Written by Todd Karpovich Twitter @toddkarpovich
Edited by Staff @NCLLax
(CONFERENCE PREVIEWS WILL DROP BY FEBRUARY 5th. ALL TEAMS THAT SUBMIT THE NCLL PRESEASON FORM WILL BE INCLUDED.)
Coming out of COVID, each and every program has experienced trouble and success attuned to their own team. Albany has fit that bill as just surviving is sometimes the biggest success anyone can have. As the Great Danes note “lacrosse is about the relationships” and the players for Albany have developed a tight bond playing in Empire Conference.
“Our team has become very close and we look to building off of that,” said midfielder Zach Bauer.
The Great Danes went 1-11 last season as the Great Danes lost 15 seniors to graduation. This past fall was a respectable .500.
This year’s attack will be led by Justin Brooking, while Chris Smith and Bauer will help make up the midfield and senior Luke Wojehowski is back on defense.
Freshman midfielder Scott Lupi is also expected to get solid minutes.
The Great Danes will also be buoyed by transfers Danny Coleman (goalie), Dean Mauro (midfielder), and Joe Ragozzino (midfielder).
Cortland has been one of the most successful programs in the NCLL and that trend should continue this season after the Red Dragons National Tournament appearance in 2022.
The team has talent and depth throughout the roster and will be led by senior attackman Joseph Lamson (Lafayette High School, New York) who had 24 goals and 20 assists last season when it was the Empire Conference champion.
“The expectation is to return to the national tournament and finish at least ranked Top 5,” said President and goalkeeper Christopher Cascio. “With over 25 returners and a record number of interest from new players to join the team, we’re ready to start where we left off last spring. Strong defense amplified with some explosive midfielders and sneaky attackmen will be the keys.”
Cortland went 7-1 in the regular season and 2-1 in the playoffs to capture the title. The club also went 3-1 in the fall with wins over Syracuse, RIT, and Binghamton and a loss to Cornell.
Cortland should be stout defensively.
Cascio (Oceanside High School) finished the season with 88 saves. He will be supported by defensemen Nicholas Defelice (Farmingdale High School) and Jack Paton (South Glen Falls High School).
The midfield will be led by Gunnar Johnson, a junior from Oceanside that had 12 goals and 19 assists last season. Also back are seniors Ryan Smith (Northport High School) and Alex Wenzler (Kings Park High School). Smith had 10 goals, eight assists, and 22 ground balls while Wenzler finished with 11 goals, 16 assists, and 12 ground balls.
Sam Rovner (Hewlett High School) joins Lamson on the attack and contributed eight goals, 14 assists, and 7 ground balls last year.
“Some players from our NCAA program, will also be joining the team this year,” Cascio said. “Cornell will be a notable opponent, as we look to reclaim the Empire Conference title, and after losing to them in the fall, the spring is a must-win.”
Fordham’s entire junior class is studying abroad across Europe, as the program will be counting on its underclassmen to step up and contribute in a big way in NY Metro Conference play.
Fortunately, Fordham should be in good hand as the senior class returns: Leo Wackerman (Harriton) and Brian Arella (Manhasset) on attack: goalies Raj Mehata (Allentown) and Tommy McHugh (St. Joe’s Prep) will each have the opportunity to to lead a formidable defense with fellow classmate Henrik Murer (St. Peter’s Prep) leading the way. Sophomore Thomas Sluka (Kellenberg) will also see plenty of action.
“We anticipate great contests with all of our opponents and are very content with the schedule we have created,” President Tom McHugh said. “We are hoping to build on a fall campaign that finished strong with two victories after some tough close losses. The team is anchored by senior leadership on both sides of the ball with two captains on attack and two captains as goalies.
Fordham went 5-3 last season and had a signature win against #5 Lehigh. The Rams lost to UMass in the 1st Round of the National Championships.
