Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 2/6/12
From Press Release
There will be a distinctly different look to the Saint Joseph’s men’s lacrosse team when it takes the field in 2012 with an entirely new coaching staff.
Led by head coach Taylor Wray, a former Defensive Player of the Year in the National Lacrosse League, the Hawks will look to rebound after a tough first season in the Colonial Athletic Association. Joining Wray are assistants and former college teammates from Duke University, Dan and Michael Keating – who coached together at St. Joseph’s Prep and Malvern Prep.
“Our team is excited and eager to get 2012 underway,” said Wray. “They have put a ton of work in this off-season and they can’t wait for the real competition to begin.” This young and determined group is competing in a conference that saw three teams ranked in the final USILA poll in 2011.”
Wray was an assistant at Lehigh, where Dan Keating was a volunteer assistant last season. The season opens Saturday at home when the Hawks host those same Lehigh Mountain Hawks.
Leading the attack for the Hawks this season will be sophomore Ryan McGee and junior Kyle Williams. McGee has emerged as a leader and a hard worker after a strong off-season, competing everyday and trying to make this squad better. The rangy left-handed attackman Williams, returns for his junior season after leading the Hawks in scoring with 26 points on 17 goals and nine assists.
The third spot in the attacking zone is still up for grabs between senior Augustus Quinzani, junior Kyle Mahoney and freshman Matt Sarcona. Quinzani is making the move from the midfield to attack as he netted three goals and added an assist in 2011. Mahoney shined during the fall scrimmages as he came off a strong year scoring eight goals. Sarcona, a Northport, N.Y. native, has impressed the coaches with his work ethic and skill set, as he brings 105 goals and 45 assists from his high school career at Northport to Hawk Hill.
In the midfield, senior Bobby Hurley (St. Joseph’s Prep) has showcased his speed throughout his career and worked himself into a reliable midfielder. A gifted two-way middie, sophomore Johnny Simanski is ready to take on a bigger role in 2012 with his open field speed. Freshmen Robert Watts (St. Joseph’s Prep) and Josh Cavanaugh (Springfield-Delco) have stood out with their athletic play and look to earn key minutes on the field.
According to Wray, the face-off spot is still up in the air as senior Chris Jenkins returns as the top runner although he has been battling an injury this off-season. Sophomores Will Abbott and Bill Annesley (Haverford school) have been taking their share of draws with the injury to Jenkins. Ted Hospodar (St. Joseph’s Prep), the junior long pole, has been in the mix taking reps during practice as well.
LSM Justin Rogers is a competitor who is vocal and good off the ground. Hospodar and freshman Rich O’Neill (Unionville) will also compete and push for time at LSM. “The team’s leadership lies in senior SSDM’s Pat Sinnott (La Salle) and Daniel Lieb, both gritty, athletic players” said Wray. “They have spent a lot of time working to perfect their games on the field and in the gym.”
On the defensive end, senior Matt Germain and freshman Will Farrell (St. Joseph’s Prep) are tall, rangy defensemen who can handle the ball and push in transition. Senior Colin Roemer can be counted on for his fundamentally sound position play as he looks to be a key factor in the success this season. The tough, physical play of junior Bill Bonner (St. Joseph’s Prep) and stay at-home style of defense will have him earning time on the field, while freshman Kevin Barrow (Avon Grove) will earn some time valuable time as well.
In net, Griffin Ferrigan has shown a command over the defense entering his senior season. Ferrigan needs 24 saves to move into sixth place on the all-time saves list with 233. Freshman Dustin Keen (Downingtown West) was an All-American at Downingtown West high school and sophomore Pat Kurowski impressed at the HEADstrong fall ball event, showing he can be counted on between the pipes.
“The coaching staff has done a tremendous job of preparing the team and laying the foundation for future success,” says Wray. “This team has worked hard in the off-season, making sure all the little things are done right.”
The 2012 slate is a challenging one, featuring seven home games and five against USILA top 20 teams and one more receiving votes. As the Hawks gear up for their second season in the Colonial Athletic Association, they realize they will face some of the toughest competition in Division 1.
“We feel that our 2012 schedule is going to be extremely competitive; seven home games, eight on the road,” said Wray. “We start and finish the season at home, which is great. Our conference schedule is as tough as ever with five teams ranked in the top 20. We have great out-of-conference rivalries already established and we are excited to have added three more games to the schedule to play a full 15 regular season slate of games.
“We have two very difficult stretches of three weekends on the road, which will test our ability to deal with adversity and certainly help us build our identity along the way. In Division 1 lacrosse every game is going to be a battle, our team has worked very hard to prepare for the upcoming season and we look forward to the challenges ahead.”
For the second consecutive season, Saint Joseph’s will play Lehigh to kick off the season, as the Mountain Hawks visit Finnesey Field on Saturday.
The men will then hit the road for their next three contests as they visit Bryant on February 18, which is receiving votes in the USILA top 20 poll. The Bulldogs were too much too much to handle for the Hawks last season when they handed SJU its second loss of the year.
They will then visit VMI on February 25, a team that they have an all-time record of 7-4 against and won their last two meetings. Saint Joseph’s will open up the month of March against Wagner on the 3rd as they have an all-time record of 11-0 versus the Seahawks.
Drexel (20) will come to Finnesey on March 6, to open up conference play and a four game home stand for SJU. Just three days apart from each other, Brown will visit on March 10, and Quinnipiac will come to Hawk Hill for a March 13 meeting, the first since 2007. Conference and instate opponent Penn State (17), will come close out the home stand on March 24. In four all-time meetings, the Hawks have yet to beat the Nittany Lions.
The toughest part of the schedule follows when the Hawks go on the road to face three ranked opponents in Massachusetts (11), Hofstra (14) and Delaware (19). The Hawks will try to gain some redemption from last season as they dropped each game to these quality programs. They will then return home to end the stretch of ranked competition against city rival Penn (15) on April 17.
After Penn, SJU will take its longest trip of the season when it travels to Macon, Ga., to face-off against Mercer before traveling back up to Poughkeepsie, N.Y. just three days later to take on Marist.
Saint Joseph’s will play host to Towson when it closes out the regular season for Senior Day on Saturday, April 28.
Tags: St. Joseph's University