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Season Preview: Men's Lacrosse Aiming Even Higher in 2019

Ben Frost
Ben Frost

Captain's Preseason Interview

HAVERFORD, Pa. – The Haverford College men's lacrosse team made its first playoff appearance since the 2011 season last year and will look to replicate those same feats this spring under first-year head coach Nick Taylor. The Fords graduated 13 players who were instrumental in guiding the Fords back up the conference standings. Nevertheless, the program has a solid foundation as 12 seniors on this year's team (the largest class on the team) step into the leadership role. Haverford will also be bolstered by 11 incoming first-years.

Attack: Seniors Stephen DeLeo and Garret Trucksess have each started games throughout their first three years with the Fords. DeLeo has found the back on the net 47 times during his career while adding 20 more assists. The Fords' captain led the team in both goals (21) and points (30) a season ago. His goals always seem to come in key moments as DeLeo ranks fifth in school history in game-winning goals.

Trucksess has scored 14 goals and assisted on 17 more, making 18 starts over his 41 career appearances. He made a career-high nine starts last year and racked up a season-best 18 points during the 2016 campaign. Junior Noah Hollander has also appeared in each of the first 30 games of his career, making five starts. He has scored six career goals and added eight more assists. Classmate Connor Braun has played in six career games and will look for an increased role in the attack as an upperclassman.

Newcomers on attack: Jordany Baltazar, Wyatt Feinberg, Sean Mowatt-Larssen

Midfield: With the most returning experience, the Haverford middies have seven different players who have started throughout their careers. This group includes half of the team's senior class with Jake Ephron, Ben Frost, and captain Rob McLallen. Each of those three players have made over 40 career appearances. Frost was a second-team All-CC attacking middie who was especially dangerous on man-up tries as he led the team with four such goals, finishing the year with 21 in total. McLallen moved into the starting lineup last spring, scoring eight goals and assisting on eight others. He has scored 24 goals and dished out 30 more assists throughout his career. Fellow senior Ryan Tetro adds another scoring dimension with eight career goals, while sophomore Brian Geffroy scored 10 goals during his rookie campaign.

Zack Cohen will be a welcomed back addition as he holds the sixth-best face-off percentage in program history. He had won 70 percent of his face offs last year before missing the vast majority of the season. Charlie Russ has also seen time at the face-off X during his career. Defensively, Ephron – a long pole – caused a career-best nine turnovers last season in his first year as a full-time starter. Fellow LSMs Anthony Vizzoni and Matt Culkin also gained key experience during their rookie seasons. Vizzoni emerged as a starter late in the year and finished the 2018 season with 14 ground balls and six caused turnovers. Ben Fujinaga is another sophomore who expects to figure prominently in the Fords' plans as he appeared in ten games last spring. Senior Han Mahle provides another upperclass member of the middies looking to make an impact during his final season.

Newcomers in midfield: Blake Brinster, Gabe Durso, Keegan Hoag, Will Juhlin, Gray Pollock, Nate Ruhl, Jacob Shiff (LSM)

Defense: In a unit made up primarily of sophomores and juniors, seniors Ben Forde (22 career appearances) and Quinn Glabicki (18 appearances) will provide the veteran leadership and look to fill some of the void left by graduation losses. Junior Griffin Brooks is the most experienced defender with 26 career appearances, joining the top line late last season on his way to collecting 14 ground balls and causing six turnovers. Sophomore Jonathan Frost also started seven games during his rookie season, while classmate Colby Ferrigno collected 10 ground balls and caused four turnovers in just seven appearances (two starts). Juniors Brendan Narko, Gabe Moon, and Jeremy Akin, along with sophomore Grayson Hamrick will also have opportunities to fill some of the void left by the Class of 2018.

Newcomers on defense: Max Elliott

Goalie: Captain Dylan Slack was a second-team All-Centennial Conference selection last season and will head into the season as a third-year starter. He set new career bests in both goals against average (8.22) and save percentage (59%) during his standout 2018 campaign. His 8.23 career GAA is the fourth best mark in school history. With Slack seeing the vast majority of the time in the goal, Ethan Donlon appeared in two games last spring and stopped over 58 percent of the shots he faced. Senior Will Fox has played in two contests during his career and has yet to surrender a goal. Junior Kyle Buseck and sophomore Joe Weisberg provide even more options for a very deep unit on the Haverford roster.

Schedule: Fans will have plenty of chances to catch the Fords at home this season as the team plays nine of its 15 games during the regular season on Swan Field. After starting the 2019 season at Cabrini, the Fords open their home slate on Wednesday, February 20 against Gwynedd Mercy.