The 2010 Men´s Lacrosse season has arrived and the Camels are ready to battle for NESCAC supremacy. In his three seasons at the helm of the Camel program, Head Coach Dave Cornell has brought the program forward to a competitive level. This year, finishing has been the focus in the pre-season.
"The guys have done a great job so far but the question is, will they do it for the whole season," Cornell said. "We need to learn how to finish. In my 27 games, our goal differential is -26 or less than a single goal per game. We´ve got to finish."
Cornell will look to tri-captains Steve Dachille, Sean Driscoll and Will Schumann to lead the team into competition.
An explosive attackman, Dachille enters the 2010 season in the best shape of his career. He has tallied 83 goals, 21 assists and 104 points in three seasons with the Camels. After missing the entire 2008 season to injury, the versatile Sean Driscoll had 11 goals, six assists and 17 points in his return to the midfield for the Camels. Will Schumann is a seasoned defender who has corralled 112 ground balls as a three-year starter.
Cornell has been cycling in four returnees on the offensive attack. Junior Ryan Hayes (29 goals, 20 assists, 49 points), Rob Walsh (8-3-11) and senior Phips Smith (9-4-13) join Dachille as a solid nucleus of returning upper-classmen.
Driscoll leads this group of returnees. Senior Kevin Nally returns to the program after spending his junior year abroad. Nally accounted for 15 goals, six assists, 21 points and 23 ground balls in his first two seasons with the program and scored one of the team´s biggest goals in recent history in a victory against Bates back in 2008.
Face-off midfielder Chuck Czerkawski corralled 67 ground balls and won 128 draws in his rookie season. Dan Gallagher has won 26 face-offs and collected eight ground balls last season.
Sophomore Nick Rodericks have been impressive as a specialist on the wing.
Junior speedster Eric Doran tallied eight goals, 12 assists and 20 points in 15 games played for the Camels. Mark Mangano notched 10 goals, five assists and 15 points for the Camels last season and has been stepping up his play as he prepares for his junior season with the program. Cornell has been pleased with the efforts of sophomore Drew Green and Greg Demetriou, who should also factor into the rotation.
Schumann is joined in the defensive backfield by Jonathan Gray (21 ground balls) and Clay Hillyer, one of the most improved defenders, who pushed his teammates as a workhorse in the weight room during the off-season.
Peter Crisafulli collected 10 ground balls last year and is making his return to the line-up after missing part of the past two seasons to injury. Mike O´Donnell looks to rebound from a shoulder surgery.
Sophomores Rob Moccia (7 games, 8.31 goals against average and .541 save percentage) and John Lenehan (5 games, 8.00 goals against average, .581 save percentage) are battling for minutes in the goal. Both players have proved that they are capable at coming up with the key stop in clutch situations.
Cornell has been pleased with the contributions of Dan Corcoran and Thomas Nahornick to his coaching this season and they will join Topher Grossman on the sidelines.
"Having a bigger coaching staff this year has been better," Cornell said. "We focus on individual teaching and have gone back to fundamentals. With our stick work, we want to be in great shape. You must show the dedication level and come to practice hard every day."
With one of the youngest squads, Cornell has been patient and has kept the focus on learning and improvement each day.
Connecticut College will play a challenging schedule that will include Plymouth State, Clarkson, Farmingdale State, Keene State and King´s Point, a team that qualified for the NCAA Championship last year.
The Camels will open the season Saturday, March 13 with a 1:00 p.m. game at Trinity College. On the next day, the team will return to New London for its home opener against Plymouth State University.
March 10, 2010