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Men’s preview: St. Joseph’s looks to continue improvement under coach Wray

Thursday, 7th February 2013

Categories Boy's/Men's, College, Posted 2/7/13
From Press Release

Coming off a season in which the Hawks posted a 6-9 overall record under first-year head coach Taylor Wray, the Saint Joseph’s men’s lacrosse team returns 25 letterwinners for the 2013 season.

Dylan O'Donnell (right), a Penncrest grad seen during action last Fall at the Nick Colleluori Classic, is expected to be a contributor at defense for St. Joseph's

Dylan O’Donnell (right), a Penncrest grad seen during action last Fall at the Nick Colleluori Classic, is expected to be a contributor at defense for St. Joseph’s

After picking up their first win against a Colonial Athletic Association opponent as a member of the conference, Wray and his squad are looking forward to the potential and opportunity that this season can bring.

“Our staff and our players couldn’t be more excited for the upcoming season,” said Wray. “The guys have worked very hard to improve themselves over the course of the off-season and I look forward to seeing that progress in action as we compete in 2013.”

Opener on Saturday at Lehigh

– Saint Joseph’s will travel to Lehigh this Saturday in a game scheduled for 1:00 p.m. at the Ulrich Sports Complex.
– For the third consecutive year, the SJU Hawks will face off against the Lehigh Mountain Hawks in their season opener.
– The Hawks stand at 2-11 all-time against Lehigh with the most recent win coming in the form of a 9-8 victory in 2009.
– Wray served as an assistant coach at Lehigh for four years (2007-11) before coming to Hawk Hill.

Outlook by Position

Led by the veteran experience of junior standout Ryan McGee and senior Kyle Williams, the team’s top two scorers from last season, the Hawks return six letterwinners to the attack in 2013. McGee controlled the offense last season and emerged as a leader as he led the team in points (52) and goals (38) and tied for the team lead in assists (14) and ground balls (35). Williams started all 15 games for SJU in 2012 en route to netting 13 goals and tying with McGee for the team lead in assists.

Sophomore Matthew Sarcona saw action in just two games last season due to injury but, if healthy, could prove to be a vital threat on the offensive end.

Junior Brian Urban (Central Bucks East), sophomores Matthew Franchak and Kyle Bruun, and freshmen Matt Blasco, Donny Finn, Alex Hardwick, and Pat Swanick (St. Joseph’s Prep) will also look to compete for minutes on the attack.

Junior Johnny Simanski will lead the charge in the midfield after coming off of an impressive sophomore campaign in which he netted seven goals and dished out seven assists in 15 starts. Sophomore Michael Dougherty (Malvern Prep) started six games in his rookie season and averaged a goal per start to go with four assists and nine ground balls. Dougherty’s energetic play will coincide with the play of senior Kyle Mahoney and freshman Richard Gabelman to complete the defensive unit.

Juniors Will Abbott and Billy Annesley (Haverford School), SJU’s two face-off men, are both coming off of successful seasons at the X as Abbott turned in a .462 face-off percentage and Annesley posted a .367.

Senior Steve Dunn (Malvern Prep), junior Jake Hall, sophomores Josh Cavanaugh (Springfield-Delco) and Rob Watts (St. Joseph’s Prep), and freshmen Blair Bonner (West Chester East), Kevin Clarke, (Downingtown East), Chase Elliott, Bryan Garrahan (Archmere Academy), and Joe McErlean (Bishop Shanahan) will round out the midfield.

Wray will depend on the leadership of seniors Ted Hospodar (St. Joseph’s Prep) and Brian Brinkmann (St. Joseph’s Prep) to anchor his defense in 2013. Hospodar picked up 21 ground balls and caused six turnovers last season while Brinkmann’s versatile play allowed for him to dish out two assists in a win over Mercer. Sophomore Will Farrell, who led the team in caused turnovers (16) and ranked third on the team in ground balls (27), classmate Kevin Barrow (15 gb), and junior Jack Moran (9 gb) will complete the defensive unit.

Sophomores Dylan O’Donnell (Penncrest) and Guy Talarico and freshmen Sam Kotler (Cherry Hill East), Kevin Miller, Dan O’Malley, Cameron Riley, and John Winchell will also be relied on to defend the Hawks.

Four players will compete for minutes between the pipes in the position opened due to the graduation of Griffin Ferrigan. Senior Chris Moffa sports a .419 career saves percentage and has played over 485 minutes as a varsity goalkeeper while classmate Pat Kurowski, sophomore Dustin Keen (Downingtown West) , and freshman Stone Wharton will all work for time in goal.


On the season as a whole, Wray believes that the 2013 Hawks can experience great success.

“We always have a very competitive schedule, both in conference and out, and it was made even tougher this year when I made the decision to go to 16 regular-season games,” said Wray. “All we ask our players to do is prepare to the best of their ability and compete in every situation. If we can do that all year, we’ll be successful.”



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