs is currently second on the team with 36 points on 27 goals and nine assists. The freshman has also tallied 65 shots (45 on goal) and ten ground balls in his first year as a Pioneer. Edelstein rounds out UCs triple threat with 34 points on 28 goals and six assists. He has totaled 98 shots this season (45 on goal) and 19 ground balls.

Junior Joe Schoen (Whitesboro, NY) leads the Pioneers this season with 25 assists, good enough for third in the Empire 8. Schoen is currently tied for third all-time on the College’s single season assists list. One of his 25 assists this season came on the pass to Winkler for the game-winning goal to send them to the conference tournament for the first time in program-history.

Sophomore Andrew DiOrio and freshman Trey Adams have split time in the net this season for UC. DiOrio has a record of 2-3 so far this season, he had six saves and allowed five goals in the Pioneers 10-9 win over Fisher before being relieved by Adams. Adams has 5-3 record between the pipes this season, with his most recent win coming against Fisher. He ranks second in the conference for save percentage (56.2%) and goals against average (8.08) and he ranks third in goals against with 64. DiOrio rounds out in the Empire 8 in second for goals against (55) and is fourth in save percentage (55.6%).

The Golden Flyers have an overall record of 12-4 this season with a 7-0 mark in conference play. They earned the number one seed in the conference tournament and the right to host. Heading into Wednesday’s matchup, Nazareth is on a six game win streak. The Golden Flyers are led by freshman Luke Wooters and Troy Haefele. Wooters leads the team with 65 points off 49 goals and 16 assists. Haefele is second on the team in points with 56 on 38 goals and 18 assists.

All-Time vs. The Golden Flyers: UC is 1-10 dating back to 2003 against Nazareth. Their most recent meeting, on Mar. 27, The Pioneers fell 8-14 to The Golden Flyers. UC's one and only win came in 2008 when they defeated Naz 11-9.

What's On