By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 1/28/08
If you’re interested in watching major college men’s lacrosse this year, you’ll also get the chance to see a large contingent of Philadelphia area products,
Seventeen of the top 20 teams in the Lacrosse magazine pre-season men’s poll have players on their roster from the area. In all, 62 Philadelphia-area student-athletes are on the rosters of top 20 teams.
The following is s recap of Lacrosse magazine’s top 20 and the local talent.
1. Duke – Senior defender Tony McDevitt (Penn Charter) is a mainstay for a team that lost in the NCAA finals last year to Johns Hopkins, 12-11. McDevitt returns for his fifth season after the NCAA granted Blue Devils players the chance to play another full season following false rape allegations that ended the 2006 season after eight games. McDevitt, a pre-season all-American pick, had 44 groundballs last year and was named a finalist for the Lowe’s Senior Class Award for excelling on and off the field.
2. Virginia – Sophomore Ken Clausen (Hill School) enjoyed a brilliant freshman year on defense for the Cavaliers in 2007. He started at 16 games and was second on the team in groundballs (66) and forced 17 turnovers. A key recruit is freshman attacker John Haldy (Haverford School).
3. Johns Hopkins – The defending champion Blue Jays have a distinct Philly flavor with seven local products on the roster. Junior middie Brian Christopher (Springfield-Delco) scored 10 goals last year and senior defensive middie George Castle (Penn Charter) played in all 17 games. Sophomore middie Greg Harrington (Hill School) and junior goalie Tim Everson (Abington) are vying for time. Kyle Wharton (Haverford School), middie Matt Dolente (Malvern Prep) and longstick middie Eric DiProspero (Unionville) are top freshmen.
4. Georgetown – Senior attacker Brendan Cannon (Haverford School) led the Hoyas in scoring with 21 goals and 23 assists last year while earning second-team All-American and ECAC Offensive Player of the Year honors. Senior defender Chris Early (Radnor), senior middie Scott Kahoe (Radnor) and junior midfielder Todd Cochran (Conestoga) are all reserves.
5. Notre Dame – The Irish feature six Philadelphia products, led by junior middie Michael Podgajny (Ridley) and junior defender Sean Dougherty (Malvern Prep) – both honorable mention All-American selections. Podgajny was tied for second on the team in scoring last year with 26 goals and 133 assists while Dougherty started every game and scooped up 33 groundballs. Senior middie Bill Liva (Malvern Prep) started four games last year and sophomore attacker Duncan Swezey (Hatboro-Horsham) had nine goals and eight assists as a top reserve. Freshmen include defender Mike Creighton (Malvern Prep) and middie Adam Felicitti (Central Bucks East).
6. Princeton – Senior attacker Alex Haynie (Germantown Academy) scored 10 goals and added eight assists as a start last year while senior attacker Bob Schneider (Malvern Prep) added six goals as a reserve. Sophomore midfielder Paul Barnes (Haverford School) is vying for time.
7. Cornell – Junior defender John Decker (Haverford School) returns after sitting out his freshman season.
8. Maryland – Senior attacker Max Ritz (Radnor) was named an Inside Lacrosse honorable mention All-American after finishing second on the Terps in scoring with 24 goals and 25 assists last year. Senior defender Ryne Adolph (Springfield-Delco) and senior long-stick middie Matt Rankin (West Chester East) were reserves last year.
9. Syracuse – none
10. North Carolina – none
11. Towson State – Senior defender Ryan O’Donnell (Henderson) played in all 16 games as a top reserve, scooping up 25 groundballs. Senior defender Chris Corsiglia (Hill School) played in two games last year
12. Albany – Freshman midfielder Chase Steinberg (Central Bucks South) is a top recruit for the Great Danes.
13. Delaware – Senior defensive middie Brett Manney (Holy Ghost Prep) is a team captain who scooped up 37 groundballs and added 15 caused turnovers last year for a Blue Hens team that reached the NCAA semifinals. Sophomore middie Kevin Kaminski (Strath Haven) had 16 goals last year as a key reserve while junior middie Rob Bassett (Conestoga) and sophomore Pat Lombard (La Salle) will vie for time.
14. UMass – Freshman attacker Mike Wilus (North Penn) will look for time.
15. Colgate – Senior middie Christopher Mulholland (La Salle) has been a regular for three years. Junior attacker Lenny Checchio (Radnor) and sophomore goalie Peter Burchfield (Haverford School) were reserves last year while attacker Andrew Mould (Hill School) is a freshman.
16. Bucknell – none
17. Navy – Sophomore defender Gordon Lawson (Central Bucks East) will be vying for time and freshmen include goalie Mike Haas (La Salle), defensive middie Marty Gallagher (Haverford School) and defender Michael Hirsch (Perkiomen Valley).
18. Ohio State – Sophomore middie James Green (Central Bucks East) had a brilliant rookie year, scoring 10 goals while being named the team’s Outstanding Freshman. Green also was named to the US lacrosse Men’s Under-19 Team that will compete in the 2008 International Lacrosse Federation (ILF) Under-19 World Championship after participating in tryout camp last July. Freshmen include defender Packy Campbell (Conestoga) defender Scott Gerland (Radnor),
19. Yale – Senior goalie George Carafides (Upper Darby) has started all three years and had a 9.17 goals against average last year. Senior attacker-midfielder Kyle Washabaugh (Germantown Academy) had 21 goals and 13 assists, good for fourth on the team in scoring.
20. Drexel – The Dragons have become a home base for Philadelphia-area lacrosse talent. Fourteen players from the Philadelphia area make the Dragons one of the up-and-coming programs. Last year Drexel went 11-5 and made history by stunning defending national champion and top-ranked Virginia, 11-10, in an early-season game. Drexel barely missed its first NCAA tournament appearance after falling to Delaware – a team that reached the Final Four – in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) semifinals.
Senior long-stick middie Steve Grossi (Strath Haven) is a co-captain for the second straight year. Grossi was a first-team all-CAA pick despite many nagging injuries last year and is the heart of the Dragons’ defense. Sophomore Matt McCormick (Malvern Prep) may eventually replace Grossi after emerging as a starter and a mainstay on defense as a freshman.
Drexel’s attack features sophomores Colin Ambler (Abington) and Greg Casey (La Salle) and junior Ron Garling (Ridley). Ambler was second on the team in goals (22) and points (35) last year while Garling was third in goals with 18. Casey had seven goals and eight assists.
Other regulars include junior midfielder Brian Neary (La Salle) and sophomore attacker Brian Brodzik (Central Bucks East). More key returnees are senior attacker Peter King (Strath Haven), junior defender Mike Avato (Springfield-Delco) and sophomore middies Nick Kusturiss (Penncrest) and Dennis Murray (Holy Ghost Prep). Sophomore defender Kevin Kubicek (Conestoga) is also on the roster and freshmen include defenders Brian Teuber (Penn Charter) and Max Brindle (Salisbury School, Ct.), who played two years at Radnor and is from Wayne.