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2013 High School Lacrosse Preview

Published April 02. 2013 4:00AM

BOYS

ECC Large

EAST LYME

Coach: Gary Wight (11th season).

Key returnees: Sr. M Adam Opsahl, Sr. D Scott Delaura, Sr. A Mitchell Andres, Sr. A/M Nick Geary, Sr. A Evan Long, Senior M Andrew Bernard, Sr. D Brandon Page, Sr. D Alex Hanley, Sr. G James Bischoff, Jr. G Greg Swenson, Jr. A/M Nic Page.

Top newcomers: Sr. M Jorge Brackett, Sr. D Kote Wilkinson, Sr. D James Barone, Sr. M Kevin Hansen, Sr. M Alex deLaforcade, Sr. M Damien Waterman, Jr. LPM Andrew Kohl, Jr. A/M Griffin Woods, Jr. D Jacob Gordon, Jr. M Mark Chmielewski, So. LPM Brendan Sinko, So. M Zane Smallidge, So. M Chris Apicelli, So. A Mark Wojcik.

Outlook: The Vikings (16-4) graduated the core of their offense from last year's ECC Large and ECC tournament championships, returning just four starters. There is still plenty of talent in East Lyme, though, as Andres, Long and Geary are expected to lead the offense and Brandon Page, Delaura, Hanley and Gordon will shoulder the defensive burden. Opsahl and Bernard, two veterans, will lead a young group of midfielders by example. Geary and Swenson were first team All-ECC picks last year.

FITCH

Coach: Scott Hicks (3rd season).

Key returnees: Sr. A Ian Bond, Sr. D Chris Kane, Sr. G Mike Semancik, Sr. M Kevin Hakenjos, Sr. M Mason Cummings, Jr. A Andrew Singer, Jr. M Robert Watts, Sr. A Tim Drake, Jr. A Grayson Rueling, Jr. M Tory Knaff, So. LSM Cameron Wilhelm, So. M Adam Rueling.

Top newcomers: Sr. M Jack Moriarity, Sr. D Colin Purcell, Fr. M Ryan Rueling, Fr. M Luke Lettelier.

Outlook: Bond and Cummings lead a veteran Fitch team that returns all its top scorers. Defensively, Hicks would like to see the Falcons (5-11) work on their transition, but Semancik solidifies the defense in goal. "If our focus and teamwork improves, we could be in the hunt for a state and ECC tournament bid," Hicks said.

NFA

Coach: Kyle Legnos (3rd season).

Key returnees: Sr. G Evan Callahan, Sr. M Joey Mitchell, Sr. A Steven Makowicki, Sr. M Denzel Dickerson, Sr. M Ben Galligan, Sr. M Connor McMahon, So. D Jake Giannelli.

Top newcomers: Jr. M Nick Ladyga, SO. A Kyle Ton, SO. D Seth Laplace, Fr. A Login Morin.

Outlook: After graduating a strong senior class, including Nate Wilson, David Cedrone, Gavin Neuendorf and Conor O'Rourke, the Wildcats (14-5, ECC tournament runners-up) will rely on youth on both sides of the ball. It will take time for NFA to develop.

ECC Small

LEDYARD

Coach: Mark Farnsworth (1st season).

Key returnees: Sr. D Chevy Perry, Sr. A Kevin Kohlhepp, Sr. M Zach Gatewood, Sr. A Conner Wilt, Jr. Nick LoBianco.

Top newcomers: Sr. M Cal Karpi, Jr. M Jake Christenson.

Outlook: Kolhepp was an all-star last season at attack as Ledyard (10-9) reached the ECC and Class S tournaments. Farnsworth takes over for Brian Martin and believes the Colonels will continue in their "competitive tradition."

ST. BERNARD

Coach: George Hudson (5th season).

Key returnees: Sr. A Eric Brown, Sr. G Garrett Gralton, Jr. M Pete Stanners, Jr. D Kaleb Violette.

Top newcomers: Fr. D Matt Sauchuk, Fr. A Ian Duchemin.

Outlook: Defense will be a focal point for the Saints (10-5), led by Gralton in goal, while the offense needs to incorporate a learning curve. Hudson calls his lineup "a great mix of returning and new players."

STONINGTON

Coach: Paul Deon (4th season).

Key returnees: Sr. M Dan Riordan, Sr. M Nick Balestracci, Sr. M Nick Hermann, Sr. M Aaron Williams, Sr. D Teddy Peglow, Sr. D Mitchell Kezer, Sr. G Gustof Jungelius, Jr. A Zach Poirier, Jr. LSM Drew Morse, So. M Jack Riordan.

