Look for "The Graduates'' to lead the Hofstra men's lacrosse team this season. Three players who are pursuing master's degrees will spend the spring majoring in lacrosse.
Defenseman Mark Mullen wants to be a doctor, but he can't let lacrosse go just yet. "If I didn't take this opportunity, I know I would regret it the rest of my life,'' he said. "You have the rest of your life to work.''
Midfielder Brad Loizeaux, studying for an MBA in finance, expects to become a venture capitalist. He believes lacrosse will help him in his future endeavors.
"Playing lacrosse here, I've learned things that you would not have learned in the classroom,'' he said. "Mental toughness, understanding people's personalities.''
Defenseman Michael Hamilton, doing postgraduate studies in speech and communications, wants to be a lawyer. "I think the fifth-year guys can explain what it means to be a Hofstra lacrosse player,'' he said. "It's a victory lap; you get this extra year.''
Coach Seth Tierney is glad to have all of them back. "One, their love for Hofstra and Hofstra lacrosse,'' he said. "Two, their will to compete. And they know, what's the rush to go into the real world right now? There's a lot of cutbacks, not a lot of those dream jobs out there.
"With these three guys, coupled with our senior class, we've got leadership, some talent. We've got a lot of freshmen that played last year, and we're looking forward to getting [them] back out there. You'd rather have a 22- or 23- year-old playing for you than an 18-year-old freshman. Their body is going to change, their attitude is going to change, their whole outlook is going to change.''
Aside from "The Graduates,'' several other players will have prominent roles: senior midfielder Adrian Sorichetti, senior faceoff specialist John Antoniades, senior defenseman Cody Solaja, junior attack Lance Yapor, sophomore attack Tyler Begley and sophomore midfielder Mike Malave.
The Pride is coming off a 6-8 season, but the experience factor could push the team back to the NCAA Tournament.
"Keeping people focused is not the easiest task in the world,'' Antoniades said. "Having three guys who have been here for five years, we have the ability of keeping everyone focused.''