By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 2/10/08
The Salisbury University Sea Gulls have claimed four of the last five NCAA Division III men’s lacrosse championships. It was no surprise that every major pre-season poll listed the Gulls as the top rated team for 2008.
Salisbury, which cruised through a perfect 23-0 campaign last year, features several Philadelphia-area graduates in its regular lineup. Senior middie Michael Lennon (Lower Merion) had four goals and nine assists last year while sophomore midfielder Brian Schuster (St. Joseph’s Prep) added six goals and three assists in a solid freshman year.
Senior defender Ryan Phillips (Downingtown) was a reserve (13 games) and sophomore middie Scott Rumford (Penncrest) played in 10 games.
Freshmen this year include defenders Jeff Hoffman (Perkiomen Valley) and Nick Mooney (Interboro) and longstick middie Stephen Roberts (Downingtown West).
The Sea Gulls, the Capital Athletic League champions, are ranked first by Inside Lacrosse, Lacrosse magazine and the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association.
Gettysburg – The defending Centennial Conference champion Bullets (16-3 last year) are ranked second by Lacrosse magazine and feature junior middie Tom O’Donnell (La Salle), who scored sox goals last year while playing in 18 games. Sophomore middies Pete Lynch (Haverford School) and Patrick Koehl (St. Joseph’s Prep) were reserves last year.
Roanoke – The Maroons, ranked fifth by Inside Lacrosse, feature freshman attacker Tim O’Brien (Garnet Valley). Wesleyan – The Cardinals are ranked sixth by Inside Lacrosse. Sophomore attacker David Layne (Penn Charter) was a reserve last year at attack and midfield and attacker Tim Dodds (Great Valley) is a freshman.
Ithaca – The Bombers are ranked eighth by Inside Lacrosse and feature sophomore middie Mike Giunta (Henderson), who played in all 20 games last year and scored six goals. Defender Ryan Strang (Haverford School) is a freshman.
Western New England – The Bears, ranked ninth by Inside Lacrosse, feature freshman longstick middie Sean Johnston (Central Bucks East).
Washington College – Junior middie Thayer Damm (La Salle) had 40 groundballs last year for the Shoremen – ranked 11th by Inside Lacrosse – and is one of the team’s top face-off specialists. Freshmen include defender Bryan Stevens (Unionville) and attacker Bhelly Bagnonon (Conestoga).
Haverford College – The Fords (8-6 last year) are ranked 13th by Lacrosse magazine and feature senior middie Dean Granoff (Friends Central School) and senior attacker Matt Thorne-Fitzgerald (Strath Haven). Granoff had 17 goals last year while Thorne-Fitzgerald added eight goals and six assists. Freshmen include attacker Max Hjelm (Conestoga) and defender Scott Kelley (Strath Haven).
Cabrini College – The Cavaliers, the Penn Athletic champions last year (15-3 overall) are ranked 16th by Lacrosse magazine and 19th by Inside Lacrosse.
Cabrini is loaded with local players and is led offensively by jsophomore attacker Casey Grugan (Ridley) and junior Scott Reimer (Downingtown West). Grugan scored 44 goals and added 27 assists last year while Reimer had 45 goals and nine assists.
The midfield is paced by junior Matt Conaway (West Chester East), senior Matt McKinney (Ridley) and junior Pat Grenier (Ridley). Conaway scored 21 goals and added 12 assists while McKinney contributed 20 goals. The defense features juniors John Sims (Radnor) and Jeff Moore (Radnor) while Coleman Till (Downingtown East) is a top freshman.