2002 Season Preview
The Catholic University lacrosse team enters its fifth season at the varsity level after making great strides the past four seasons. The squad, which scored more points and allowed fewer goals per game less than in each previous year, improved from one win in 1998 to 12 wins in the past two seasons.
Head Coach Brooks Singer believes the team's 22 returning players will provide the necessary foundation for success.
"I think we've improved at every position," Singer said. "We are looking forward to this season and to our future development because of all the positive moves that we've made. From recruiting to skill level to competitiveness, we've upgraded the program in its entirety."
The team had 25 players on its 2001 roster, including 11 freshmen and only two seniors. Singer's goal is to establish a lacrosse program that has a promising future in both NCAA Division III and the CAC. He looks forward to his team's continuing participation in the competitive CAC tournament at the conclusion of the regular season, winner advancing to the Division III championship tournament. Other men's lacrosse-playing members of the CAC are national power Salisbury State, St. Mary's, Mary Washington, Marymount, Goucher and York. The team looks to improve its record and establish itself in the conference this upcoming season.
ATTACK: The attack will be led be a strong sophomore class including Jamie Lynch (LaSalle HS, Pa.), Andrew Donnelly (St. John Baptist, N.Y.), and Eric Slagle (Poolesville, Md.). Lynch, who is tall, with great shooting ability posted 43 points and was selected team Rookie of the Year. Donnelly has a solid stick and can feed the ball well, while Slagle solidifies the attack with his athleticism and hard-working attitude. Junior Ryan Welsh (Salesianum, Del.), who was sidelined with an injury his freshman year, joined the attack as a sophomore. As one of CUA's starting linebackers on the football team, he uses his strength and agility to score evidenced by 43 points this past season. Mike Brant (Gonzaga, D.C.) and David Kriston (Sycamore, Ohio) will join the attack unit as a freshmen. Brant will bring experience and speed to the attack.
MIDFIELD: Upperclassman Jimmy Nalls (Gonzaga, D.C.) returned to lead the Cardinals' midfield. Nalls, a starting defensive back on the football team, tallied 37 points last season and had a .615 face-off winning percentage. Juniors John Bracken (Cardinal O'hara, Pa.) and Kevin Coyle (St. Joseph's, Pa.) will return after contributing vastly on the offensive end of the field. Bracken and Coyle each possess speed and athleticism. Junior Dan Lavoie (Hargrave, Va.) will return this season as one of the Cardinals top face-off men, after joining the Cardinals squad in his sophomore year after being sidelined by an injury his first season.
Sophomores Ryan Bradley (Xaverian, N.Y.), Mike Campbell (Broadneck, Md.), Justin Kelly (Boston College High, Mass.), and Spencer Moysey (Loyola, Ill.) were welcome additions to the midfield during their rookie year. Kelly and Moysey add depth and strength to the solid midfield core, combining for 18 points last season.
The midfield unit will be strengthened by newcomers Chris Appel (Good Counsel, Md.), Tim Checchia (Sewanaka, N.Y.), Mike Finegan (Southside, N.Y.), Mike Hodgson (Washington Crossing, Pa.), David McDonough (Westminster, Md.), James Schulenberg (Basking Ridge, N.Y.), and Greg Mann (Madison, Va.).
DEFENSE: The upperclassmen trio of Matt Comerford (Randolph, N.J.), Paul Swartz (Cumberland Valley, Pa.) and Andrew Avon (Central Catholic, Pa.) will led the defense after a strong 2001 campaign. Avon is a fast and experienced long-stick midfielder. Comerford uses aggressive checks and strength to power the defense. Swartz is fast and strong. Junior Colin Heaney (Christian Brothers, N.J.) brings size and skill to the defense. Sophomores Ted Moralle (Fairhaven, N.J.), Graham Simm (St. Mary's, Md.), and Morgan Tremper (Calvert Hall, Md.) were welcome additions to the defense last season. Simm is an asset on defense because of his stick-handling abilities and a knowledge of the game. Newcomers Chris Hartel (Sewanaka, N.Y.) and Brad Quinn (Painted Post, N.Y.) will add depth and skill to the defensive unit. Freshman Alex Peto (Sewanaka, N.Y.) will join the squad as a long-stick midfielder.
GOALTENDERS: Junior goalie Rob Jablonski (St. John Neumann, Pa.) brings knowledge, experience and an aggressive style of play to the Cardinals. He finished 2nd in the CAC and was ranked 17th in the nation in 2000 in save percentage (.635). Sophomore Matt Monfet (Seton Hall, N.J.) adds depth to the netminder position. Newcomer Andrew Couden (Oneonta, N.Y.) will join the Cardinals this season after a strong high school career.