Rarely does a first-​​year head coach make an imme­diate impact on his team like Ben Sev­er­ance did this season with North­eastern men’s club lacrosse team. For the first time in seven years, the Huskies will play in the Men’s Col­le­giate Lacrosse Asso­ci­a­tion’s national tour­na­ment, which starts Monday.

Sev­er­ance, who was pro­moted from defen­sive coor­di­nator before the start of this season, attrib­utes the team’s return to the promise land to a strong senior class and well-​​balanced play on the field.

Our senior class is one of the best in the county, and they have put in a ton of hard work,” Sev­er­ance said. “And we are well rep­re­sented in all three phases of the game whether it’s mid­field, attack, or defense.”

The Huskies fin­ished the reg­ular season 10–2 and took home the reg­ular season and con­fer­ence titles in the Pio­neer Col­le­giate Lacrosse League. On Monday, No. 13 North­eastern will take on No. 4 Chapman at 7:15 p.m. in the first round of nationals in Irvine, California.

We’re def­i­nitely very excited,” said Chris Tecca, a senior cap­tain who plays attack. “This has been four years in the making. It feels good to get to nationals, but we know our work isn’t done.”

Defense has played a sig­nif­i­cant role in Northeastern’s suc­cess this year. The team has allowed only 66 goals in 12 games and held every oppo­nent to less than 10 goals a game. Junior goal­tender Matthew Mohr, a member of the 2014 first team all-​​conference, had a 5.3 goals against average this season and recorded 132 saves.

Matt is one of the best goalies in the country,” Sev­er­ance said. “I came here two years ago and there has just been a wealth of defen­sive talent at Northeastern.”

On the offen­sive side of the field, North­eastern is led by sopho­more Joey Pasquale’s 18 goals, while Tecca has dished out 23 assists. This year Tecca was named first team all-​​conference attack and Pasquale received hon­or­able mention.

Sev­er­ance and his players noted that a turning point for the team this season came on March 28, when the Huskies won a thrilling 10–9 over­time con­test against con­fer­ence rival Boston Col­lege at Par­sons Field.

The vic­tory came after the team’s first loss of the season. Defender Justin Miller, first team all-​​conference defense for 2014, said that coming right back and beating BC really boosted the team’s confidence.

It showed everyone we can play with the top teams in the country,” Miller said. “That was def­i­nitely one of the highs of the season.”

BC also made the national tour­na­ment, and a rematch of the con­fer­ence foes is pos­sible in the semi­final round if both teams make it that far.

Right now, though, North­eastern is focused on the present, which is Chapman on Monday. Miller said as long as the Huskies are able to play the con­trolled style to which they are accus­tomed, they can beat any team in the tournament.

We just have to make sure we play our game,” Miller said.

All of the MCLA tour­na­ment games can be seen here.