LOUDONVILLE — The Siena men’s lacrosse team announced its four captains, all seniors, on Monday, including Niskayuna High School graduate Dylan Pantalone and Shaker High School graduate Nick Pepe.
They’ll be joined by Jack Kiernan and Braedon Labar, and one extra job head coach Liam Gleason wants them to perform this season is to keep the team dialed in on observing safe practices off the field to cut down on the potential for COVID-19 to throw the season off track.
“We had probably an hour meeting [Monday], and part of it was just that,” Gleason said. “‘Hey, guys, can you deal with not eating in a restaurant? Your family wants to come up and take you out to dinner. Can you deal with saying, hey, I can’t do that.’ I said, ‘You guys can order takeout from anywhere you want. It’s all about minimizing the opportunity for a derailment.’
“I think they understand what’s at stake.”
The Saints’ schedule, which will be restricted to MAAC opponents, will come out this week, with the opener likely to be Saturday, March 6, which will be a “preliminary” game against a MAAC team that won’t count toward the standings.
Pantalone is a fifth-year midfielder/attack who was named to the All-MAAC first team in 2019.
He has appeared in 39 career games over the last four years, and will serve as a captain for the second year in a row. Pantalone has 55 career points on 33 goals and 22 assists.
Pepe comes into his fourth year at Siena with 21 career points in 28 career games, scoring 13 goals and eight assists. The former Preseason All-MAAC selection looks to anchor the defensive effort in the midfield.
Kiernan was in the midst of an All-MAAC season in 2020, with 29 points in just six games on 16 goals and 13 assists, before the season was cut short by the pandemic.
Labar, a defenseman, has appeared in 24 career games with 18 starts through three seasons at Siena.
Gleason let the team pick the captains through a vote in which a candidate needed to appear on at least 50% of the ballots to be named.
One added twist this year was that the coaching staff asked the players to also supply a reason for their selections.
He’ll pass that feedback along to the four captains.
“It’s great to see that these guys are looked at that way by their teammates, to be their leaders of a year that has so much uncertainty,” Gleason said.
“We’re going to have to navigate adversity, for sure, this year. I think you’re naive if you think you’re not going be affected in some way from the virus. Those guys need to keep the ship right. They need to keep the guys focused on the controllables.”