In 2010, Connecticut College Head Men's Lacrosse Coach Dave Cornell led the program to its first NCAA Tournament Berth and a program record 14 wins. Cornell sees potential for his 2012 team to make another run in the NESCAC this year.
The Camels have enjoyed a successful pre-season and will certainly be a team to watch in the NESCAC this Spring. Junior John Lenehan (Jr. G, 6.92 GAA, .630 save percentage, 143 saves) and senior Rob Moccia, a 2010 All-NESCAC keeper, are both experienced in the cage. Nate Roy and Sean Mackey have been playing well and will try to compete for playing time.
Cornell, the 2010 NESCAC and NEILA Coach of the Year, believes the Camels have talent and depth at midfield, where Assistant Coach Dan Corcoran has been running eight to nine guys out in the scrimmages. Stephen Eicher (21 goals-2 assists-23 points) and Lyons (11-12-23) have big-game experience, having both played significant minutes during the team's championship run in 2010. Sophomores Thomas Woessner (2-2-4) and Danny Morici (5-1-6) are guys that should play more significant roles for the Camels in 2012.
Chuck Czerkawski, a 2011 All-NESCAC Selection, corralled a team best 77 ground balls as the starting faceoff midfielder. Czerkawski won 142-of-250 face-offs for the Camels, succeeding at a 57% clip in the trenches.
The Camels return three talented juniors that will lead the Camel attack in 2012. Andrew Friedman (7-2-9), Tyler Corcoran (6-5-11) and Andrew Berry (6-9-15) should keep opposing defenses off balance with their speed and athleticism. JR Hartgers (2-2-4) will look to build on a strong finish to the 2011 campaign.
Cornell has shifted over to the defensive side of the ball and has confidence in an experienced unit. Clay Hillyer, a 2012 Inside Lacrosse Magazine Pre-Season All-American and 2011 First Team All-NESCAC selection, corralled 31 ground balls in 2011 and is capable of handling the toughest assignments. Juniors Brogan O'Connor (20 gb) and Mike Brennan (13 gb) should see plenty of action as close defenders. Nick Rodricks (24 gb) and 2010 All-NESCAC selection Michael O'Donnell provide support in transition and are physical long stick midfielders who can wreak havoc with their physical style of play in riding and clearing situations.
Cornell has been impressed with what he's witnessed so far and is looking forward to what should be an exciting season of Camel lacrosse.
"We have a good amount of talent returning from last year and we have some new guys who are pushing the veterans in practice," Cornell said.
The Camels will open the 2012 season Saturday with a 1:00 p.m. game against Bowdoin College.
March 8, 2012