The team will get a boost with the new additions of sophomore defenseman Ted Gravanis (Fairfield Prep) and freshman midfielder Bobby Lynch (Ridgewood)
The Flying Dutchmen from Hempstead have been able to put some challenges with COVID behind and are looking forward to a productive and healthy spring season.
Cameron Law is a tremendous overall player after finishing with six goals, two assists, 15 caused turnovers, 20 ground balls, and a 60% winning percentage on face-offs.
“After a tough couple of seasons due to the Pandemic, the Dutch are looking to get back in stride by using our strong defensive core and new young offensive talent to help the veterans and team get into the win column,” Law said. “The team was hit very hard by Covid and put into survival mode but with a new coach, some outstanding freshmen, and new transfers, we can have a great team moving forward.”
Garrick Woodhouse is a versatile player who excelled in the goal and as a midfielder, scoring four goals with three assists. Sam Johnston (Marlborough) is back on the attack after finishing last season with nine goals and 10 assists.
A couple of new players — defenseman Carson Crossle and attack man Dylan Lam, Attack — will also make an impact.
A historically nationally Top 5 ranked program, and some would say a decade Top 3 program as Maryland is a mainstay at the National Championship, bowing late in back to back seasons to Navy while also hoisting several of their own.
The Terrapins are looking to capture that crown again from the competitive Chesapeake Conference which boosts five nationally ranked teams. Throw in Rutgers, #14 Cortland, #10 Vermont, #4 Penn State and #2 Ohio State, you can see why the Terps will face a gauntlet.
Maryland went 9-2 in 2022 and returns both of its leading scorers — Evan Jones and Alex Sewell, who was sidelined by a late-season injury.
Goalie Sam Matusek, defenseman Jordi Anderou and FOGO Micah Kranzel also return after earning starting jobs last year.
“The strength of the team starts with our FOGO who is returning for his senior year after dominating the league last year as a junior,” club president Andrew Skiscim said. “Our offense is looking super strong again having only lost one midfielder between the first two lines and a single starting player from the attack. Both have been replaced by a middie transfer and
the attackman was replaced by one of our starters last fall that was studying abroad in the spring.”
“Defensively, we graduated 2/3 of the starting poles and our starting LSM. While our defense was dominant last year, we also caused a lot of turnovers and also had our fair share of penalties.”
Maryland lost seven key players to graduation but added several talented transfers, including midfielders Brennan Treacy, Matt Deans, and Erik Augustin, and talented freshmen, such as Nick Candella (Queen Anne) and Austin Conerly (Sherwood).
“I think that we will be fine on defense though since we have our starting goalie returning and between the two of them, the defense will hold its own,” Skiscim said.
Virginia has unfinished business after falling to Maryland in last season’s Division I quarterfinals.
The Cavaliers have a loaded roster capable of making a run all the way to this year’s championship.
The Cavaliers have a strong defense led by a mix of returning upperclassmen and a key transfer in Javon Smith, who was a two-time Ohio Athletic Conference Honorable Mention at NCAA Division III Ohio Northern.
The Hoos should also be able to score on any team as every single one of the starting attackman return as well as the addition of NCAA Division I Utah transfer Jack Reichert, who prepped at Lawrenceville High School in New Jersey and graduated from Western Albemarle High School where he was named First Team All-Central Virginia.
Doug Godine, a fifth-year senior from the Gilman School, leads the offense. He will be supported by fellow senior Taylor Musa, who hails from Riverside High School and is the state of Virginia’s all-time leading high school goal
scorer. National player Ethan Ashley is also back on attack as he was the leading goal scorer for Team Korea.
Virginia will get a boost from short-stick defensive midfielder Brendan Knott as fellow midfielder Axel Gyllenhoff (Potomac HS) is looking to build off a successful first season with the club.
Virginia went 4-3 last season and was edged by National finalist Maryland 10-9 in the playoffs in College Park.
The Cavaliers have a tough schedule with Nationally Ranked games against Navy, Penn State and then a rubber match versus the Terps. Virginia has an active roster with more than 70 players has the more intense the practices, the easier the games will be.
