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.@GoGriffsLax earn post-season awards; final season roundup

Wednesday, 10th June 2015

Categories Boy's/Men's, College, Posted 6/10/15
From Press Release

Once again testing itself against one of the nation’s most daunting schedules, Chestnut Hill College’s men’s lacrosse team continued the trend of strong finishes in 2015.

After starting 2-6 and facing six nationally ranked powers in their first eight games, the Griffins won four of their last five contests to finish 6-7 overall and 4-4 in East Coast Conference (ECC) play. Junior defenseman Derick Darnulc (Baldwin, N.Y.) and senior defenseman Frank Berry III (Mission Viejo, Calif.) earned All-ECC Honorable Mention laurels, with Darnulc doubling as the team’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) alongside Coach’s Award winner, senior defenseman Scott Parke (Springfield-Delco).

Derick Darnulc

Derick Darnulc

After opening the 2015 campaign with a 15-3 setback at 13th-ranked Seton Hill University, Chestnut Hill College (6-7, 4-4) rebounded with non-conference victories over Wingate University (17-9) and College of Saint Rose (10-9). The Griffins’ slate became a gauntlet after that, as the scarlet and gold locked horns with four consecutive ranked opponents during their ensuing five-game skid. They put forth valiant efforts against #12 Molloy College and #15 Wheeling Jesuit University, dropping hard-fought 13-9 and 10-7 decisions, respectively, before running into NCAA Division II powerhouses in #3 New York Institute of Technology (14-4 on March 18) and #5 Long Island University (LIU) Post (18-6 on March 21).

A 9-8 loss at the hands of Dowling College on March 28 inspired the Griffins for a stirring closing stretch, beginning with a 10-8 upset of 12th-ranked Mercy College on March 31. Junior attack Tanner Fisher (Port Coquitlam, British Columbia) scored all three of his goals in the last eight-plus minutes and senior attack Francisco Barone (Cape May Courthouse, N.J.) recorded a personal-best three points in his first career start for Chestnut Hill College, which put an emphatic halt to a five-game skid with a five-goal run of answered goals in the final frame.

That marked the fifth straight season in which the Griffins defeated a nationally ranked foe, and it spurred a four-game stretch of winning lacrosse that culminated with convincing triumphs over Dominican College (11-2 on April 7), University of the District of Columbia (15-12 on April 10), and Roberts Wesleyan College (18-6 on April 18). An 8-7 defeat at Post University in the April 25th season finale denied Chestnut Hill College a fourth consecutive winning season.

Giving the Griffins an immediate boost, freshman attack Dylan Klusaritz (Slatington, Pa.) produced a scintillating rookie campaign, leading the team in goals (20), assists (13), and points (33). A three-time ECC Rookie of the Week (3/3, 4/13, and 4/20), Klusaritz registered four hat-tricks, including monster games against UDC (3 goals, 4 assists) and Roberts Wesleyan College (4 goals, 2 assists).

Sophomore attack Alec Dambach (Howell, N.J.) continued to serve as a potent point man for the offense, tying Klusaritz for the team lead with 13 assists, including a career-high and school record-tying six in the 18-6 Senior Day rout of Roberts Wesleyan College, garnering him an ECC Honor Roll mention (4/20). Dambach added 14 goals to his output, and his 33 assists through two seasons are already fifth on the program’s all-time list.

Junior attacks George Markey (Branchburg, N.J.), 16 goals and 10 assists, and Fisher (19 goals, 6 assists) were consistent weapons for the scarlet and gold, while senior attack Michael Plaia (Hicksville, N.Y.) came on strong down the stretch, totaling 17 points (13 goals, 4 assists) in the Griffins’ late-season four-game streak to place fifth on the squad with 23 for the year (17 goals, 6 assists). Sophomore midfielder Justin Albarran (Freehold, N.J.) collected 15 goals, and senior midfielder Christopher Mertens (Freeport, N.Y.) tallied six goals, three assists, and 11 ground balls in his final season.

Darnulc maintained his foothold as one of the ECC’s top defenseman, collecting his third straight all-league honor with another standout season. He ranked second on the team in caused turnovers (10) and third in ground balls (29), even adding a pair of goals in 13 starts. Berry, meanwhile, racked up 30 ground balls and caused six turnovers in conjunction with four markers on just seven shot attempts in earning his first all-conference billing.

Sophomore defenseman Daniel DePasquale (Livingston, N.J.) proved a disruptive force, offering a team-high 16 caused turnovers and scooping up 28 ground balls. Backstopping it all was sophomore Thomas McDermott (Holmes, Pa.), who completed his first season as the starting netminder. He finished third in the ECC in save percentage (53.0) and fifth in both goals against average (10.10) and total saves (134), and was named the league’s Goalkeeper of the Week on the April 13th report.



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