2018 Conference Previews: Liberty Conference

Editors note: The following preseason previews were compiled from information submitted by each team captain/coach in response to an NCLL Preseason Questionnaire. Teams that did not respond with information could not be included in the previews.

 

DIVISION I

Temple University

Mascot: Owls

Team Officer: Dan McCullough

Founded: NA

2017 Records/Achievements:

Overall record of 11-6, notable wins over Towson, Kutztown, and West Chester. Also OT losses to Penn State and Navy. 2-3 in fall 2017 fall. Had wins over Penn and Westchester. Participated in Kelcey’s Klassic

Top Returning Players:

Senior Midfielder Stephen Kajmo 2018, Archbishop Wood
Junior Attackmen Bailey Haines 2019, Dallas Township Highschool
Sophomore Midfielder Luke Brennan, York Catholic High School
Senior Defensemen Kevin Hawe, Father Judge Highschool
Senior d-mid Ben Clawson, Cardinal O’Hara Highschool
Senior LSM Dan McCulloug, Cardinal O’Hara Highschool

Top Freshmen/Newcomers:

Freshmen Defensemen Chad Hirvnak 2021, Garnet Valley Highschool
Freshmen Midfielder Ryan Schmidt 2021, Central Bucks East Highschool

Losses to Graduation:

After last season we lost 10 seniors. Most notably LSM Gage Gormley, Defensemen Ryan Fitzpatrick, Attackmen Tristen Karten, SSDM Tom Shute, Goalie Griffin O’Donnell, and attack Eric Berkelbach

2018 Outlook:

Chirs Berklebach will be returning for his fourth-year coaching. Chris turned the program around in 2015 and took the owls to a national championship. Our defense will be the biggest strength of our team just has it has been for the past 4 years, it is led but seniors Dan McCullough, Kevin Hawe, Paul Romeo who are the last of the defensemen to play on that national championship team. The offense is led by senior Stephen Kajmo, junior Ryan Donofry, and sophomore Luke Brennan. Our offense is young but are looking to the upper classmen to put everything together this spring. Our big games this spring are against Townson, Virginia, and Navy. We have a rivalry going with Towson since we are 1-1 against them in the regular season over the past 2 years. Also we are excited to go down to Navy after losing to them in O.T. in the playoffs.

 

Penn Club Lacrosse

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mascot: Quakers

Founded: 2013

Team Officer: Jeff Johnson

Top Returning Players:
Jay Jadeja (Chevy Chase, MD, St. Albans, 2019)
Jeff Johnson (Morristown, NJ, Morristown HS, 2019)
Mack Shoer (Miami, FL, Ransom Everglades School, 2018)
Mark Bloom (Sharon, MA, Sharon HS)

2017 Record/Notable Wins & Achievements
7-4 in 2017 with a 6 game win streak to start the year that included victories over; Temple, Nova, and Rutgers. Won the Liberty D1 conference. 2017 Fall Ball results; undefeated fall ball season against St Joes, Temple, and Rowan.

Transfers/Top Incoming Freshmen:
Casey Shoemaker (Summit, NJ, Delbarton, Attack)
Grant Brewster (Wyckoff, NJ, Delbarton, Defense)
Timmy Nicklas (Medfield, MA, Medfield HS, Middie)
Matt Linehan (Bethesda, MD, Bullis School, Middie)

Losses to Graduation:
Lost a lot of great output from Andrew Graffy at attack and a dominant force at the X in Zach Penfil.

2018 Outlook
Coach Dom Catapano team will be led by captains; Jeff Johnson, Jay Jadeja, and Clayton Gerber. The Quakers strength will be a fluid offense, smart off ball play, and hustle.
Notable contests – Temple, Lehigh, Villanova, Princeton
Anticipated Rivals – West Chester, Temple, Rowan

DIVISION II

Cabrini College

Mascot: Cavaliers

Team Officer: Tyler Klitchko

Founded: NA

2017 Record/Achievements: 2-11

Top Freshmen/Newcomers:

New players to watch this year are MidfielderDavid Hare (Freshmen/Camden Catholic), Midfielder Luke Miller (Freshmen/Good Counsel), and Goalie John Rech (Freshmen/Immaculata).

2018 Outlook:

After a rough 2017 season in which the Cavs went 2-11, an experienced Cabrini team looks to make a run and surprise some teams this season. The offense will be headed by player coach Mike Cinicolo (Senior/Daniel Hand) and Attackmen Ryan McDevitt (Sophomore/ Monsignor Bonner).

The Defense will be lead by Senior Goalie Justin Bullivant (Senior/Owen J. Roberts), Defenseman Tyler Klitchko (Junior/Kingsway), and D-Mid Grant Murray (Sophomore/Manheim Twp). The Cavs lost three seniors who lead by example and helped grow the program, but a handful of new players look to help improve this team.

Cabrini will play close to 13 games this and looks to make its first ever postseason appearance. Roll Cavs!

