Zac Tucci’s journey home to the Boston Cannons

By Sarah Griffin | Mar 26, 2024

Growing up in New England, it was a rite of passage as a young lacrosse player to take a car ride down to Allston for a Boston Cannons game at Harvard Stadium on a sunny summer day. 

Half the crowd was invested in the game. The other half seemed more inspired than invested, playing catch with their friends in the stands, with hopes of maybe one day being one of the guys out on the field in their mind. 

For Zac Tucci, he’s made those childhood daydreams a reality.

“When the PLL revamped the league with locations, my dad said, ‘Wouldn’t it be funny if you ended up playing for the Cannons one day?’ in a kind of full circle moment,” said Tucci, a Bedford, New Hampshire native. 

“It’s a cool situation to be able to look back at those memories of going to Cannons games as a kid, playing with my $20 lacrosse stick in the stands,” he recalled. “Now I’ll be playing on the team.”

Entering his third professional season, the faceoff specialist signed on with his hometown team after two seasons with the Waterdogs. Tucci played behind Jake Withers his rookie year, appearing in four games after Withers went down with an injury. In 2023, he competed with James Reilly for the starting role, but ultimately the Waterdogs employed the same long pole strategy the Cannons utilized.

Now with the 2024 rule updates prohibiting a player from facing off with a long pole, Head Coach and General Manager Brian Holman needed to add a faceoff specialist suited for the 32-second shot clock, and Tucci fit the bill.

“I watched him play at UNC,” said Holman. “He’s extremely athletic and very fast. He’s tough - he has a football player mentality to him. I think he fits right in with the Cannons culture of team first.”

Tucci’s speed in particular really sets him apart not just amongst faceoff guys, but everyone on the field. And when up against a 32-second shot clock, his fast feet could be the difference-maker at the stripe for the Cannons.

Though Boston doesn’t exactly know yet how they’re going to approach the faceoff, Holman knows what he’s looking for from Tucci in training camp to help decide.

“I’m looking for flexibility from him. If he’s winning faceoffs, what’s he doing with the ball? Zac’s got a great stick and he’s fast so he can get the ball from point A to point B really quick. So if we win a faceoff, the less time we use on the clock and transitioning the ball to our offense is critical.”

On the flip side, Holman said if they’re losing faceoffs, they want to see him getting physical and using his athleticism enough to put pressure on the opposing faceoff guy. 

“A faceoff guy that’s just always clamping maybe isn’t the best move now,” Tucci said. “You need a faster, more agile person, and that’s what started the initial conversation between Coach Holman and I.”

While Boston’s plan at the stripe won’t be sorted out until training camp where they can evaluate all their options, one thing is for certain: Tucci is all in.

“I told him straight up I’m not even sure how we’re approaching the faceoff yet, we’re just going to feel it out in camp,” explained Holman. “And what he said to me was, ‘Coach, I don’t care. I just want to be a part of the organization. I’m a team-first guy and I’ll do whatever it takes to help the Cannons win,’ and that sold me right out of the gate.”

In a full circle moment, it’ll be a new opportunity for Tucci come training camp.