Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 9/15/08
Villanova coach Michael Corrado has announced the addition of nine freshmen to the 2009 roster: Matt Bell, CJ Burke, Kevin Cunningham, Dan Gutierrez, Ryan McDonagh, Joe Payne, CJ Small, Michael Vigilante, and Nolan Vihlen will join the Wildcat program.
“We feel this is a very athletically gifted class that also possess outstanding lacrosse skills,” said Corrado, a Villanova graduate and the former coach at Haverford High. “This class includes players from many of the top lacrosse programs in the country that are used to winning. Several players are from non-traditional lacrosse areas, including our first recruit (Vihlen) ever from the state of Tennessee. This just shows the tremendous growth of the sport of lacrosse. I can’t wait to start working with this group.”
Bell is a 5-10 attackman from St. Mary’s HS (Md.) who led his team and the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association in scoring (52 goals). Burke is a two-time all-Western Pennsylvania midfielder from Pittsburgh Central Catholic HS who had 37 goals and 35 assists last year.
Cunningham is a midfielder from Kellenberg HS (N.Y.) who amassed 43 goals and 25 assists last year. Gutierrez is a 6-1 goalie from Georgetown (Md.) Prep. McDonagh a 6-2 defenseman, helped to lead St. Anthony’s to the New York CHSAA Final his junior and senior years.
Payne is a 6-1, 190-pound midfielder from Brother Rice (Mich.) HS. During Payne’s senior season he scored five goals and dished out 25 assists for the number one ranked team in the country. Small is a 5-10 attackman and midfielder who helped lead La Costa Canyon (Calif.) to the CIF championship by amassing 41 goals and 42 assists.
Vigilante is a 6-3 attackman who led Massapequa High (N.Y.) in scoring his senior year with 39 goals and 11 assists. Vihlen is a 5-10 face-off midfielder from Christian Brothers who won 244 of 290 face-offs (84 percent) as a senior.