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January 29, 2010

UMass defense dealt another blow

As if losing an All-American goalkeeper in Doc Schneider and an underrated starting defenseman in Brennan Mack wasn't enough, the Minutemen may have to go the next couple weeks without honorable-mention All-American defenseman Diogo Godoi.

The 6-foot-3, 215-pound senior pulled a hamstring in practice last week and will be sidelined until the hamstring heals, according to coach Greg Cannella. But Godoi is expected to return in time for Massachusett's season opener at Sacred Heart on Feb. 12.

"It's a touchy situation, and we want to make sure it's 100 percent," Cannella said. "But if he can play, he will play."

Posted by Edward Lee at 2:00 PM | | Comments (0)

Stony Brook flying under the radar

Stony Brook went 9-6 last season, advanced to the America East Tournament championship game, and lost just one starter and eight goals from last year's team. Yet, the Seawolves are barely getting a whisper in preseason discussions of the top teams in the nation.

Coach Rick Sowell did his best to downplay what could be perceived as a major snub.

"It got under some of our guys' skin," he conceded. "But it's about getting ourselves ready. If we're off the radar, it's up to us to go out and play."

The offense is paced by midfielders Kevin Crowley and Robbie Campbell and attackmen Jordan McBride and Tom Compitello -- all of whom recorded 30 points or more last year. Junior Adam Rand, who led the nation with a .638 face-off percentage, is back, and a senior-laden defense anchored by long-stick midfielder Steven Waldeck and goalkeeper Charlie Paar looks improved.

Sowell, who began coaching at Stony Brook prior to the 2007 season, said this team reminds him of the Dartmouth squad that he mentored in 2003 that upset 2002 NCAA finalist Princeton, captured the Ivy League crown, and made an appearance in the NCAA Tournament.

"We've been building up, and I do feel like we do have the pieces in place to take a serious run at the [America East] conference championship," Sowell said. "We're the first to admit that we've got a lot of work to do, but we're also saying, 'Why not us?'"

Posted by Edward Lee at 7:00 AM | | Comments (0)

January 28, 2010

Area players dot All-Name Team

Inside Lacrosse has a neat little feature in its latest issue where editor-in-chief John Jiloty compiled what he called the All-Name Team.

Jiloty wrote that to qualify, a player must have a name is unique and "have a certain air about it. Basically, it has to sound like it fits in Judge Elihu Smails' family and belongs in a Tuesday afternoon foursome with Spaulding and his chums at Bushwood Country Club."

McDaniel senior attackman Gibbs Preston made the first team. The Baltimore native and McDonogh graduate led the Green Terror in goals (34), assists (32) and points (66) last season.

Sophomore Houghton Hauf, a Baltimore native and Gilman graduate who plays midfield for Trinity, was selected to the second team.

The third team included two local players in Brown senior attackman Collins Carey (Clarksville/McDonogh) and St. Joseph's sophomore goalkeeper Weston Beard (Annapolis/St. Mary's).

Finally, Jiloty composed an All-Decade team, and Gentry Fitzpatrick was one of the 10 names on that list. The Towson native and Gilman graduate played defense for North Carolina.

Posted by Edward Lee at 1:00 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: McDaniel

Brown loses starter to worthy cause

Jake Hardy, a three-year starter for Brown at long-stick midfielder, has decided to give up his senior year to continue his work with a charitable organization.

Sustainable Harvest International seeks to teach and train families in lesser-developed countries to overcome poverty while preserving the world's rain forests. Hardy, who has been working in Belize for a number of months, wrote an e-mail to Bears coach Lars Tiffany explaining his decision.

Tiffany fully supported Hardy's decision, but was left with a quandry: who would replace Hardy at long-stick midfielder? Thankfully for Tiffany, freshman Roger Ferguson enrolled at Brown and played solidly during the fall.

"He's allowed us to feel like we're re-loading, and now he's being thrown into the fire," Tiffany said of Ferguson. "But we're not holding our breath as if he can't play. ... He's talented."