Bloomsburg is looking to push the bar in the club’s development and a return to prominence.
The Huskies’ top returning players include midfielders Jason Mills (York Suburban) and Mason Smith (Berks Catholic), attack man Dylan Witzig (York Suburban), and defenseman Camden D’Imperio (Lampeter Strasburg).
“Some of the notable strengths of this team are a drive to get better, team chemistry, and a bond that goes beyond the field,” Smith said. “Some exciting contests that we are anticipating are our tournament with Millersville and PSU Berks, as well as our annual competition with Kutztown University. We are looking forward to an exciting season and are eager to play.”
Bloomsburg had key wins over Millersville, Penn State-Berks, and York College last season.
The Huskies also have several key transfers, including defenseman EJ Landoli (Hood College), midfielder Jake Jones (Nazareth), and goalie Alex Garcia (Southern Lehigh). With a blend of veteran and newcomer, expect to see more growth coming out of this Keystone stalwart.
Bryant should be one of the top defensive teams in the New England Conference. Allowing 5.0 GAA during the fall, the Bulldogs defense is led by Aidan Hill (The Hill Academy), Dave Marani (Silver Lake), Michael McNeil (Medfield), and Ben Fein (Hanover).
Last season, Bryant went 7-3 and finished the year ranked #14 in the final regular season NCLL rankings. The club also made its 1st national playoff appearance and will look to keep that momentum going this season.
“The biggest strength on our team is our defense, which has many great players on that end who all communicate well and can lock anyone up,” club captain Michael McNeil said. “We have also been getting stronger on the offensive side of the ball as well near the end of the fall ball season. Players became more comfortable with each other as well as getting the offense rolling to score a lot more.”
Bryant lost eight seniors to graduation — four starters and two contributors on the attack.
But the club has new depth.
The attack is led by Spencer Peters (Wayne Valley) and Joseph Chiappetta (St. Anthony’s). Sophomore Jason Consiglio from Maryland powerhouse Calvert Hall will help lead the midfield with Harry Falowski (Joel Barlow) and Thomas Fruci (Walpole High School).
Several newcomers are also expected to make an impact, including Billy Gardner (Franklin High School) on defense, Vin Pesce (Westhampton Beach) in the midfield, and Keo Kiriakos (Masconomet) on the attack.
Long-stick midfielder Gerrit McAloon from Frisco, Texas, will also battle for minutes.
Bryant has key matchups against #12 Brown, newcomers Tufts and Babson as well as conference champion #7 UMass to name a few, Bryant will have to keep the momentum going forward as the conference is as tough as ever.
“Our most notable rivals are UMass who we lost to in the playoffs last year and Brown, who we always have a close game as that game always goes down to the wire” McNeil said.
Georgetown will get a boost as both junior defenseman Ben Calvert and midfielder Ben Resnicoff return from injuries: add in a talented freshman class and it’s easy to see why the Hoyas will have a bigger target on their back and higher aspirations coming into the 2023 season.
The attack will be led by sophomore sensation Shane Dennin and junior Ken Wolfe.
The midfield has experience with senior leader Naveen Ailawadi and juniors Mekhi Simpson and Max Schroop.
Senior Andrew Dunn and sophomore Jack Harrison will support Calvert on defense with senior net minder Alex Flynn, who has proven especially tough to to score on.
The Hoyas return a pair of sophomore FOGO players — Will van Dyke and Michael Spellman — that will make an impact.
In their breakout 2022 season, Georgetown finished 12-6, won the Beltway Bash, captured the Chesapeake Conference Championship before bowing in the Final Four to eventual National Champion Union.
Georgetown had Ann extremely successful fall, going 4-1 with wins over William & Mary, George Washington, Kutztown, and York.
The freshmen class is led by attackman Tommy Belsito, middie Jai Ailawadi and defenseman Luke Musser.
George Washington has an experienced team that will be competitive in NCLL’s Chesapeake Conference.
