March 21, 2024

A Strong Veteran Core Paves the Way for a Historically Strong Start to Sailfish Men’s Lacrosse Season  

PBA News

West Palm Beach, Fla. (March 21, 2024) Lacrosse isn’t just a city in Wisconsin; it’s a game composed of twelve players on each team, netted sticks, and a rubber ball. It demands the tenacity of each player to the highest degree. At Palm Beach Atlantic University (PBA), lacrosse is played with passion, intensity, and the absolute teamwork required in such a cooperatively structured game.   

PBA’s Men’s Lacrosse team has put forward its program-best 4-1 record to start the season.   

The Sailfish took down the Emmanuel University Lions by a score of 10-8 to get the season rolling and have been going strong since, having gone on to defeat the likes of Chowan University, Farmingdale State College, and, most recently, the University of Concordia Irvine.  

 The one-point win over the UCI Golden Eagles marked the Sailfish’s first home game. It was partly secured by the combined six-goal offensive efforts of graduate student Hunter Hopman and sophomore Keegan Southard, as well as the defensive prowess of freshman Austin Nelson.  

 A Credit to the Team Chemistry  

 Nelson, a finance student in the Honors program, attributed the Sailfish’s “chemistry between the players” as a key factor to their success.  

He additionally credited veteran players Christian Bond, Hunter Sheffield, Tyler Wright, Henry Sloyan, Hunter Hopman, and Cole Gehman with creating “trust” and “accountability” among the players, virtues that Nelson believes are “driving” the team to victory and a heightened level of team-play.  

 While the Sailfish suffered their first loss of the season in their most recent and first conference matchup on Saturday, March 16, to the Florida Tech Panthers by a 10-point margin, head coach Jesse Vanatta is optimistic about the team’s progress thus far, and their out-look for the remainder of the season.  

 “It’s an honor to be on this journey and share this experience with the men in our locker room this season,” said Vanatta, “There’s more lacrosse to be played, but I couldn’t be more proud of this team and their commitment to represent this institution with strong character, integrity and competitive grit.”  

 Vanatta, himself a Sailfish lacrosse alumnus, additionally echoed his appreciation for the older players’ “unprecedented” leadership, describing it as “an integral part” of the team’s victorious five-game record.  

 The Sailfish will look to get back to their winning ways on Saturday, March 23, when they travel to face the University of Florida Southern in a Sunshine State Conference matchup.   

 Support PBA’s Men’s Lacrosse team. You can view the team’s statistics and schedule here.   


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