Posted by Edward Lee at 10:00 AM | | Comments (0)

Transfer leaves Penn State in a hole

When goalkeeper Drew Adams -- a three-time honorable mention All American who wrapped up his career with the most saves in Penn State history -- graduated after the 2009 season, the Nittany Lions thought they had found his successor in Steven Rastivo, a highly-touted recruit who red-shirted his freshman year.

Those thoughts evaporated, however, when Rastivo transferred to North Carolina during the offseason. According to Penn State coach Glenn Thiel, Rastivo left the program without giving the coaching staff a chance to retain him.

"We got caught thinking Steve was the guy, and then he left us," Thiel said.

Rastivo's departure leaves the Nittany Lions without a clear starter in the net. Junior John Nichols would appear to be the leading candidate as he backed up Adams for two seasons, but freshman Dave Baker could challenge Nichols for the spot.

"A lot's going to ride on the goaltending," Thiel said of the upcoming season. "They're going to have to step up. ... We've just got to weather the storm."

Posted by Edward Lee at 7:00 AM | | Comments (0)

January 27, 2010

Towson picked fourth in CAA

The Tigers were selected to finish fourth in preseason voting among Colonial Athletic Association coaches. Towson, which earned 12 points, trailed preseason favorite Hofstra (25 points), Massachusetts (21) and Delaware (17).

Towson senior midfielder Will Harrington was picked to the preseason All-CAA team. Harrington, who led the team with 23 goals last season, was a first-team conference selection last year.

Posted by Edward Lee at 4:30 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Towson

Navy earns preseason nod as Patriot League favorite

Winners of five of the last six Patriot League championships, the Midshipmen were selected by the league as the preseason favorite to capture the conference this season. Navy received 11 first-place votes for a total of 71 points, which was nine more than second-place Bucknell.

Senior Jaren Woeppel was chosen as the preseason Defensive Player of the Year, while Bison senior Austin Winter was named the Offensive Player of the Year.

Posted by Edward Lee at 3:54 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Navy

Voelker era set to begin at Drexel

Brian Voelker has felt the good vibes flowing in Drexel’s direction, and the new Dragons head coach isn’t buying into the hype just yet.

"I don’t take a lot of stock in preseason polls or how good people think we’re going to be or not going to be," he said. "The bottom line is, we’ve got a lot of work to do before our first game against Virginia, and the kids have responded well. We just need to go out and do the things that we need to do to be successful this year. I think if we catch some breaks and some guys step up, we can be a pretty talented team. But that’s not just going to happen on its own. We’ve got to go out and work for it. It’s going to be a fun year, but also a challenging year."

Voelker, a Gilman and Johns Hopkins graduate, certainly inherited a talented squad when he succeeded Chris Bates, who departed for Princeton, this past summer. Four of last year’s top five scorers are back for another round, and Mark Manos looks to build on last season when he was named the Colonial Athletic Association Rookie of the Year.

Voelker, who had spent the previous seven years as the head coach at Penn, said the transition was been easy thanks to the players’ receptiveness.

"The kids have responded well," he said. "We thought they worked hard for us in the fall and came back in pretty good shape for the start of practice last Monday. The six practices, seven practices that we’ve had, the guys have done a good job. They’ve worked hard, they’ve done everything that we asked them to, and we’re looking forward to a great season with good kids in a great conference. There’s a lot of support from the university for the lacrosse program, and we’re looking for big things out of the program."

Drexel has never been to the NCAA Tournament and must deal with traditional powers Hofstra, Towson and Delaware in the CAA. Voelker said he is well aware of the pitfalls that lie ahead for the Dragons.

"When I look at our schedule and I look at our league, if there’s a breather, I don’t know where it is," he said. "I expect the other teams in our league to be very good teams. I think all of them have a chance to be top- 20 and some of them have a chance to be a top-10 or top-5 team. So it’s going to be a tough league, and that’s a good thing. You’ve got to play well week in and week out when the league starts or things could go down quickly. But I feel that we can be as good as anybody in the league and can compete for the CAA championship. That’s what our goal is. It’s not going to be easy to do, but that’s what our goal is."