The midfield in particular should be the strength of the team with the return of Nick Penders (Foxboro), Michael Levitas (Evanston), Tyler Richardson (Pennridge), Kaj Boeri: (Hartford High), and Alec Becotte: Junior (Community School of Naples).
Jack Klein (Chaminade) and Steve Dimino (Cumberland Valley) are back on defense, along with goalie Louis Cesaratto (Irvington). Transfers John Rosenstein and Michael Stanton will make contributions in the midfield.
George Washington will get its scoring from Matt Laquerre (Suffield Academy), James Moukheiber (Concord Academy), and Matt Donnell (Manhasset High School).
In the fall, the club won two games against George Mason and notched a win against York. George Washington dropped games to Georgetown, Loyola, and the Orange Smash.
Several freshmen are expected to make an impact, including Michael Falek (Tenafly), Ryan Walker (Lawrenceville), Antonio Money (Severn School), Charlie Foley (The Rivers School), Evan Gibson (Kinkaid), Henry Kurtz (Providence High School), and Wyatt McNeil (Bishop O’Dowd).
High Point is looking to build off one of its most successful seasons ever in Division II.
Going 5-2, the Panther won their 1st Conference Championship in program history, advanced to their 1st National Tournament and finished the season ranked #7 nationally.
“After a historic year within our program, beginning with the hiring of Head Coach Austin Miller and ending with a National Elite 8 and Conference championship, High Point’s men’s club lacrosse has never been stronger on and off the field of play moving into the Spring of 2023,” club president and senior defenseman Tommy Canby said. “Throughout the summer and fall seasons, we have gained young and experienced talent from across the country which will help us build on the progress we saw last spring and execute our goal of winning an NCLL National Championship in May.”
High Point’s attack will be led by Jarrett Meibaum (St. Paul’s in Louisiana) and Preston Hoey (Chaminade).
Zane Cohen (Wootton), Kade Little (Northwood), Donovan Cleffi (Randolph, N.J.), and Stefen Shapiro (Marvin Ridge) are back in the midfield. Graham Wesel (Concord-Carlisle Regional High) will handle most of the faceoffs.
In addition to Canby, Noah Donovan (Reading) is a key defenseman and Rob Troyano (Wading River) will be in goal.
High Point is also coming off a competitive fall-ball season.
“This fall has been awesome to witness as a coach,” Miller said. “The team is remarkably self-motivated and hungry to exceed the taste of success they had last season. The guys know they are capable of doing something special. I think if we can understand that to do that, we need to dig deep, be disciplined, and band together as a unit every practice and every game, then we can meet the high expectations we have for ourselves. We lost a handful of skilled players to graduation or transfer but gained a great group of transfers and freshmen that have made immediate impacts at every position this fall.
“Couple that with the return of most of last year’s team and we have what could potentially be our best team ever. While we’re always excited to play our neighboring rivals at MCLA Elon University, I’m excited to go against William & Mary for the first time and see what could have been in last year’s conference tournament. We’re also excited to continue expanding our schedule to include
tougher and unfamiliar opponents to push us in a more highly competitive direction.”
The new players for High Point expected to make an immediate impact are transfer Max Michalek (Kentucky) and freshmen Jack Sundin (Saint John’s in Massachusetts), Caleb Goodwin (Roswell), Toby Zeindenburg (Avon Old Farms), and Ryan Hammelman (Midlothian).
Sean Rhodes has taken over as head coach of Indiana University of Pennsylvania after leading the Iowa State club lacrosse team.
The Crimson Hawks went went 5-2 in the Three Rivers Conference before losing to Akron in the semifinals of the conference championships last year.
IUP’s attack will be led by senior Mitchell Debiase, and juniors Nate Good and Joey Correcelli.
The midfield has depth with Ira Johns, Joe Kopp, Cole Siford, and Sebastian Colinear. Logan Stover and
Danny Shakes will face off.