 

 

Rider University

Mascot: Broncos

Team Officer:

Founded: NA

2017 Record/Achievements: 2-3, defeated Cabrini 6-4.

List Top Returning Players:

Joseph Myers – Defense – 2019
Alex Finan – Defense – Lawrenceville – 2018
Mike Katz – Attack – Morristown – 2018

2018 Outlook:

The 2018 Rider University Lacrosse team has a strong core of players from last year together with several very promising new players. If we can continue to have good practices and avoid injuries, coach Markoe hopes to field a very competitive team this Spring.

 

 

Rowan University

 

Mascot: Profs

Team Officer: TJ Mulderig (President)

Founded: 2007

2017 Wins & Achievements:

Spring record: 7-6 | Lax for Donnie 2017 Champions. 2017 Fall Ball Results, even if it’s a few practices or an alumni game. Fall record: 5-0 | NCLL Fall Brawl 2016 Champions

Top Returning Players:

Alex Chalef Midfield Washington Township NJ 2018
Billy Van Dyke Midfield Vernon NJ 2018
Mike Soravilla Attack River Vale NJ 2020
Matt Gorzynski Attack Kendall Park NJ 2018
Eric Johnson Defense Hamilton Township NJ 2018
Ian Rattigan Defense Shamong NJ 2019
Bruce Barrett Defense Mickleton NJ 2019

Top Freshmen/Transfers:

Josh Van Dexter Attack Haddonfield NJ
Josh Nastarowicz Midfield Freehold Township NJ
Christian Elimanco Midfield Freehold Township NJ
Augie Scorzo Midfield Kinnelon NJ
Nick Reina Defense Fair Lawn NJ
Ryan Mehaffey Attack West Deptford NJ

Losses to Graduation:

Brian Mahoney Goalie, 4 year starter Helped create the Lax for Donnie tournament, 2016-2017 President.
Ryan Gallagher Attack, 4 years with the team Crucial player in Fall Brawl and Lax for Donnie Championships.
Mike Conroy LSM, 4 years with the team Excellent all-around player that was always a great time to be around.
Nick Scardilli Midfield, 4 years with the team One of the hardest working midfielders to ever play for Rowan University.
Chris Deck Midfield, 4 years with the team Played an all around integral part in the overall improvement of the team.
Ryan Francisco LSM, 2 years with the team Regarded as one of the greatest, friendliest guys on the team, still heavily involved with team, comes back to practices to help guys improve

2018 Outlook:

Entering their 10th year as a club, the Rowan University Profs look to continue building upon the success earned in recent years.  After securing tournament championships and winning seasons, the Profs have their sights set on their first divisional playoff win and National Championship. The team is led by senior midfielder TJ Mulderig and senior close defense Eric Johnson. Its roster boasts a senior class with legacies steeped deep in Proflax lore. The pinnacle strength of the team is its senior class that has helped rebuild the team as a powerhouse of the DII Liberty Conference. Continuing the tradition of talent heavy freshman classes, the young Profs are nothing to ignore on this already talented roster. Many second-year returners and transfers with excellent skill help round out the rest of the team.

As always, the Rowan Men’s Club Lacrosse team is looking forward to hosting their annual Lax for Donnie Tournament in memory of their founder Donnie Farrell. Anticipated rivalries include strong DII Liberty programs such as West Chester (4/1/2018) and Saint Joe’s (4/6/2018).

 

Saint Joseph’s University

Mascot: Hawks

Team Officer: Brian Rawlins

Founded: NA

2017 Record/Accomplishments: 3-3
The Hawks had a strong year in 2017 with a disappointing overtime loss to longtime rival West Chester University in the Conference Championship game.
2017 Fall Ball Results; This fall the Hawks topped Villanova, University of Pennsylvania, and tied both University of Delaware and University of Vermont.

Top Returning Players:
Mike McGovern: Junior, Class of 2019, Middie, Acton-Boxborough Regional High School, Mass  2017 Stats: 10 G, 13 A
Brian Rawlins: Junior, Class of 2019, Middie, Malvern Preparatory School, Malvern PA  2017 Stats: 13 G, 15 A
Billy Kyle: Sophomore, Class of 2020, Goalie, West Chester East High School, West Chester PA. Billy has been a standout goaltender for the Hawks since winning the starting role as a freshman and leading the team to the conference final. His calm, collected, and confident demeanor has had a great impact on the young guys since he has joined the team.
Mike Mehlmann: Sophomore Class of 2020, Attack, LaSalle College High School  2017 Stats: 20 G, 12 A
Mike was one of our most dependable scorers last season. He was dominant from X and was always a threat on man up.

2018 Outlook:

After a strong fall, we look for him to ride that momentum deep into the post season.
“This year our team is coming into the season very hungry to get back to work. We had a great fall season and saw a lot of positive contribution from the young guys on both sides of the ball. We look forward to playing both West Chester University and Temple University this spring as the rivalries have become even more fierce in the past few years with great hard fought battles by both teams on several occasions. The goal is to win a National Championship, we’ve come so close in recent years and it’s time to finally get it done.” – Brian Rawlins Class of 2019.

