Heller, Howard Named Captains for 2009 Season

Go Leopards! Co-captain Alex Heller has started in 38 games through his first three seasons at Lafayette.
Co-captain Alex Heller has started in 38 games through his first three seasons at Lafayette.

Dec. 9, 2008

EASTON, Pa. - For the second consecutive season, seniors Alex Heller and Joe Howard have been named co-captains for the 2009 Lafayette men's lacrosse season. Heller has been a mainstay in the Leopard defense for his first three seasons on College Hill, while Howard has made 35 career appearances going into his senior season.

Both have also excelled in the classroom and academic realm. Howard took advantage of Lafayette's close proximity to New York City over the past three summers with internships at AIG and Forbes Magazine in Manhattan. He also completed an internship with Golf Digest Magazine in Dublin, Ireland while he was taking part in the College's study abroad program last fall.

Heller performed his internship at the Nassau County Clerk Office and plans on attending law school following his May graduation. He has also been instrumental in developing a growing relationship between the men's lacrosse team and the Easton Area High School Tutoring program.

"Alex and Joe have been leaders on our team since they were freshmen," seventh-year head coach Terry Mangan said. "They did a good job as captains last year and I think they will get better with age, especially with a great group of senior teammates."

The Leopards will face another challenging non-conference schedule, as well as a daunting Patriot League slate in a conference that ranks among the nation's elite in lacrosse. Six Leopard opponents in 2009 are ranked in the LaxNews preseason top-25 poll, including four Patriot League programs.

"With almost half the teams on our schedule ranked in the top 25, the best word to describe it is challenging," Mangan said. "That is what we are here for, and we have been working hard to be ready to meet these challenges head on."



Two of the first three contests will be on Rappolt Field, as the Leopards host Villanova (2/21) to open the 2009 campaign. Lafayette led Villanova 4-0 in the second quarter last year before dropping a hard-fought 9-6 decision in Philadelphia. Following a trip to Staten Island, N.Y. to take on Wagner (2/25), Lafayette returns home for a Saturday matinee against Quinnipiac on Feb. 28 at 1 p.m.

The Patriot League schedule gets underway a week later when the Leopards travel to preseason No. 9 Navy on March 7 at 12 p.m. Last season, Lafayette battled then-No. 11 Navy in a driving rain storm and pulled within one (6-5) with just over 10 minutes remaining before the Midshipmen pulled away for the 8-5 win.

The final of three straight Saturday games takes place on March 14, when the Leopards entertain No. 17 Bucknell on Rappolt Field at 1 p.m.

Four consecutive non-conference games blanket the remainder of the March calendar, with road contests against No. 14 Drexel (March 21) and Mount St. Mary's (March 28) sandwiched between home games against #25 Stony Brook (March 17) and Marist (March 31).

April will bring the remainder of the Patriot League schedule, as the final two home games come against Holy Cross (April 4) and defending Patriot League champion Colgate on April 11 at 3 p.m. Last year, Lafayette defeated Holy Cross 9-8 in Worcester, Mass. on Tom Perini's dramatic goal with 49 seconds remaining in the game.

The Leopards wrap up the 2009 regular season on the road in West Point, N.Y. on Tuesday, April 14 against No. 19 Army before making the short trek to Bethlehem, Pa. to take on archrival Lehigh on April 18 at 7 p.m.

The Patriot League tournament is set for Friday, April 24 (semifinals) and Sunday, April 26 (finals) at the site of the regular season champion.

While graduation saw the departure of three key seniors, Lafayette returns an experienced squad for the 2009 season, including 2008 Patriot League Rookie of the Year Tom Perini and All-League selections Jeff Canfield and Steve Serling.

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