On defense, juniors Maxum Green and Evan Kartsotis are back in the mix with sophomore goalie Cadin Anlauf.
Former player Andrew Valentine has added excitement to the program by taking over as head coach.
“He brings charisma and enthusiasm to practices to try and get our players to break through to the next level of play,” said President Brendan Sweeney. “He is excited to take the reins as the coach and to bring the club back to the National Tournament and the prominence it once was.”
Kent State should be competitive in league play with its top scorer and athletic midfield while also introducing new faces who are ready to make an impact.
Senior Merrick Widdoes (Hudson) is back on attack after leading the team with 50 goals last season. The Golden Eagles will get senior leadership with defenseman Zach Zaccaro (Medina), goalie Matthew Mapstone (Lake Catholic) and midfielder Archie Bartolotti (Orchard Park).
Freshmen Adam Varga, a long-stick middie from Olmsted Falls, midfielder Brock Taylor (Massillon Jackson), and defenseman Austin Monroe (Plum), will battle for minutes. Junior Will Alton (Olmsted Falls) is also competing for the team for the first time.
Kent State has notable national games against #5 Louisville, #15 Kentucky and Division I #3 Ohio State: throw in the annual game versus arch-rival Akron, conference foes Toledo and Bowling Green and it’s not a stretch to see why this year’s schedule has a much higher SOS overall.
“We are gaining several players from great high school programs in Ohio as well as finally having a coach compared to years past,” Sweeney said. “This team is eager to start the season and I feel we can make waves with our revamped roster.”
Last spring, Louisville won the Midwest Conference title and reached the Elite 8 for the first time since 2017. After a sluggish start in the National Tournament, the fourth quarter could not come fast enough for their opponent as the Cards made a remarkable run before time slipped away. Expect that knowledge to fuel an intense fire for 2023.
The Cardinals have a chance to go even farther this year with a high powered offense, depth at the “X” and an athletic midfield. .
Louisville return a solid corps in the lineup, including goalie TJ DiSantis (Oldham County), attackmen Ryan Dowling (Chattahoochee) and Braden Carver (New Oxford) and sophomore face-off specialist Hunter Satterfield (Central Hardin).
Louisville went 6-6 last season and knocked off defending conference champion Kentucky 11-8 in the Midwest Championship. The Cardinals also had a successful fall with wins over Division I Cincinnati (10-3) and Ohio (10-6) while ending up 3-1 including another win over rival Kentucky.
The Cardinals add some key freshmen with face-off ace Luke Lewis (Westfield), long-stick middie Brady Tucker (Little Miami), midfielder Luke Truffer (Guerin Catholic), and short-stick defensive midfielder Aden Lipsy (Brewster Academy). While 2022 ended at .500, expect Louisville to be ready this time around.
With talented returning players and a high-powered freshmen class, Oswego plans to make “serious noise around the league.”
Junior Carter O’Brien (Chenango Forks HS) led the team with 19 goals and five assists last season while FOGO/midfielder Jack Hyland (New Paltz) won 60% of his draws as a sophomore.
Senior Mike Rattinger (Commack High School) and sophomore Chancler Kiner (Homer High School) will help anchor the midfield, while Alex Couch (Watertown High School) will help patrol the defense.
With an unusually strong freshman and transfer class, we’re looking to make some serious noise around the NCLL,” said captain Christian Ferrara. “Our main two goals for this year are to finish .500 or better and make the conference playoffs. We also hope to be nationally ranked for the first time since 2018.”
Last season, Oswego went 3-7 but earned its first win over a Division I school in club history — an 8-6 victory over Albany. The club also won three out of its last four games with their only loss in that span to eventual Division II National Champion Union.
The team will get a boost from several transfers and a talented freshmen class.
Oswego added a couple of long-stick midfielders with sophomore transfer Jake Palmer Sophomore (Lowville High School) and first-year player Aidan Mcgowan (Skaneateles High School).
