by Dan Dawley, UMass Dartmouth Men's Lacrosse
NORTH DARTMOUTH, MA---The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth men's lacrosse team begins their `season this Saturday afternoon at 1:00 p.mm at Cressy Field and looks forward to building upon the success of the past two seasons. In the home opener, the Corsairs are set to face off with the Cadets of Norwich University. UMass Dartmouth will begin the season with 21 returning players and 13 newcomers.
The Corsairs will be returning several veteran players on both sides of the ball, including junior captains Adam Niden (Walpole, MA/Walpole HS) and Jordan MacPherson (Westwood, MA/Westwood HS) on offense. On the defensive side of the ball, captains Nick Thayer (Chelmsford, MA/Chelmsford HS)) and Ryan Holbrook (Braintree, MA/Braintree HS) return to the team. "The leadership on the team is not just our five captains, but most of the returning players are all leading by example," said UMass Dartmouth Head Coach Kevin Mahoney. "They are setting the tone in practice and trying to improve our play on a daily basis. It is a good thing to see"
The offense will lean on 2012 Little East Conference second team attackman Niden, along with fellow point leaders from last year's squad- junior Justin Lawless (Quincy, MA/Archbishop Williams HS) and sophomores Conner Gaffney (Andover, MA/Andover HS) and Riley Baxter (Groton, MA/Groton-Dunstable HS) Other offensive returners include MacPherson, seniors Brendan Dalton (Braintree, MA/Braintree HS) and Mike Lynch (Lynn, MA/Lynn English HS), juniors Todd Davis (East Sandwich, MA/Sandwich HS) and Torrey Savoie (Wilbraham, MA/Minnechaug HS),, and sophomores Zach Medeiros (Freetown, MA/Bishop Connolly HS), and Dennis Healy (Hanover, MA/Hanover HS). Newcomers including freshmen Tyler Chasnov (Plymouth, MA/Plymouth North HS), Nicklaus Prozinski (Ashland, MA/Ashland HS), Alex Lucas (Brookfield, MA/Tantasqua HS), Andrew Johnson (Hopkinton, MA/Hopkinton HS), Tyler Prentice (Chelmsford, MA/Chelmsford HS), Spencer Andrews (Bourne, MA/Bourne HS), Steve Merrick (Methuen, MA/Central Catholic HS),and Joey Bouthilette (Northbridge, MA/Blackstone Valley HS) will also look to contribute to offensive production.
Along with Holbrook, the Corsair defense returns nearly all of its starters from last year. They include junior Steve Tarpey (Shrewsbury, MA/Shrewsbury HS), and senior Larry Gilvarg (Natick, MA/Natick HS), and 2012 second team All Conference goalie Thayer. Last year's defensive midfielders, juniors Jared Wright (Gloucester, MA/Gloucester HS) and Dan Dawley (Revere, MA/Malden Catholic HS) will be joined by freshmen Joey Christopher (Chelmsford, MA/Chelmsford HS), Dan Brown (Beverly, MA/Beverly HS), and Zach Drolette (Burlington, VT/Burlington HS).. Other returning defensive players include senior Eric Kulpa (Windsor, MA/St. Joseph Central HS), sophomores Brian Grant (North Eastham, MA/Nauset HS) and Andrew Ahearn (Medway, MA/Medway HS), and junior goalie Jesse Johnson (Pembroke, MA/Pembroke HS). New comers to the Corsair defense also include freshmen Xavier Hillman (Westfield, MA/Westfield HS), and Nico Cornelio (Woburn, MA/Woburn HS).
Mahoney is looking forward to the season, "We have a great combination of returning and new players," Mahoney said. "They are feeding off each other, putting forth some excellent effort and improving on a daily basis. Competition in practice is better and we are on track with our short term and long term goals; getting better every day and competing for the Little East championship. It is a long season and we look forward to seeing how our hard work is going to pay off."
UMASS DARTMOUTH LACROSSE