 

College of New Jersey

 

Mascot: Lions

Team Officers: Dan Ziminski & Kyle Perri

Founded: 2006

Top Returning Players:
A/M. Marc Leotta, Sr, Staten Island NY/ Monsignor Farrel HS
A/M. Dan Ziminski, Jr, Hillsborough NJ/ Hillsborough HS
M. Zach McCreery, So, Mount Olive NJ/ Mount Olive HS
D/LSM. Ryan Prendergrast, Sr, Hightstown NJ/ Notre Dame HS
D. Kyle Perri, Jr, Hasbrouck Heights NJ/ St. Joseph Regional HS
G. Sean Landolfi, Sr, Chatham NJ/ Chatham HS
FO. Ronnie Rainero, So, Staten Island NY/ Monsignor Farrel HS

2017 Record/Notable Wins & Achievements: 5-5, Lax for Donnie Tournament- Runners Up 7-2 W vs. PSU Berks 9-4 W vs. Rider. Lace up With Lax Game- Collected 18 pairs of new shoes to benefit The Rescue Mission of Trenton. 2017 Fall Ball Results, 7-5 W vs Rowan, 6-4 L vs Princeton Club, 6-2 W vs Monmouth Club, 3-2 W vs PSU Berks

Top Transfers /Freshmen:
M. Ben Hoefer, Fr, Newtown PA/ Council Rock North HS
M. Rory Helstrom, So, Princeton NJ/ Princeton HS (Moravian College)
D. Frank La Torre, Fr, Jackson NJ/ Notre Dame HS

Losses to Graduation:
Phil Juckiewicz- Class of 2017; A 4 year Starter and team captain. Phil played goalie and always kept the team in the game when he was in net. He was also the Lions’ number one nominee for an All- Conference Selection.

2018 Outlook:
Marc Leotta (Monsignor Farrell) is a 3rd year Captain with experience on both the first Attack line as well as the first Midfield unit. Aside from his talent as a player, Marc plays with a ton of emotion and a high lacrosse IQ which lets him serve as the voice of the team in the huddle. Dan Ziminski (Hillsborough) and Ryan Prendergast (Notre Dame Catholic) are 2nd year Captains in their own right and serve as anchors at the Offensive and Defensive end.

 

West Chester University

Mascot: Golden Rams

Team Officer: Todd Cooper

Founded: 2003

Top Returning Players:
RJ Zoba, Attack, West Chester Rustin High School, 2019
Ty Thornton, Attack, Upper Merion High School, 2019
Matt Borchert, Midfield, Ridley High School, 2018
Jack Veasey, Midfield, Harriton High School, 2019
Stu Mason, D-Mid, Hatboro-Horsham High School, 2019
Anthony Riccardo, D-Mid, Bishop Shanahan High School, 2020
Todd Cooper, LSM, Lower Dauphin High School, 2018
Eric Dunion, Defense, West Chester Rustin High School, 2018
Mike Grello, Defense, West Chester East High School, 2019
Matt Minner, Defense, Appoquinimink High School, 2018

2017 Record/Achievements: 20-1, Liberty Conference Champions, DII National Champions, 17-game win streak, NCLL Team of the Year. Notable Wins: St. Joes, Delaware, Penn, Rutgers
2017 Fall Ball Results, Fall Brawl: Defeated Navy 6-5 and fell to JMU and Maryland

Transfers/Incoming Freshmen:
Robert Amanto, Attack, Centinnery College, Avon Grove High School, 2020
Matt Smith, Midfield, Essex Community College, Kennett High School, 2019
Austin Sensinig, Midfield/Attack, Delaware Valley College, Ephrata High School, 2019
Gerald Riccardo, Midfield, Bishop Shanahan High School, 2019
Chris Schoener, Goalie, Bishop Shanahan High School, 2021

Losses to Graduation:
Ryan Amanto- great wing on faceoffs and aggressive D-mid.
Devin Velekei- Mismatch nightmare cause of his size, clutch player
Zach Wilson- Great off the ground and on ball defender
Kevin Campfield- Great wing on faceoffs and transition player
Connor Brown- Great dodging midfielder and scoring threat
Brenton Jacono- Excellent faceoff specialist
Callen Holgrebe- Missed the season due to injury
Bobby Procopio- Very hardworking and dodging midfielder
Aaron Bryant- Mismatch as a midfielder due to his size, hard outside shot

2018 Outlook:
For the 2018 season, we hope to first host the Liberty Conference playoffs as the one seed followed by repeating as conference champions. We then hope to repeat as National Champions. We believe with our returning players as well as the new players added to the team this year we have a group of hardworking and talented guys that can help us reach our goals. Focusing on the small details and executing well together as a team will be big points of emphasis heading into preseason practices. Coming closer as a team is also something we will focus on prior to the season starting as we feel that was a big key in helping us win conference and national championships last season. Our biggest strength is the amount of depth we have at each position. Our fall practices were very competitive due to the amount of depth and talent we have at each position. We also have a very athletic group of guys that can play multiple positions on the field. One of our final strengths is our ability to push in transition. We have a lot of confidence in our defenders as well as LSMs and defensive midfielders to push the ball quickly up-field. A few games we are looking forward to this year are against our two rivals in Temple and St. Joes as well as hopefully adding more division I games onto our schedule.

 

NEXT UP: New England Conference

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