Junior goalie Logan Sather (Alfred State, Baldwinsville High School) is also in the mix, along with defensemen Andy Bishuk (Keuka College, Auburn High School) and Jake Crandall (Thousand Islands High School.)
Oswego is ready to tackle a challenging spring schedule in the Empire Conference, of which are several nationally ranked programs and former National Champions.
“Some notable contests for the spring will be rematches with Niagara, and Albany,” Ferrara said. “We look forward to playing Syracuse and likely one of either Cortland or Cornell. Of special interest is renewing our rivalry with Clarkson.”
Quinnipiac University has its sights on reclaiming the New England Conference title with an experienced team that will be complemented by a talented group of newcomers.
The program finished last spring with a 3-4-1 overall record with narrow losses to both UMass B and Bryant.
The attack is led by Jared Chase, a Cheshire High School (Conn.) grad who led the team with 15 goals and five assists, while Nick Curran added two goals and three helpers.
Long-stick middie Mike Cimis (Woodstock Union High School in Vermont) is also back, along with sophomore Nick Migliore (4 goals, 2 assists). The defense is led by senior and Randolph (N.J.) alum Alex Wanatick and fellow New Jersey native junior Matt Francis (St. Joseph’s Regional School).
“We have a very solid team with a good group of returners that balance out the field with newer players,” said President Alex Wanatick. “With a defensive heavy team, our strengths are on that end with clearing and man-to-man as our go to defense. Offensively, Quinnipiac is strong as they return four solid attackmen rotating one in the midfield corps to balance the field. Three of our attackmen are returners with the other an incoming freshman [Ryan Maher] who was originally committed to the varsity team. With quick ball movement, we’ll find success through our attack.
“With heavy competition within the New England and NY Metro conference, we look forward to some tough competition.”
In addition to the returning players, Quinnipiac has several transfers and incoming freshmen, including Maher from Garden City high school in New York, who is expected to make an immediate impact.
Ben Olmsted will provide depth at the midfield after transferring from Caldwell College, a NCAA Division II program. Tyler Stiewing from St. Joseph’s in Connecticut will battle for time in the goal.
Also in the mix are defenseman Quinn Saltzman (Apponequet, Mass.) and midfielder Daniel Francis (St. Joseph’s Regional, New Jersey).
These players will provide key depth for Quinnipiac, which lost eight seniors, six of whom were starters and four served as captains.
“More than half our team are new players and most are freshmen,” Wanatick said. “It’s definitely a new team compared to last year but they’re ready to come to compete for the title. … We tried to play harder teams in Division I this fall to best prepare us for the teams ahead. We are looking forward to some good matchups against UMass B, UMass Lowell, Brown, and Bryant, hoping to make some redemption from last year’s close losses.”
Radford has experienced players and depth at every position.
As a result, the Highlanders should be a force in the Blue Ridge Conference and beyond after last season’s 6-4 record which included and an appearance in the Beltway Bash championship game.
Senior Jackson Woods (Briar Woods HS) won three state championships and recorded 7 goals and 10 assists on attack and midfield during the 2022 season for the Highlanders.
Sophomore Aidan (Colonial Forge HS) is a strong lefty attack man who uses his size and strength to get off shots and is always in a position to score off the ball. As a freshman, Aidan scored 8 goals and 4 assists as his production should show great strides this spring.
Junior Cayden Butt (Roanoke HS) is a big presence on the offensive side of the ball who can use his strength to body defenders and take high-quality shots. Butt had 6 goals and 4 assists last spring.
Caden Schaible (Dominion HS) is an experienced player who has a high lacrosse IQ as he can score or set his teammates for the finishing shot. The junior had 5 goals and 8 assists.
Defensively, Radford returns Nate Shaffer from Kettle Run High in Northern Virginia who originally played for NCAAA D III Washington College as a freshman. An essential part of the defense, the junior led the team in the spring with 7 forced turnovers in his initial season in Virginia.
