Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 2/17/10
From Press Releases and Staff Reports
The 2010 Salisbury University men’s lacrosse program has worked hard to put itself in a position to go for a ninth national championship and will rely on a solid group of experienced veterans to try and lead the team to Baltimore in late May.
SU head coach Jim Berkman, in his 22nd season, has a talented group of seniors that he can count on as the season progresses. “We have some seniors at each position, so it gives us some leadership because they have been around here for four years,” said Berkman. “They know the ins and outs of the program and have worked hard to keep the tradition alive and really pushed the guys around them because they know the system.”
Over the last three seasons, this group has won two national championships, played in three NCAA tournaments, won three Capital Athletic Conference titles and compiled a career record of 61-4 (94 percent win percentage).
The 2010 attack features all three returning starters plus several players pushing to get into the mix. SU returns a pair of seniors on attack in Jake DeLillo and Mike Winter. The two provide experience on attack and will be counted on in big games this year. Salisbury also has sophomore preseason honorable mention All-American candidate Matt Cannone back for his second year in the maroon and gold. Cannone had a breakout freshman season and has expanded his game during the
Sophomores Kyle Quist (Central Bucks East) and Matt Pierotti and are two players that both have one year of experience with the program under their belts, and will see increased minutes this year after a year of improvement. Quist had three goals and two assists last year.
The Sea Gull midfield is highlighted by the return of senior pre-season All-American first team candidate Mike Von Kamecke. The Winter Park, Fla., native finished fifth in both points (44) and goals scored (27) as he picked up his second straight USILA honorable mention All-American award in ’09. Von Kamecke has played brilliantly at times in the maroon and gold, but will be counted on to play at a consistently high level this season.
SU will be forced to replace three-time National Midfielder of Year Kylor Berkman this season, but Coach Berkman feels that sophomore midfielder Sam Bradman can be the player to step in and fill that void. Bradman had some big games last season for SU but will be counted on to be a bigger factor on the offensive end on a consistent basis.
Junior Shawn Zordani looks to pair with Von Kamecke and Bradman as the third member of the first line. Zordani had some great games last season considering the fact he was battling injuries, and after offseason surgery should have a breakout season. Sophomore Tim Lum is battling for a spot on the first line after a productive fall season. Lum possesses tremendous speed and is one of the hardest shooters on the team with both hands.
The second midfield line will feature a mix of juniors Logan Keyser and Kyle Piper (Landisville, Pa.) plus freshman Alex Nieves. Keyser has recovered from an injury that cut short his first season with SU last year, but is running at full speed and has prepared for a bigger role this year. Competition for the third midfield line includes junior Perry Craz and sophomores Craig Burnett (North Penn), Sean Hickey and Jeff McGuire.
Senior Ryan Finch returns for his third season with the Sea Gulls and will handle the majority of the face-off responsibilities again this year. Finch, a preseason second-team All-American in 2010, finished with the nation’s eighth best win percentage at .661 (265-of-401).
Salisbury returns two starters from last year’s defense that finished with the 12th best scoring defense in of all Division III at 7.1 goals per game in senior Jeff Breeding and junior Collin Tokosch. Breeding was elected one of five team captains and Tokosch is a preseason honorable mention All-American.
Sophomore Andrew Sellers, a transfer from Mercyhurst College, is a favorite to start. Sellers is one of the best athletes on the team and will allow SU to do some creative things defensively because of the athleticism he brings to the table.
Junior Nick Mooney (Interboro) worked hard in the offseason and earned a spot in the starting three. His individual defensive skills have vastly improved after a big year in the weight room. Mooney had one caused turnover in last weekend’s 19-6 opening-game rout of Greensboro.
Senior Connor Burgasser is set to be the top long-stick midfielder and is a preseason second-team All-American. Senior Will Poletis, who was an All-CAC second team performer last year, is set to be the top defensive midfielder again for SU.
Junior Johnny Rodriguez returns for his second season with the Sea Gulls and looks to be the starter for the second consecutive season. Junior Tim Swinburn (Strath Haven) had a great fall season and is pushing Rodriguez for the top spot and for minutes in the cage. Swinburn played in nine games for SU in ’09. Swinburn has played in 17 games and played well (2 saves, no goals against) in 15 minutes of action during last weekend’s opener against Greensboro.
Coach Berkman is ready for the 2010 season to start and is excited about the product he has in place at this time. “We have a tough schedule that hopefully gives us the background and challenges that will help us as a team and be ready to compete in May,” said Berkman.