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Gwynedd Mercy University men’s program launches new era with Cesarone as head coach

Friday, 4th February 2022

Categories Boy's/Men's, College, Posted 2/4/22
From Press Release

The Gwynedd Mercy men’s lacrosse team begins a new chapter in 2022 as alumni, and former assistant coach, Blase Cesarone (Class of 2016) officially takes over the reins of the Griffins’ men’s lacrosse program.

“I am incredibly excited and honored to be the next head men’s lacrosse coach here at Gwynedd Mercy University,” said Coach Cesarone. “We have a real close-knit group of men, who work to get each other better every day.”

“We are very excited to get back to work and compete with a full schedule of games this year!”

Cesarone, a Daniel Boone graduate, was an assistant to Dana Lindstrom, the program’s only other coach, for 3 years.

“We are a younger team with strong leadership,” said Cesarone. “It is exciting to have a lot sophomores and juniors returning with valuable game experience.”

Headlining the list of returnees to the Gwynedd Mercy University roster includes senior defenseman Brendan Donovan (Fort Bragg, N.C.), junior goalkeeper Chase McFeeley (Clearview-NJ), and sophomore attack Jason Eide (Pleasant Hill, Calif.). Donovan stands as the Griffins’ top returning defender with the graduation of team-leaders Ryan Boyd ’21 and Phillip Weis ’21; the duo combined for 30 caused turnover and 34 ground balls during their senior season.

Meanwhile, Donovan established himself as their heir apparent with two points (1 goal, 1 assist), 20 ground balls, and nine caused turnovers in eight games (8 games played – 2 games started). McFreeley provides the Griffins with a veteran presence between the posts as he helped direct Gwynedd Mercy University to a 2-6 overall standing (2-3 Atlantic East Conference) with 99 saves on a 11.76 goals-against average (GAA) and a .550 save percentage.

On offense, the graduation of playmaker Kohler Setley ’21 leaves Eide as the Griffins’ top scorer. Eide totaled 21 points (15 goals, 6 assists), a team-high 57 shots, 12 ground balls, and a pair of caused turnovers while starting all eight contests (8gp-8gs) in 2021.

Eide’s offensive prowess will be complimented by seniors; Will Allen (Conrad School of Sciences-DE), John McCreary (Central Bucks West), Cameron Ostroff (Brandywine-DE), as well as a pair of freshmen in Dominic Romania (Pope John Paul II) and Lane Yergey (Boyertown). McCreary (6 goals) and Ostroff (2 goals, 1 assist) combined for nine points in 2021, while Allen’s leadership and experience will solidify the unit.

Donovan will be joined on defense by fellow senior Joe Amper (Rancocas Valley-N.J.), juniors; Sam Flamma (Washington Township-NJ) and Donny Holden (Brandywine-DE), sophomores; Jim Bickel (Conwell Egan), Pat O’Neill (Gloucester Cathoilic-NJ), and long stick Reece Salas (Archbishop Ryan), as well as freshman Joshua Kolasa (Camden Catholic). O’Neill started six of the seven games (7gp-6gs) games in which he appeared and scooped up four ground balls, while Amper (8gp-1gs) and Flamma (6gp-1gs) were valuable reserves in 2021; the former won 11-of-37 (.297) faceoff opportunities and recovered seven ground balls, while the latter helped trigger the Griffin offense with seven points (6 goals, 1 assist) and four ground balls.

Gwynedd’s transition unit will include senior Matt Fultz (Bellefonte, Pa.), junior long stick Jared Manbeck (Conrad Weiser), sophomore transfer GianLuca Lockhart (Washington Township-NJ/Cabrini University), and his new classmates; Justin Carney (Delaware Valley), Nick Flamma (Washington Township-NJ), Jack Freeland (Paul VI-NJ), Shane Langefeld (Rancocas Valley-NJ), and Tyler Long (Downingtown West), and Evan Yanuzzi (Notre Dame Green Pond). All saw significant field time in their rookie seasons, but Carney (8gp-3gs) and Long (6gp-5gs) stuck out from the group with nine (5 goals, 4 assists) and eight (5 goals, 3 assists) points, respectively.

A transfer from league rival Cabrini University, Lockhart will add another competitive attitude and competent skill set to the unit. Other new additions include freshmen; Richie Hughes (Washington Township-NJ), Ian Kish (Bethlehem Catholic), Michael Knapp (Pope John Paul II), Nathan Tindall (Douglassville, Pa.), and Ryan Wilkins (Absegami-NJ).

Senior Aubron Swartley (Mechanicsburg, Pa.) will compete with McFeeley for time in net. He started the Griffins’ 18-13 loss to Moravian University on March 15, recording three saves and two ground balls in the opening 24:47. Meanwhile faceoff duties will fall to sophomore Evan Courts (Bellefonte, Pa.), who won one of 10 freshman duels (1-of-10, .100).

“Our goal for this season is to compete for an AEC Championship,” said Cesarone. “We want to make sure we are getting better every day and we look forward to reinvigorating our disciplined, determined, and fast-paced style of play with this new generation of Griffins!”

Gwynedd Mercy opens on Wednesday, February 23, when its hosts Albright College in a 7:00 p.m. contest.



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