Causing 5 forced turnovers last spring, Logan Hall (Freedom HS) has been a driving force on the team since his freshman year. Quick on his feet and always in the right position to make a play on the ball has enabled Logan to become a defensive mainstay.
Leading the team in ground balls, senior Nick McDaniel (Brentsville HS) is a fast close defender/LSM who makes his presence known every time he is on the field.
Starting between the pipes, senior Ronan Beardsley (Freedom HS) has been sensational in the crease after coming back from an ACL injury and has a remarkable 65% save percentage.
Richmond is looking to take the next step in its development after its successful return to the NCLL last season.
The Spiders finished 4-2, with wins over Christopher Newport, Radford, and two victories over VCU. Richmond finished the year ranked #18, while also finishing up as the Tidewater Conference runner-up. Richmond also had a successful fall campaign at 3-1.
“Having brought the program back for the 1st time in several years last spring, we were really happy with our initial success in the DII Tidewater conference, and have our sights set on achieving a Top 10 ranking this spring,” defenseman Walker Campbell (Boys’ Latin) said. “We plan to build on the young talent that made us successful this past season by having more underclassmen and transfers playing important roles this season. We also look forward to renewing our rivalries with #11 VCU and #17 William & Mary in the Tidewater.”
The Spiders’ attack will be led by Ryan Heslin (East Catholic), Stuart Schaenen (Madison), and Colin Kuni (St. Augustine Prep). Casey Ott (Radnor) and Will Johnston (Belfield) will help anchor the midfield.
In addition to Campbell, Matt Douglas (Seton Hall Prep) and goalie Owen Fleming (Key School) will support the defense: Cole Stephenson (Wilton) is the top faceoff player.
Some of the top freshmen/transfers expected to make an impact are attackman/middie James Krzywda (Boston College High School), midfielders Cameron Boyer (Brophy College Prep) and Griffin Elliott (Colorado College) and goalie Eric Reazor (Corning).
Rowan University has a solid mix of veteran players and newcomers that has the club excited about the upcoming season in the Division II of the Liberty Conference.
The team, a regular program in the Top 20, has begun implementing new strategies for practice and games that allow it to play to its strengths and improve its weaknesses.
Rowan finished unexpectedly at 2-9 last year, but expectations are much higher for ‘23. The program is looking to compete with high-powered clubs, including West Chester, St. Joseph’s and TCNJ, while battling up and coming Williamson Trade and Rutgers-Camden: Drexel, a dark horse, will be another program the Profs will need to watch out for.
“Last spring was a tough season but we feel that we have bounced back this fall with extremely competitive games against #3 West Chester and Division I #20 Loyola,” President William Dennery said. “We are confident that our team is one of the best groups we’ve had in a while and our combined skill level will push us into the playoffs and beyond this upcoming season.”
Rowan has an experienced attack led by Sean McHugh (Delran), Cole Rueblinger (Washington Township), and Hunter Lippincott (Lenape), along with sophomore John Ipri (Delran).
Fifth-year senior Dylan Ritchkoff (Hamilton West) will help anchor the midfield with Ryan Giles (Lacey Township). Transfer Nick Enoch (Delran) will also see time in the midfield. Fellow Ryan Collins (Township) leads the defense.
With the fall W against Loyola and a narrow 9-7 loss to West Chester, the goal is to carry that spirit into the spring.
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute returns to compete in the Empire East Conference as the Engineers made several appearances pre-COVID to the National Tournament. One of the dark horses to watch out for in the entirety of Division II, they face a much different and higher powered Empire Conference to contend in.
“Our rival will definitely be Union as we continue to play competitively against a top team that is 15 minutes away from us,” President Jackson Tandler said. (Note: after article Union has moved to Division I)
In addition to defender Tandler, Andrew Bodmer is back as RPI has an experienced goalie in Jonah Whitt.
Jacob Norton (Cathedral Catholic) and Collin Jackson will help anchor the midfield while Brian Donlon will lead the attack.
“We look to get a taste of the Empire East and play Cortland, Oswego, and Ithaca to name a few,” Tandler said.
