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Nick Colleluori Classic: Chestnut Hill College building the team concept

Sunday, 6th October 2013

Categories Boy's/Men's, College, HEADstrong  
 

By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, posted 10/6/13

Chestnut Hill College coach Brian Dougherty has played on championship teams at the college, pro, men’s club and international levels. He knows that that teams that play together win championships, not teams just with great talent.

Mark Winkelspecht

Mark Winkelspecht

Dougherty said that at times last year his Griffins did not play well enough as a team to make a run at the East Coast Conference (Division II) playoffs in a 7-6 season. But his hopes are high after today’s Fall Ball performance at the 7th Annual Nick Colleluori Classic at Ridley.

“What I have learned is that individual talent doesn’t mean a whole lot,” said Dougherty, the Episcopal Academy graduate who has won titles with Maryland (college), the Barrage (pros), GMH Philadelphia (club) and Team USA (international). “When teams play together they are much more effective than with just individual talent.

“We are coming together as a team. We have the talent. We’d like to make the conference playoffs and compete in the conference tournament.”

Dougherty has a lot of new faces to work with in 2013-14.

“We have a lot of change going on in the program,” he said. “We have 15 freshmen, two transfers, and the return of arguably one of our best players (midfielder Mark Winkelspecht) who was out two years with a knee injury.

“There is a lot of excitement and transition and a lot of great energy. We got out to play last weekend (at Haverford College). Today we just continued to look to get better. We were not worried about scores or who we are playing. We were just concentrating on being more of a team.”

(You can watch CHC’s first game, a 10-6 win over Richard Stockton, on AccaessLacrosse at www.accesslacrosse.com)

Besides the new freshmen, Chestnut Hill has picked up two big-name transfers in Joe Donnelly (goalie) and brother Zach Donnelly (midfielder), Radnor High grads who each played several seasons at Division I Rutgers.

Another key addition is senior midfielder Winkelspecht, a Parkland graduate who scored 52 goals in his first two seasons, but missed the past two years with knee injuries.

“It’s been tough but it feels great to get out there with my teammates,” Winkelspecht said, adding he is trying to regain his quickness. “My teammates have been real supportive these past two years.”

Winkelspecht said he is grateful to be able to play again. He also was thankful for the recovery of former teammate Shane Franzone, who was in critical condition for months while recovering from a rare blood disease diagnosed three years ago following the Nick Colleluori Classic. Franzone cannot play lacrosse any more, but has recovered.

“We’re all thankful to play every day,” Winkelspecht said. “We are just trying to get better and build for the season. I think we’re on the right track this year.

“We’re closer as a team this year. We don’t have any selfish players; we’re just looking to score goals, play good team D and win games.”

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