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Men’s recruits: Penn State welcomes 13 incoming freshmen

Tuesday, 30th August 2011

Categories Boy's/Men's, College, Recruiting, Posted 8/30/11
From Press Releases

The Penn State men’s lacrosse team will welcome 13 newcomers to the squad’s 2012 roster, head coach Jeff Tambroni announced today.

“Our staff is excited about the newest additions to the Penn State lacrosse family. This is an athletic group overall and one that is passionate about our building process,” said second-year head coach Tambroni. “We have plenty of work to do over the next several months to prepare for what we hope will be a successful season. The group is committed to the journey and has been working hard during the first few weeks on campus.”

The incoming class includes 11 freshmen and two transfers, including five student-athletes – Travis Crane (Parkville, Md./2008), Reed Kennedy (Marblehead, Mass./2011), Riley Lasda (Ithaca, N.Y./2011), Erik Myers (Del Mar, Calif./2010), Kyle Zittel (Eden, N.Y./2011) – who were honored as US Lacrosse High School All-Americans.

Other All-America honorees include midfielders Michael Richards (Skaneateles, N.Y.) and Taylor Stothoff (Sparks, Md.), who garnered ESPN RISE honorable mention recognition.

In addition, Crane is one of two transfers on the squad with NCAA Division I experience. The Parkville, Md., native appeared in nine games for the UMBC Retrievers in 2009, while classmate David Spadacene (Bethel Park, Pa.) played two seasons for Presbyterian College.

Attackman Pat Manley (Arnold, Md.), midfielders Kyle Baier (Auburn, N.Y.) and Bryan Gerrato (Rockville Centre, N.Y.), defender JP Burnside (Garden City, N.Y.) and defender/midfielder Jack Donnelly (Toronto, Ont.) round out the Nittany Lion newcomers.

The 13 additions will join 24 returning letter-winners from a squad that went 7-7 and qualified for the CAA tournament. The Nittany Lions will open fall practice Sept. 12 before competing in the Play for Parkinson’s Lacrosse Series Oct. 15. Benefiting the ProjectSpark Foundation, Penn State will face off against Army and Johns Hopkins. Before heading to Alexandria, Va., the team will play in a Blue/White scrimmage and alumni game Sept. 30-Oct. 1.

Kyle Baier (Fr. • M • 5’10” • Auburn, N.Y. • Hotchkiss)

Played one postgraduate year at Hotchkiss School (Conn.) … Earned first-team all-league honors … Member of the Skaneateles High School boys’ lacrosse team for four seasons (2007-10) … Named first-team all-league as a senior … Helped team earn 2007 and 2010 sectional championships.

Tambroni on Baier: “Kyle is a versatile midfielder with great speed. He comes from a wonderful high school program and has benefited greatly from his year at Hotchkiss.”

JP Burnside (Fr. • D • 5’11” • Garden City, N.Y. • Garden City)

Three-year member of the Garden City High School boys’ lacrosse team … Was a two-time state finalist (2010, 2011) and Long Island champion (2010, 2011) … Helped lead the squad to three straight Nassau County titles (2009-11) … As a senior, honored as an All-America finalist … Earned all-county and all-county academic honors as both a junior and senior.

Tambroni on Burnside: “JP is a tenacious competitor who comes to us from an extremely successful high school program. He has a wonderful sense for the game and will add a much needed toughness to our defensive end.”

Travis Crane (Jr. • M • 6’0” • Parkville, Md. • Eastern Technical/CCBC Essex/UMBC)

Played the 2011 season with The Community College of Baltimore County Essex … Collected 42 points (26g, 16a) and 52 ground balls … Named to the NJCAA All-Tournament Team and was a first-team All-American … Garnered Maryland JUCO Midfielder of the Year honors … Earned first-team all-region and first-team Maryland JUCO recognition… Was the offensive MVP of the Region XX tournament … Sat out the 2010 season due to transfer rules … Appeared in nine games with UMBC in 2009 … Gathered three ground balls … Attended Eastern Technical High School … Earned All-America honors … Named first-team All-County and All-Examiner … Helped lead the team to the 2008 Region 1A/2A North championship … Was a finalist for the C. Markland Kelly Award, presented to the top boys’ lacrosse player in Maryland.

Tambroni on Crane: “Travis is a fantastic athlete with breakaway speed. He comes to Penn State with Division I lacrosse experience that will be a welcome addition to a group of young, returning midfielders. He will also bring a level of maturity both on and off the field to help lead the way with his fellow classmates.”

Jack Donnelly (Fr. • D/M • 6’0” • Toronto, Ont. • The Hill Academy)

Member of The Hill Academy boys’ lacrosse team … Served as team captain … Played two seasons with the Toronto Beaches club team.

Tambroni on Donnelly: “Jack was coached by one of the premier defenders in the game during his high school years. He has tremendous potential and plays with a blue-collar edge. His athleticism will be a major asset in our defensive end as he has the potential to play close defense or long-stick midfield.”