Posted by Edward Lee at 1:00 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Johns Hopkins

January 22, 2010

Five seniors named captains at Towson

Originally announced in the fall, midfielders Brock Armour and Will Harrington, defensemen Matt Vetter and Cameron Zook and goalkeeper Rob Wheeler will captain the Tigers for the 2010 season.

Harrington, a first team All-Colonial Athletic Association selection last year, ranked third on the team with 26 points, scoring a team-high 23 goals with three assists. Armour finished sixth last season with 16 points (eight goals and eight assists).

Vetter returned from an injury-plagued 2008 campaign to play the entire 2009 season, collecting nine groundballs and eight caused turnovers. Zook, a long-stick midfielder, registered 28 groundballs and six caused turnovers last year.

In 17 starts, Wheeler ranked fourth in the CAA with an 8.97 goals-against-average and a .557 save percentage. He posted ten or more saves in nine games.

In addition to naming team captains, the program also promoted Shawn Nadelen to associate head coach.

Nadelen has been the team's defensive coordinator during his entire five-year tenure in Towson. Last season, the defense surrendered just 9.1 goals per game en route to advancing to the CAA championship game.

Posted by Edward Lee at 10:00 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Towson

January 21, 2010

Finnerty, Layne, Ebsary and Federici named Loyola captains

Loyola announced its team captains for the upcoming 2010 season and they are attackers Collin Finnerty and Nick Federici, defenseman Steve Layne and midfielder Taylor Ebsary.
Finnerty has started all 28 games over the last two seasons on attack for the Greyhounds. Last season, he recorded 24 goals and 13 assists for 37 points, which ranked third on the team.

Layne, a preseason All-American Honorable Mention from Inside Lacrosse and a member of the preseason All-Eastern College Athletic Conference first team, caused 24 turnovers and picked up 48 groundballs last year. With Layne as a starter, Loyola's defense has held ECAC opponents to under seven goals per game over the last two seasons.
Ebsary set career highs last season with 46 groundballs and nine caused turnovers. Federici is a member of the Greyhounds’ attack that led the ECAC in scoring last year.
Loyola opens the season on Feb. 20 with a road game against Navy. 

Posted by Edward Lee at 11:38 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Loyola

January 16, 2010

Towson and area players make CAA Silver Anniversary team

I'm a little late to the party with this, but the Colonial Athletic Association earlier this week released its Silver Anniversary team and five Towson players were named to the squad.

The Tigers representative are:

Midfielder Casey Cittadino: the Most Valuable Player of the 2004 CAA Championship who ranks second in Tigers history with 65 caused turnovers

Long-stick midfielder Danny Cocchi: the CAA Defensive Player of the Year in 2003 who ranks second with 283 ground balls

Midfielder Ben DeFelice: the CAA Co-Player of the Year in 2004 who ranks fifth in career groundballs (231) and sixth in faceoff wins (357)

Attackman Jonathan Engelke: the CAA Rookie of the Year in 2004 who is the  CAA career leader in goals with 113 and ranks second in career points with 156

Goalkeeper Reed Sothoron: the  2005 CAA Tournament Most Valuable Player who helped lead Towson to three CAA titles and ranks second Tigers history in career GAA (9.13) and third in career saves (578)

There are also three players from the Baltimore area who made the list. They are:

Attackman Matt Alrich (Delaware): Timonium native and Calvert Hall graduate led the CAA with 34 goals and 46 points in 2004 and made the CAA All-Tournament team

Midfielder Dan Deckelbaum (Delaware): Owings Mills native and graduate was a CAA first-team selection in 2006 and 2007 who scored 27 goals in 2007

Face-off specialist Alex Smith (Delaware): Timonium native and Boys' Latin graduate who set NCAA career records for faceoffs won (1,027), faceoffs taken (1,484) and ground balls (553) and was the 2007 CAA Player of the Year

Posted by Edward Lee at 6:41 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Towson
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