Feb. 17, 2012
EASTON, Pa. -
The 2012 Lafayette men's lacrosse team returns 21 letterwinners and six starters from last year's squad. Head Coach Terry Mangan enters his 10th season on the sidelines for Lafayette, which opens its season against Providence on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. at Rappolt Field.
A relatively deep group of goaltenders will be led by sophomore Jake Hyatt, who is looking to bounce back from a knee injury he suffered as a freshman. Hyatt excels in the clearing game as well as communicating with his defense as Lafayette will lean on him for a majority of the goaltending duties. Junior Ed Stubits, who played six games in between the pipes in 2011, and sophomore Andrijko Andrusko are next in line behind Hyatt. Andrusko made 11 starts for the Maroon and White a season ago.
"The goalie position is by far the deepest on our team this year," Mangan said. "They have all competed and played well. Jake has earned the start this Saturday, but I know they will all push each other every day."
Two upperclassmen, senior Paul Hammer and junior Geoff Stearns, provide solid experience on the Leopards' back line. Hammer made nine appearances in the starting lineup last season and caused more turnovers in 2011 than any returning Lafayette player. Stearns made six starts as a sophomore and played in all 13 games, like Hammer. A pair of sophomores, Mac Ahsler and Matt Evans played sparingly a season ago, but will be called upon to step up and play significant minutes in front of the Lafayette goal. Senior Rob Glascott and freshman Charlie Kennedy will also be in the mix this spring.
"The defense has improved by leaps and bounds this year," Mangan commented. "They have worked hard, competed and developed great chemistry."
Sophomore Brendan Gover, junior John Bolton and newcomer Chris Busuttil are the long stick midfielders who will patrol the center of the field in 2012. Gover is the most experienced of the group after seeing action in 11 games last year and Bolton made the switch from using the short stick to the long stick this past fall.
Senior captain Bob FitzPatrick and classmate Alex Floeck enter their final seasons on College Hill. FitzPatrick has played in 13 games each of the last three years while Floeck saw his first significant playing time as a junior and netted five goals. Anthony Zawadzki and Jake O'Brian will handle faceoff duties while freshmen Matthew Confort and Wyatt Keith will see game action this season.
"It is a luxury to have two seniors as the top short stick," Mangan continued. "This whole group is young and will continue to grow and we need them to be their best."
A trio of seniors, Colin Serling, Greg Allis and Doug Prusoff highlight the most experienced unit on the squad. Serling has been a staple in Mangan's lineup, starting every game each of the last two seasons. Serling is the leading returning scorer after tallying 21 points (11 goals, 10 assists) as a junior. Allis found the back of the net seven times last year while Prusoff, who made the move from attack to midfield, had three scores.
Serling and Prusoff will combine with Jake Mann, while Allis will play with a combination of Greg Rau, Mike Galione and John Floyd.
Rau, a junior, and sophomores Mann, Galione and Floyd as well as freshmen Jesse Chazen and Sean O'Toole will all contribute in the midfield in 2012. Rau has a good shot and can handle faceoff duties when called upon. Mann plays the position with confidence and Galione was another player who switched from attack to midfield. Chazen also has the ability to take draws and is a solid two-way player.
"All of the middies bring something different to the table, Mangan said. "They get a little bit better every day, and I am excited to see this group continue to grow and excel."
Will Heffernan, Lafayette's lone senior attackman, scored six goals and had two assists as a junior. Heffernan heads the Leopards' young group on the front line which features a sophomore, Pierce Daly, and four first-year players. The freshmen consist of Brian Bock, Cory Scheuerle, Will Sweetland and Sonny Round. Bock possesses excellent vision, Scheuerle plays well without the ball on his stick and Round is fearless and will put pressure on opposing defenses.
"I am really proud of how the attackmen have worked and how they continue to improve," Mangan added. "What they lack in experience, they make up with energy and intelligence."