Susquehanna University men's lacrosse team is looking forward to continuing its efforts to establish itself as a national contender. The 2013 Susquehanna team enters the season with much optimism as the program welcomes a strong group of newcomers, along with an experienced group of upperclassmen.
Head coach Stewart Moan, now in his sixth season with the team, feels the program is poised and ready to propel itself forward to contend at the conference and national levels.
Many young players with college minutes under their belts are ready to become major contributors, along with some new talented faces, are eager to contribute and help the team achieve their goals.
The season opens at home for the first time since 2010 as SU hosts Lycoming on Feb. 24. Landmark Conference action gets underway on Mar. 16 at Drew and the team closes out the regular season with back-to-back home games, including a Senior Day contest against Albright on Apr. 27.
The semifinals of the Landmark Conference Tournament are scheduled for May 1 with the championship game set to be played on May 4.
The attack will be led by junior Austen Lein (45 points in 2012) (New Vernon N.J./Madison), junior J.B. Montanye (Reisterstown, Md./Loyola), sophomore Phil Lapone (Essex Fells, N.J./West Essex), and freshman Connor Moran (Delafield, Wisc./Kettle Moraine). Junior Trey Koch (Baldwin, Md./Boys' Latin) looks to contribute to the offense as well.
A midfielder to keep an eye on is, as usual, senior captain Marcus Cheatham (Reisterstown, Md./Loyola), the Landmark Conference Rookie of the Year 2010 and three-time All-Conference selection. He will be joined in the midfield by seniors John Kerrigan (Maple Glen, Pa./La Salle College HS) and Tylere Fritts (Chatham, N.J./Chatham), along with juniors Pat Brogan (Lancaster, Pa./Hempfield) and Matt Brady (Charlotte, N.C./Providence).
Sophomores Carmen Raroha (Voorhees, N.J./Bishop Eustace) and Ryan Natusch (Madison, N.J./Daniel Hand) will add great depth to the midfield along with quickly-developing freshmen Greg Rabiecki (Maplewood, N.J. / St. Peter's Prep) and Jake Calder (Lutherville, Md. / Dulaney).
Defensively the midfield will be led by Cheatham, an All-American candidate. He will be supported by Brady.
Moan is excited about his group of returning defenders. Overall, the defense has a good mixture of youth and experience, led by senior co-captain Dave Rinaldi (Hingham, Mass./Boston College HS), an All-Conference selection, and Ryan Brim (Yardley, Pa./Pennsbury) alongside freshmen Kade McGregor (Centreville, Md./Queen Anne's County) and Corrie Van Hassteren (Raymone, Maine / Hebron Academy).
At long pole midfield will be senior Brian Sowyrda (Grafton, Mass./Grafton) and juniors Jake Farrell (Downington, Pa./Bishop Shanahan) and Peter Donley (Pittsburg, Pa./Pittsburg Central Catholic). In addition, freshman Dan Conrad (Circle Pines, Minn./Centennial) is developing quickly and looking to contribute.
The goalkeeping duties will be led by returner Will Torrence (Wallingford, Pa./Strath Haven), who had strong fall practices and is looking to lead the Crusaders this spring. Torrence played in eight games and started four in 2012, with a .681 save percentage.
Susquehanna University will rely on a combination of experience and depth along with new, young talent to challenge for a top spot in the Landmark Conference Tournament; The Crusaders aim to be more consistent against the top teams in the region to make this a reality. The competitive schedule should also help to prepare the team for any postseason competition.