Top newcomers: Sr. D Hunter Minicucci, Jr. D Austin Rosenburg, Jr. M Jack Dipollino, Jr. M Adam Hamilton, Jr. M Dan DeDemonices, Jr. M Joey Luketich, So. A Tyler Grills, So. LSM Marc Bibeau, Fr. A Will Iorio.

Outlook: Kezer and Dan Riordan were Class S all-state picks last season and will lead Stonington (13-6, 8-0) as it tries to repeat as ECC Small Division champion. Deon, in fact, lists reaching the finals of both the ECC and state tournaments among the Bears' goals, having reached the Class S quarterfinals last year after two straight semifinal bids.

WATERFORD

Coach: Chris Landry (7th season).

Key returnees: Sr. Ryan Brouwer, Sr. Cody Susi, SR. Joe Pezzolesi, Sr. Andrew Nassetta, Sr. Mac Ryan, Sr. Zac Fardon, Sr. Spencer Sgandurra.

Top newcomers: Sr. Russell Wade, Sr. James Auclair, Sr. Jeff Gran, Jr. Grant Larson, Jr. Lucas Alloway, So. Billy Barrs, So. Michael Beltran, So. Dylan McCarthy.

Outlook: The Lancers (10-7) return a two-time All-ECC performer in Brouwer, who will be surrounded by a quality group of young players. The potential is there. If the defense comes together, Waterford will compete for the Small Division championship and attempt to qualify for its fifth straight postseason.

Others

WILLIAMS

Coach: John Becker (1st season).

Key returnees: Sr. M Chris Ivimey, Jr. A Charles Maynard, So. A Xavier Mills, So. M Jack Fader, So. D Jack Ficke, So. D Jack O'Connor.

Top newcomers: Jr. M Luke Clendenen, Fr. D Jack Hiske.

Outlook: The Blues will be a young team after losing 10 seniors, but they have speed and energy on their side. The defense has size and quickness and the offense feeds well and dodges effectively.

GIRLS

ECC Large

EAST LYME

Coach: Phil Schneider (4th season).

Key returnees: Sr. G Jane Bartlett, Sr. A Kiki Ryan, Sr. M Lindsay Schneider, Sr. M Caroline Regan, Sr. D Paige Schneider, Sr. M Jill Bartlett.

Top newcomers: Sr. A Kristen Walter, Sr. M Erin Doherty, Sr. D Zoe Smallidge, Sr. D Deanna Coleman, Jr. M Rebecca McGlone, Jr. M Caroline Gonsalves.

Outlook: The Vikings (18-3) are shooting to win their seventh straight regular season and ECC tournament championships. They'll need to replace leadership lost from last year's team which made the Class M semifinals. A strong senior class, including all-state selection Ryan (73 goals, 37 assists), anchors the team. Jane Bartlett is a four-year starter in goal and Paige Schneider an All-ECC defender.

FITCH

Coach: Patricia Semancik (8th season).

Key returnees: Sr. M Chloe Taylor, Sr. M Sarah Giblin, Sr. M Annie Edwards, Sr. M Krystal Czapek, Sr. G Caity Noel, Jr. A Susannah Lucey, Jr. A Daria McKenna, Jr. A Jackie Kokomoor, So. A Michelina Pinto, Jr. D Bailey Mahler.

Top newcomers: Sr. D Marissa McFadden, Jr. M Sarah Kate Parizo, Jr. D Avery Fiftal, Jr. D Gabby Corado, Jr. G Danielle Chirillo, So. D Christina Tompkins, So. D Selby Larubina.

Outlook: The Falcons were 9-8 last season with a Class M state tournament berth. Although they graduated eight starters from that team, including All-ECC picks Brooke Startz and Maria Tompkins, Semancik said they "have many new athletes with the same passion." Said Semancik: "We hope to be as competitive as last season."

NFA

Coach: Eric Page (12th season).

Key returnees: Sr. C Megan Gada, Sr. A Savannah Rivera, Sr. A Ellie Swanson, Sr. A Kennedy Marshall, Jr. D Julianna Rourke, Jr. D Nicole Craig, Jr. A Sam Trombley, Jr. A Hannah Long.

Top newcomers: Sr. D Maria Defosse, Jr. G Becca Arpin, Jr. D Maya Bell, Jr. D Mellisa Griffes, So. A Kamryn Grace.

Outlook: NFA looks to improve on last year's 6-10 record and Gada, a Class LL all-state pick during soccer season, is a good place to start.