Despite the fact that St Bonaventure lost 10 seniors to graduation, they return a talented squad which will compete this spring in the Empire West against Rochester, Niagara and RIT.
The club finished 2-3 last spring with wins over Rochester and Oswego. Bonaventure also finished this past fall at .500 with the victory over Niagara University and a loss to #2 RIT.
Senior Joshua Sweeney (Williamsville) is an experienced goalie that will boost the defense and has been a bright spot throughout.
Fellow senior Kevin Pease (West) is back on the attack and sophomore Jack Harper (Hamburg) leads the midfield.
There are also several freshmen ready to make an impact, including Noah Sisti, Charlie Bayer, Gavin Molly, and Ben Vitale.
Slippery Rock goalie Joshua Wise-Harper is confident the team’s strong defense will be complemented by a balanced attack.
The club hopes to challenge for the coveted Three Rivers Conference title, several of which reside in Slippery Rock when the Pride were Keystone Conference champions several times over.
“We had a record recruitment this year and that brings lots of new and impressive talent to all areas of the field and plenty of potential to grow,” said Wise-Harper, who also serves as captain with Vito Pisani, James Border, and David Flath. “Currently our team is very defense-oriented, however, our attack has been really showing out recently and will become a vital strength before the end of the season.”
Slippery Rock’s attack will be led by James Border (Seneca Valley) and Brody Allison (Butler High).
Junior Anthony Malloy (Butler High) is back in the midfield and will get support from freshman Dante Bolden (Moon Township High).
Long poles David Flath (Stafford High) and Alexander Fleet (Norwin High) also have experience.
“A lot of the guys still feel the sting from our losses of last season and are ready to come out the gate this season with a vengeance and a win in their minds. If nothing else, my team’s determination is our greatest strength,” Wise-Harper said. “Of course, IUP is going to be the game we are most anticipating given our school’s long history of rivalry, however, Kent State and several of the other conference teams that have stuck in our minds and ones we look forward to competing with again.” Losing never sits well, especially for a program unaccustomed to it. Expect the Pride to reach their stride and surprise several teams this spring.
Saint Joseph’s University lost 16 seniors to graduation but the Hawks have reloaded and should be competitive in Division II of the Liberty Conference. Coming in hot at #6 in the preseason rankings, the Red Hawks lost a 2022 conference championship stunner to West Chester as they challenged the Rams for conference supremacy and have established a rivalry unmatched.
“We’re returning most defensive starters with an experienced midfield,” club officer Chris Kirby said. “The team is motivated and coached well.”
Saint Joseph’s top returning players are senior defenseman Chris Kirby, Paul Ruddy, and Alex Conn. The midfield also has experience with Nick Jones and Liam Connolly with junior Colin Hodgson leading the attack.
The top newcomers include attackmen Jimmy Beaudette (Long Island University) and Pat Cooney, midfielder Max Mulligan and defenseman Jose Coronado.
The Hawks dropped games to Villanova, Towson, and Vermont in the fall, all Division I programs currently ranked in the National Top 20.
The Tribe is excited about the upcoming season after adding nine new players while graduating only four seniors.
The club had a solid fall with a decisive nine-goal win over Christopher Newport and narrow losses to #11 VCU and #16 Richmond.
“The team is excited to play these rivals competitively in the spring,” President David Seidl said.
James Turner, a senior from Woodbridge who also played at Colgan, is a returning lefty starting attack man while James Hammond (Robinson High School) is the returning righty starting attackman. In the mix is Sam Burgunder (Friends School).
Junior Reese Austin (Mt. Lebanon) was one of the team’s leading scorers from last year and leads the midfield with Andy Lumelleau (Summit) and Brian Simmons (Yorktown)
On defense, David Seidl (Severn) led the club in forced turnovers last year. Fellow defenseman Sam Vido (Calvert Hall) was a solid contributor in the fall. Both will be looked upon to lead W&M on the defensive side of the field.