Men’s lacrosse looks to improve on shaky 2001

Head Coach Renzie Lamb is entering his 34th season at the helm of men’s lacrosse. Known by all simply as our beloved “Renzie,” Lamb has been a prominent figure in the Williamstown community for over three decades and epitomizes leadership in the athletic arenas of the College. Supporting Renzie will be assistant coaches George McCormack, who doubles as the football team’s defensive coordinator in the fall, and Graham Davidson ’01.

Since the establishment of the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) in 1973, Lamb has led the Ephmen to 23 ECAC Tournament appearances, and has won five ECAC Championship titles. Despite the efforts of last year’s team, the 2001 season was a rebuilding year, euphemistically speaking.

With only four seniors, a young 2001 squad struggled to gain experience while trying to maintain the winning tradition of Williams lacrosse. The juggling act proved too much for the team, as last year’s 3-11 mark attests. Fans have good reason to be optimistic heading into the 2002 season, as a healthy and more experienced team looks to bring the Ephs back to where they belong, in a position to compete for a postseason conference championship.

“I am very pleased with the work to date,” Lamb said of the team’s off-season efforts. “We are still a relatively young team. But I am very impressed with the first-year class and the improvements of the sophomore and junior classes. I will look for effective senior leadership and performance to really help us improve upon last year. “

The offensive attack of the Ephs will be led by co-captain Scott Goldberg ’02, who was the team’s third-leading scorer last year with 21 goals and 14 assists. Paul DeRosa ’04 is expected step up this year and fill the void left by graduates Davidson and Rob Adamo ’01. Attackers Geoff McNally ’05 and Corey Whitbeck ’05 will also be expected to contribute immediately.

The Ephs will have a lot of depth at the midfield position for the first time in several seasons. Chris Hayes ’03 and Pete Thomson ’03 gained valuable experience last season and should be capable of producing 20 goals each this year.

William Marino ’02 will provide leadership for the underclass middies while doubling as an offensive/defensive specialist.

Derek Chapman ’02 and Sam Wilson ’02 will provide even more depth and experience to the midfield position, with Wilson moving over from defense for this season. Scott Wilbur ’04, Andrew Layng ’03 and Dicken Counts ’05 will also compete for a significant amount of playing time.

Co-captain Blair Bartlett ’02, the Ephs’ main presence on the defensive end, is very optimistic about this year’s team. “This defense has the most talent and depth I have seen in four years here,” Bartlett raved.

“Last year was definitely a disappointment. With three of four returning starters at ‘long stick’ and a very solid midfield, we look forward to helping the offense put us in a position to do a lot better.”

Bartlett will be aided in the backfield by long sticks Matt Kelleher ’02, Rob Follansbee ’04, Steven Salzkowski ’04 and Macon Thompson ’04. At the goalie position, Matt Rade ’04 will return as starter after an impressive freshman campaign and will be backed up by Behman Vertovez ’04 and Mike Buscher ’03.

The team scrimmaged RPI and SUNY-Albany last weekend, and will kick off its regular season schedule on Sunday, March 10 at 2 p.m. against Hamilton at the United States Military Academy at West Point. Hopefully this weekend’s contest will be the first step for a team determined to bring Williams lacrosse back to the winning ways of yesteryear.

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