Bryan Gerrato (Fr. • M • 5’9” • Rockville Centre, N.Y. • South Side)

Member of the South Side High School boys’ lacrosse team … Twice named an all-county honoree … Served as team captain as a senior … Named South Side Athlete of the Year … Earned MVP and Offensive Player of the Year as a junior and senior.

Tambroni on Gerrato: “Bryan brings a high level of speed and athleticism to our program. He has worked hard on his strength and quickness, which compliments a competitive drive.”

Reed Kennedy (Fr. • D/M • 6’0” • Marblehead, Mass. • The Governor’s Academy)

Played three years at The Governor’s Academy … Helped lead the team to the 2009 and 2011 ISL championship … As a senior, earned US Lacrosse All-America, The Boston Globe All-Scholastic and ISL MVP honors … Garnered league honorable mention recognition as a junior … Was a member of the 2009 ISL Tri-Champions.

Tambroni on Kennedy: “Reed has premier stick skills and great hands for a defender. He can play both long-stick midfield or close defense and he will bring poise and intelligence to our defensive unit.”

Riley Lasda (Fr. • M • 6’1” • Ithaca, N.Y. • Ithaca)

Four-year member of the Ithaca High School boys’ lacrosse team (2008-11) … Earned regional All-America honors and all-section recognition as a sophomore, junior and senior … Helped lead the team to three sectional championships (2009-11) and three regional titles (2009-11) … Was a state finalist as a senior.

Tambroni on Lasda: “Riley possesses great size and brings limitless potential to State College. He can face off and will provide a boost to our scoring punch this year as a dodge-and-shoot midfielder. Riley is a hard worker with a strong passion for the game.”

Pat Manley (Fr. • A • 5’10” • Arnold, Md. • St. Mary’s)

Four-year member of St. Mary’s High School boys’ lacrosse team (2008-11) … As a senior, tallied 19 goals and 12 assists … Helped lead team to an 11-6 record … Played one season with the Baltimore Crabs club team.

Tambroni on Manley: “Pat is a very skilled left-handed attackman with a knack for the goal. His greatest asset will be his ability to score goals, but he sees and reads the game well enough to be a distributor and ball carrier.”

Erik Myers (Fr. • M • 6’2” • Del Mar, Calif. • Salisbury)

Played four seasons at Torrey Pines High School … Served as team captain as a senior and was named the school’s varsity MVP … Earned US Lacrosse All-America honors … Played one season at the Salisbury School (Conn.)

Tambroni on Myers: “Erik has an enormous frame with a ton of potential. He is a hard-working young man who has a chance to improve considerably due to his work ethic. He is a two-way midfielder who is solid in transition.”

Michael Richards (Fr. • M • 6’0” • Skaneateles, N.Y. • Skaneateles)

Four-year member of the Skaneateles High School boys’ lacrosse team … As a senior, Named an ESPN RISE Honorable Mention All-American and earned first-team all-league honors … Garnered second-team all-league recognition and helped lead team to a sectional championship as a junior.

Tambroni on Richards: “Mike is a gifted athlete who can play in both ends of the field. He runs well with the ball from defense to offense, and he is great off the ground. He possesses great intangibles and competes at a very high level.”

David Spadacene (Jr. • D • 5’11” • Bethel Park, Pa. • Bethel Park/Presbyterian)

Member of Presbyterian College’s men’s lacrosse team for two seasons (2010-11) … Started all 10 games as a freshman … Collected 21 ground balls and a team-high 16 caused turnovers … Three-year letter-winner at Bethel Park High School … Earned all-county accolades as a junior.

Tambroni on Spadacene: “Dave is a big, strong athlete with great upside. He brings two years of college experience where he led the defense and was matched up against the opponent’s best attackman. His strength will be utilized as an asset at the close defense and his maturity is a welcome addition.”

Taylor Stothoff (Fr. • M • 5’10” • Sparks, Md. • Boys’ Latin)

Played five years at Boys’ Latin High School … As a senior, served as team captain and named an ESPN RISE Honorable Mention All-American.

Tambroni on Stothoff: “Taylor can do it all from the defensive end as a short-stick defensive midfielder. He has very good size and speed with wonderful knowledge of the game. He is a tremendous competitor who comes from one of the nation’s premier high school programs.”

Kyle Zittel (Fr. • M • 6’0” • Eden, N.Y. • Eden)

Four-year member of Eden High School’s boys’ lacrosse team (2008-11) … Earned US Lacrosse All-America status as a senior … Named All-ECIC and All-WNY … Served as team captain … Led team to the section finals … Helped guide team to the 2010 division championship.

Tambroni on Zittel: “Kyle is a raw talent with very good size and athleticism. A three-sport athlete in high school, he will benefit greatly now that he is concentrating on the sport of lacrosse full time. He is a blue-collar competitor with a very high athletic IQ. He can play at both ends of the field and is tenacious off the ground.”


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