ECC Small

LEDYARD

Coach: Bill Glenn (4th season).

Key returnees: Sr. M/A Michaela Holland, Sr. M/A Kerrie Gardner, Sr. D Michelle Hobert, Sr. D Jillian O'Connor, Sr. A Ericka Jenkins, Sr. D Kayla Fowler, Sr. D/M Sarah Bazinet, Jr. A Stephanie Perry, So. A/M Ellie Phetteplace.

Top newcomers: So. D/M Cassidy Jenkins, So. G Gretchen Montgomery, So. M Leslie Dunn, So. D/M Jenna Bensko, So. D Hannah Collins, So. A Liz Austin, So. D/A Tristan Gernhard, So. D Julie Ecklord, So. D/M Sarah Schilke, Fr. D/M/A Morgan Wicken.

Outlook: Holland was a Class S all-state pick at attack last season, finishing with 64 goals and seven assists. That gives the Colonels (12-7) a good foundation in their attempt at repeating as ECC Small Division champs and returning to the league championship game. Among the players Glenn must replace due to graduation is talented goalie Colleen Rusk.

ST. BERNARD

Coach: Jon Zielinski (2nd season).

Key returnees: Sr. M Maria Theiler, Sr. D Cassie Keefe, Sr. M Nicole Menner, Sr. M Anne Foley, Sr. D Shannon Griffin, Sr. A Lydia Crawford, Sr. M Liz Gaccione, Jr. D Grayce Dyer.

Top newcomers: Jr. A Danielle Guth, So. M Shannon Amarello, So. G Shannon Foley, So. A Monica Muriel, So. M Christen Teskey, So. M Grace Mayeda, Fr. M Nancy Kuhn

Outlook: After an exciting end to the regular season last year, the Saints (10-8, ECC tournament berth) are looking to advance past the first round of the state tournament. It will be tough to replace seven players, including Carley Phillips' 80 goals, but with some returning veterans and a talented, hard-working core, they should be competitive.

STONINGTON

Coach: Jeff Medeiros (13th season).

Key returnees: Sr. A Maya Depasquale, Sr. A Katherine Chambers, Jr. M Megan Roberts, Jr. D Libby Morrison, So. M Jenny Sieczkiewicz.

Top newcomers: So. D Francesca Trombino, So. D Casey Williams, Fr. M Serena Monterio, Fr. M Hannah Johnson.

Outlook: Morrison is Stonington's only returning first team All-ECC pick from last season, as the Bears (12-6) add 16 new players to their overall roster of 34. "There are a lot of holes to fill with girls new to our program," Medeiros said. "I see some growing pains this year." Morrison is Stonington's all-time leading scorer in field hockey.

WATERFORD

Coach: Audrey Montanaro (7th season).

Key returnees: Sr. Brooke Battista, Sr. Megan O'Malley, Sr. Mady LaBeau, Sr. Amanda Kumpitsch, Sr. Mary Connor, Sr. Nicole McComic, Jr. McKenzie Potter, Jr. Julia Peay, Jr. Amber Heenan, So. Riley Dimmock.

Top newcomers: Jr. Sarah Coiro, So. Lexi Lewis, So. Julie Chabot, So. Jacey Miller.

Outlook: The Lancers (9-8) have had limited scrimmage time to get a feel for their strengths and weaknesses. Montanaro is pleased with Waterford's speed, endurance and team work and plans to hone their stick skills and improve ball movement. Allie Wiggins, the program's all-time leading scorer with 146 goals, graduated.

Others

WILLIAMS

Coach: Dick Shriver (2nd season).

Key returnees: Sr. M Catie Beggins, Sr. D Sarah Pease, Sr. A Elizabeth Reiser, Sr. A Zoe Moffett, Sr. D Cassidy Taylor, Sr. M Sarah Halsey, Sr. Catherine Malcynsky, Sr. D Gia Eapen, Jr. A Lili Goldberg, Jr. Sam Benevelli, So. A Maddy Lahm, So. Britta Widham, So. D Mayana Holland, So. D Katie Lipman.

Top newcomers: Fr. G Grace Purcell, Fr. M Maggie Hillegass, Fr. M Charlotte Harvey, Fr. M Beatrice Mills, 8th-grade A Margit Burgess.

Outlook: The Blues (2-8) have a large number of returnees, including captains Beggins and Reiser, as they try to improve on last year's mark and return to the SENE tournament. Among the all-around athletes on the team is Lahm, who got experience last year as a freshman and who won the league's girls' cross country championship in the fall.

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