Men’s lacrosse prepares for 2015 season

Men’s lacrosse is off to a promising start to their season after playing two strong scrimmages this weekend. Their first contest was against Keene State, where Williams commanded the majority of the game. Ahead 11-7 at the end of the third quarter, the Ephs took out the majority of their starting lineup, allowing their underclassmen to gain valuable field exposure against a competitive team. This lineup of non-starters kept the Keene State attackmen to just four goals, ending the game in an 11-11 tie. Two hours later, the team went back out into the snow to take on Lasell College. The Ephs secured an easy victory, winning the game 14-3 after taking out all of their starters after the first quarter. MLAX 2.25.15 BW

The team, which ended its 2014 season with a 10-7 record, only lost five players to graduation, and 13 of the Ephs returning players played in all 17 games last spring. This strong group of returners is augmented by a large, 14-person rookie class. Co-captain John Maimone-Medwick ’15 believes this will be a great combination for the team. “We return a lot of talent, but also have a strong freshman class. Everyone has been working really hard all offseason to build on our success from last year and we know we can be successful if we keep getting better every day.”

The Ephs indeed had success last year, defeating Tufts, who would eventually become the NCAA Div. III National Champions, in regular season play. The team hosted the first round of the NESCAC tournament last year in which they defeated Middlebury before falling to Tufts in the semifinals. With the opening of the newly constructed Farley-Lamb field and a No. 6 ranking in the New England Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (NEILA) preseason top 10 poll, everyone is looking for the team to continue their success this year – something they believe is well within reach. Co-captain Steven Kiesel ’15 said, “Two of our goals for the season are to win the Little Three and get a NESCAC Championship, and both of those goals are attainable for this team.”

Goalie and co-captain Dan Whittam ‘15, who was named to the All-NESCAC Second Team last year after posting a save percentage of 58.8, returns for his senior season. He will be supported by a strong team of defenders, including Ryan Hamilton ’16, who was named to the All-NESCAC First Team in 2014. Maimone-Medwick, Brendan Bossidy ’16, Anthony Evans ’16, Jonathan Greeno ’16 and first-years Henry Hobbs ’18, Nathan Anderson ’18 and Matt O’Connor ’18 will join Hamilton to round out the defensive lineup.

Kiesel and co-captains Eric Kelley ’15, who scored a combined 28 goals last season, return to the midfield along with classmate Joe Kinney ’15. The junior class has several strong midfielders including Tanner MacIvor ’16, who had 16 goals last season, and Bryson Gilbert-Bono ’16 who had 12 goals. Khary Dennis ’16, Alex Okemah ’16 and Peter Crane ’16 round out the junior midfield class. Max Friend ’17, Devlin Nelligan ’17 and Patrick Anderson ’17 are the sophomore midfielders looking to get more time on the field this season, joining long stick midfielder Riley Hoffman ’17, who appeared in all seventeen games last season. Having lost face-off man David Lee ’14, the Ephs are looking to Brian Bissell ’18 to step up and fill the position. Other freshmen midfielders are James MacFarland ’18, Jack Lee ’18, Tom Riley ’18, Chris McLaughlin ’18 and Greg Plumb ’18.

Leading goal-scorer Andy Grabowski ’15, who netted 22 goals last season, will be returning on attack alongside a strong group of underclassmen. Jack Lauroesch ’16 and Connor Roddy ’16 join Grabowski as the three upperclassmen on attack. Sophomores Thomas Fowler ’17, who scored 13 goals last season, and Michael Fahey ’17, who scored 12, are returning to attack with classmates James Temple ’17, Hans Halvorsen ’17 and Duncan Cummings ’17. Ben Fox ’18, the lone freshman attacker, will be looking to get some time this season.

In addition to this lineup, the Ephs have the advantage of playing five of their first six games at home. Their first contest is against NESCAC rival Bowdoin at home on Feb. 28 at 1 p.m.