By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 1/6/09
Once again, Phillylacrosse.com presents its recap of Philly men’s players who are playing on teams in the Top 25 preseason rankings according to Inside Lacrosse agazine.
1. Virginia – Junior defender Ken Clausen (Hill School) was a second-team All-American last year and is one of the top longpoles in the nation. He led the team in groundballs (59) and caused turnovers (28). Sophomore John Haldy (Haverford School) may crack the second line of middies after getting a goal and three assists in only five games last year and freshman defender Peter Borror (Haverford School) should see time.
2. Syracuse – Senior Scott Kahoe (Radnor) should be a major contributor if healthy after transferring from Georgetown for his final year of eligibility.
3. Maryland – Sophomore defender Brett Schmidt (Upper Dublin) has emerged as a regular after excelling in the NCAA tourney last year. Redshirt freshman Justin Blye (Downingtown East) should be a factor this year and his brother, freshman attacker Owen Blye (Downingtown East), had a strong Fall Ball season and should also see time.
4. Cornell – The Big red defense is led by senior Matt Moyer (Tower Hill, DE, Chadds Ford, PA), an Honorable Mention All-American last year who scooped 35 groundballs. Senior John Decker (Haverford School), after several injury-marred years, is healthy and primed to play a major role on the Cornell defense.
5. Johns Hopkins – The Blue Jays will depend heavily on sophomore attacker Kyle Wharton (Haverford School), senior middie Brian Christopher (Springfield-Delco), junior long-stick midfielder Greg Harrington (Hill School), sophomore LSM Eric DiProspero (Unionville) and sophomore face-off specialist Matt Dolente (Malvern Prep). Last year Christopher had six goals and five assists, Wharton scored four goals and Dolente was the backup face-off man before starring for Team USA in the Under-19 International championships. Senior Tim Everson (Abington) is a reserve.
6. Georgetown – Senior Todd Cochran (Conestoga) had 10 goals last year and should be on the top midfield line. Freshman Kurt Watkinson (Haverford School) may see some time.
7. Duke – none
8. North Carolina – Two freshmen midfielders from Malvern Prep, Chris Layne and Matt Conte, could make immediate impacts.
9. Notre Dame – Senior attacker Duncan Sweezey (Hatboro-Horsham) had 22 goals and 17 assists last year. Junior midfielder Adam Felicetti (Central Bucks East) should be a regular this year and junior defender Mike Creighton (Malvern Prep) will be a mainstay while sophomore Tim Bernier (Malvern Prep) is a key backup on defense.
10. UMBC – Junior defender Brian Schneider (Hatboro-Horsham) should be a key reserve.
11. Navy – Sophomore Michael Hirsch (Perkiomen Valley) will be a regular on defense where junior Gordon Lawson (Central Bucks East) will see time as a reserve. Freshman Brian Brinkmann (St. Joseph’s Prep) is a reserve at midfield and sophomore goalie Mike Haas (La Salle) is fighting several upperclassmen for time.
12. Albany – none
13. Brown – Junior middie Harrison Avart (Haverford School) is vying for time.
14. Princeton – Junior Paul Barnes (Haverford School) should be one of the team’s top face-off specialists while Ryan Morrell (Tatnall, DE, Glen Mills, PA) is a reserve on attack.
15. Hofstra – Senior middie Michael Colleluori (Ridley) had 10 goals and 15 assists last year an enjoyed a strong Fall Ball campaign. Sophomore LSM Adam Mojica (Springfield-Delco) will be a contributor and junior middie Joey Caven (Pennsbury) is a key reserve.
16. Denver – none
17. Colgate – Senior attacker Lenny Checchio (Radnor) missed the 2008 season with an injury but should contribute. Sophomore attacker Andrew Mould (Hill School) could crack the lineup this year and junior goalie Peter Burchfield (Haverford School) is fighting for time.
18. Bucknell – Freshman defender Doug Emrich (Haverford School) is fighting for time.
19. Loyola – Senior LSM and co-captain P.T. Ricci (Conestoga) is a pre-season All-American candidate after snagging 80 groundballs last year. Senior Steve Layne (Malvern Prep) should step into a starting role along with senior co-captain Eddie Graham (La Salle). Senior Jake Willcox (Malvern Prep) will be a key at midfield after scoring 11 goals last season. Junior Chris Moore (Malvern Prep) is a backup at midfield.
20. Delaware – Junior middie Kevin Kaminski (Strath Haven) returns to the top unit after missing all of 2008 with an ankle injury and senior Pat Lombard (La Salle), who had four goals and four assists, should crack the top line on attack. Junior midfielder Rob Bassett (Conestoga) scored two goals last year and is looking for time.
21. Ohio State – Junior middie James Green (Central Bucks East) had 22 goals and 11 assists and then starred on the US Under-19 World Championship team. Fighting for time will be sophomore defenders Dillon Sheehy (Downingtown East) and Packy Campbell (Conestoga), sophomore attacker Scott Gerland (Radnor) and freshman middie Eddie Bambino (Penn Charter).
22. Army – Sophomore Rob McCallion (Episcopal Academy) enjoyed a standout freshman year, notching 15 goals and 18 assists. Sophomore LSM John Ciavarelli (Springfield-Delco) will be a contributor.
23. Drexel – The Dragons are loaded with local products playing leading roles, led by senior attacker Colin Ambler (Abington), junior midfielder Greg Casey (La Salle) and junior defender Matt McCormick (Malvern Prep).
McCormick was an Inside Lacrosse preseason Honorable Mention All-American choice while Ambler led the team in scoring (21 goals, 21 assists) and Casey had 13 goals.
Other key returnees include senior middie Brian Neary (La Salle), senior attacker Ron Garling (Ridley), junior middie Nick Kusturiss (Penncrest), and junior middie Dennis Murray (Holy Ghost Prep), while senior defender Mike Avato (Springfield-Delco) and junior attacker Bryan Brodzik (Central Bucks East) will contribute. Newcomers include middie Craig Owen (Haverford School), LSM Chris Walsh (Downingtown East), defenders Justin Hummel (Downingtown East) and Brian Teuber (Penn Charter) and goalie Mark Manos (Salesianum, DE, West Chester)
24. Penn State – The Nittany Lions are also chock full of Philly talent, led by senior goalie Drew Adams (Springfield-Delco), a three-time ECAC Goalie of the Year and an Under Consideration pick by Inside Lacrosse as preseason Player of the Year. In front of Adams on defense will be sophomore Matt Bernier (Malvern Prep) and sophomore LSM Greg Brown (Central Bucks West). Two freshmen, Billy Davis (Conestoga) and Ryan McGarvey (Penn Charter), could see time behind Brown. Also on defense are junior John Andress (Central Bucks East) and freshman Alex Gannett (Downingtown East).
At midfield, freshmen Conrad Ridgway (La Salle) and Mike Vandegrift (Abington) should immediately crack the lineup while junior Chris Mulqueen (Downingtown East) also will be in the mix. Junior J.J. Elmer (Henderson), sophomores Alex Garrity (Strath Haven), Colton Vosburgh (Unionville), Greg Sampson (West Chester East) and Joey Long (Conestoga) will fight for time.
At attack, senior Rob Forster (La Salle) returns after notching 17 goals and 12 assists last year. He is joined by younger brother Jack Forster (La Salle), who missed all of his freshman year with a knee injury. They will get support from highly-touted freshman Matt Mackrides (Malvern Prep) and sophomore Billy Lloyd (Unionville).
25. Stony Brook – none