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High Point’s Philly connection to open 2013 men’s lacrosse season at home vs. Delaware

Friday, 1st February 2013

Categories Boy's/Men's, College  
 

Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 2/1/13
From Press Releases

Once again, Delaware will kick off the men’s lacrosse season when it travels Saturday (1 p.m.) to High Point, N.C., to take on a new Division I program that features many Philly players and a head coach that played for the Wings and Barrage.

High point head coach Jon Torpey – a member of two pro championship teams, one in Philly – has been building the program over the last two years and is ready to lead the Panthers in their inaugural season.

“It is exciting to finally be able to play this game,” Torpey said. “We have scrimmaged against some very good competition throughout the fall and the preseason but it is even more exciting to play a game that counts. The team has been challenged in practice for the last year and a half and we have done everything we can to prepare them. Now it is time for the team to go out and play as hard as they can.”

As a final tuneup for the season, HPU scrimmaged Bucknell and Navy last Saturday in a play day hosted by Duke.

The Blue Hens, led by 38th-year head coach Bob Shillinglaw, welcome back 29 letterwinners and 13 players with starting experience from a team that went 6-9 overall a year ago. Delaware lost four of those games by three goals or less. The Blue Hens will feature one of the nation’s youngest teams this spring with 33 of the 46 team members either freshmen or sophomores.

Senior Eric Smith, who returns to action after missing all of 2012 with an injury, will lead the offense on attack with support from a talented group of midfielders led by senior Nick Diachenko, junior Connor McRoy, senior Dom Sebastiani (Moorestown), and junior Garrett Johnson. Sophomore Brandon Worrall, a CAA All-Rookie pick a year ago, will lead the offense in front of returning starting goalkeeper, sophomore Chris Herbert.

Others from Philly expected to be key players for Delaware this year include junior defenseman James Connelly (Malvern Prep), sophomore face-off specialist Tyler Barbarich (Bridgewater-Raritan/Twist Lacrosse), sophomore midfielder Jeff Heath (St. Joseph’s Prep) and sophomore attackman Beau Jones (Germantown Academy).

Meanwhile, the High Point roster is 40 players deep and features 38 freshman and sophomores. Some Philly grads expected to make an impact are midfielder Brad James (St. Joseph’s Prep, red-shirt freshman) and defenseman Pat Farrell (St. Joseph’s Prep, sophomore transfer from Scranton).

“James is a good dodger and he does a great job of running the offense,” said Torpey. “Farrell is tough and physical but also a really smart player. Levine is good at creating transitions and getting up and down the field and Moses is a great athlete who can run with anyone.”

Others on the roster are freshmen Vince Garman (Haverford School, defenseman), Joe Taulane (Garnet Valley, midfielder), Ben Hughes (Great Valley, defenseman) and Benny Baiocco (Garnet Valley, defenseman).

As a professional player, Torpey was part of championship teams in both the National Lacrosse League and Major League Lacrosse. He played with the NLL’s Wings, Colorado Mammoth and Columbus Landsharks, winning a world title with the Mammoth in 2006. In the MLL, Torpey played for the Philadelphia Barrage team that won the championship in 2004 as well as the Denver Outlaws.

The Blue Hens are the first of five teams High Point will face this season that is either ranked or received votes. High Point will also face No. 4 North Carolina, and No. 6 Duke as well as Drexel and Brown who received votes.

“We put together a challenging schedule,” Torpey said. “We aren’t in a conference so we had to go find games and it worked out that the teams willing to play us were Top 25 teams. We wanted to give the team the best schedule and show them what it takes to be nationally ranked.”

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