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College preview: Chestnut Hill College (@GoGriffsLax) looks to win first CACC title

Friday, 23rd February 2018

Categories Boy's/Men's, College  
 

Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 2/23/18
From Press Release

Now a member of the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) and under the direction of first-year Head Coach Mike Terranova, Chestnut Hill College begins a new chapter in 2018.

Dylan Klusaritz (left), Josh Pope

“After graduating 11 seniors (3 All-ECC First Team, 2 All-ECC Third Team), our entire roster is adjusting to new roles, responsibilities, and expectations,” said Coach Terranova. “To meet our goals, we will need to be very tough defensively and patient offensively.

“I expect us to be strong in net, on the faceoff, and in the defensive midfield. We lack in game experience, but can make up for that by staying focused and battling through the adversity.”

The Griffins open on Saturday, February 24, when they host Le Moyne College in a 12:00 p.m. contest at the Plymouth Whitemarsh Football Stadium.

On March 11, 2017, a 7-6 overtime win over East Coast Conference (ECC) rival, #16 LIU Post triggered a 7-2 run that led Chestnut Hill College to the most successful season in program history; an 8-5 overall record and a 6-2 conference standing that positioned the #3 Griffins in an ECC Semifinal at #2 Mercy College on May 3. Unfortunately, the Scarlet and Gold fell on the short side of a 15-3 final that advanced the Mavericks to the ECC Championship.

From that roster, Chestnut Hill College lost 11 seniors, including United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) Third Team All-American, All-ECC First Teamer and Goalkeeper of the Year Thomas McDermott (Ridley), as well as, All-ECC First Teamer Alec Dambach, and Jim DeCarlo (La Salle), who will help bridge the generation gap as members of Coach Terranova’s staff.

For 2018, the Scarlet and Gold’s senior list includes; captain midfielder Joshua Pope (Parkland), attack Dylan Klusaritz (Parkland), faceoff specialist Joseph Pozniak, defensemen Kyle Newman (Plainsboro, N.J.), midfielder Devan Martinez, goalkeeper Matthew Pedrick (New Milford, N.J.), midfielder Gerard Lyle, and midfielder Nicholas Webber. Klusaritz started in all but one contest last season and returns as the lineup’s most productive weapon with 39 points (24 goals and 15 assists).

The Griffins will look for him to set the tone for an offensive unit that also includes juniors, Casey Brown and Michael DelGiorno, sophomore transfer Scott Wilden, and freshman Evan Sibson. Wilden has the potential to be a factor this season as Coach Terranova has identified him as “One of our toughest guys to cover.”

Now a captain, Pope’s midfield consistency will steady the Griffins’ game plan. He recorded 15 points in 2017 with eight goals and seven assists, in excess of his 17 ground balls, and 18 caused turnovers. Additional returnees to the midfield unit include fellow seniors, Gerard Lyle, Devan Martinez, and Nicholas Webber, juniors, Troy Ellers, Tyler Howe, Daniel Vilardi, sophomore, Jake Smith (Delran-NJ), and a bounty of freshmen talent that includes Billy DiMaio, Mike Haas (Lower Moreland), Mickey Holland , J.R. Howell, and Austin Philistine. Like Pope, Holland and Howell have displayed an offense feel that will help this unit produce points for the Griffins.

The Faceoff staff includes Pozniak’s experience, sophomore Blake Turner, and freshman Stephen Lopuzzo. All will get a chance to prove themselves on the draw. Pozniak is the Scarlet and Gold’s all-time leader in the faceoff “x”, winning 241-of-515 (.468) opportunities.

Senior defenseman Kyle Newman (West Windsor-Plainsboro-NJ) headlines Chestnut Hill College’s most experienced unit, which also includes juniors, John Bennett (Boyertown), Christopher Dachowski (Pennridge), Matthew Anderson (Pennsbury), and Connor Crawford (Spring-Ford), and three freshmen in Wes Burton, Jordan Jeznach (Gov. Mifflin), and Connor O’Donnell. A converted midfielder, Bennett will join Burton on the long stick and has been described as a “forceful presence” by Coach Terranova.

Senior Matthew Pedrick and sophomore Stephen Hogan Jr. (Central Bucks West) are charged with protecting the Griffin goal. Both are quality keepers; the former was 3-0 with a 9.13 goals-against-average (GAA) and a .647 save percentage in 2016, while the latter offered a 4.43 GAA and a .556 save percentage as McDermott’s reserve in five 2017 contests.

Chestnut Hill College already garnered three first-place votes and 33 total points to rank first in the inaugural Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) Men’s Lacrosse Preseason Coaches Poll. The upcoming 2018 season will be the first in CACC history and will feature a six-team league comprised of Chestnut Hill College, fellow former ECC member Dominican College, independent programs from Georgian Court University and Post University, as well as, a pair of first-year programs in Felician University and Wilmington University.

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