As college lacrosse season gets going, a look at the local Division I men’s lacrosse teams.
2011 record: 7-7.
Coach: Dave Urick, 23rd season.
Top players: MF Zack Angel, Sr. (15 goals); A Travis Comeau, Jr. (30 goals); D Chris Nourse, Jr. (35 caused turnovers).
Top newcomer: A Bo Stafford (184 points in final two years at Brunswick High in Connecticut).
Nourse is a top cover defender with a great combination of speed and strength. He and senior short-stick defensive midfielder Gerry Reilly are two of the best in the nation, though Nourse will miss Saturday’s final preseason scrimmage with a hand injury. On the sideline, there is a new full-time assistant for the first time in 10 years. Associate head coach Matt Kerwick spent 13 years as head coach at Hobart and Jacksonville and took Hobart to the NCAA tournament twice.
2011 record: 13-5 (lost to Virginia in national title game).
Coach: John Tillman, second season.
Top players: G Niko Amato, Soph. (6.78 goals against, 58 percent save percentage); A-MF Joe Cummings, Sr. (27 goals); MF Drew Snider, Sr. (17 goals).
Top newcomer: MF Mike Chanenchuk (junior transfer scored 28 goals at Princeton in 2010, was named Ivy League rookie of the year).
The offense is a jigsaw puzzle with a lot of pieces still in the box. Chanenchuk is an elite outside shooter, Cummings and junior MF John Haus (14 goals, 14 assists) are excellent off-ball and junior A Owen Blye (19 goals, 14 assists) can play righty or lefty. The rest is to-be-determined. Junior Jesse Bernhardt is a remarkable defender who can guard quick attackmen, powerful attackmen and any kind of midfielder equally well. He will begin the season on the defensive midfield.
2011 record: 4-9.
Coach: Rick Sowell, first year
Top players: A Tucker Hull, Soph. (23 goals, 15 assists); A Sam Jones, Soph. (23 goals, 15 assists); MF Logan West, Sr. (won 52 percent of face offs).
Top newcomer: MF Jack Hinderland (freshman is playing on second line).
Sowell has the Midshipmen playing at a quicker tempo on offense and defense. Sophomore long-stick midfielder Pat Kiernan and junior defenseman Austin Miller will lead the transition game. The offense is based on Hull and Jones — they combined for 10 goals and seven assists in the Midshipmen’s season-opening win over VMI last weekend. Whether Navy can get consistent scoring from the midfield is a question that will be posed by the sport’s heavyweights. West had exemplary showings in preseason scrimmages against Duke and Virginia.
2011 record: 13-5 (won national championship).
Coach: Dom Starsia, 20th season
Top players: MF Colin Briggs, Sr. (29 goals, five goals in NCAA title game); D Matt Lovejoy, Sr.; A Steele Stanwick, Sr. (32 goals, 38 assists).
Top newcomer: MF Ryan Tucker (freshman will play defensive midfield and on the second offensive line).
Offensive coordinator Marc Van Arsdale seems to have everything at his disposal: hard-dodging midfielders, hard-shooting midfielders, a two-man game with Stanwick and senior Chris Bocklet (44 goals), and a conventional approach with Stanwick as quarterback and off-ball movement from the midfield. All that’s missing is a dominant presence as a left-handed attackman. The zone defense that worked wonders in the NCAA tournament is an option, but Starsia said to expect the more familiar aggressive man-to-man to start the season.