DOVER, Del. – Wesley College's men's lacrosse team looks to start off the 2012 season with a bang when it hosts Greensboro College in its season opener on Saturday, February 18 at 1 pm. The Pride enters the game at 0-1 after falling to defending national Champion, Salisbury University, 19-6 on February 12.
Despite mostly freshman and sophomores making up the 2012 Wesley College men's lacrosse roster, the Wolverines should be vastly improved with six starters returning from last year's 5-10 squad. Leading the offense are seniors Eric Crumbock and Scott Brozey while sophomore tri-captain David Gorski and junior Ryan Morris anchor an extremely young defensive side. Michael McQuarrie and Dan Tryon also join Gorski as team captains.
Also adding to the leadership of head coach Bill Gorrow's squad is a trio of new assistant coaches in Thomas Costanza, Patrick Harner and Keith (K.R.) Schultz. All three were highly successful in their college playing days and the players really benefit from having an individual coach at every position.
As everyone knows, faceoffs starts the game and you can't score without the ball. Fortunately for Wesley, the Wolverines return their top opening draw person from last season in McQuarrie. As a sophomore in 2011, McQuarrie won over 57 percent of his draws and tallied a team-high 117 ground balls. A native of Bel Air, Md., McQuarrie is also solid on both sides of the ball as he tallied four total points and caused six turnovers.
The three-headed monster also contains senior Stephen Taylor and freshman Jack O'Neil who can give opponents a different look at the draw. Sophomore Anthony Devone also rejoined the team after missing the Fall but could contribute in this fashion after winning 44% of his faceoffs in 2011.
Starting up front for Wesley looks to be junior transfer Nathan Gorski along with sophomore Tim Dougherty and junior Joe Donato. Gorski led Delaware Tech to a Region 19 Championship last year and was named the Tournament's Most Valuable Player. Dougherty was the Wolverines' fifth leading scorer in 2011 with eight goals and four assists while Donato appeared in several games as a reserve but has taken a 'quantum step forward in preseason.'
Wesley is likely to run three lines at midfield but several players from the second and third line could see major minutes. The first line should consist of Crumbock, Brozey and sophomore Patrick Lipari. Crumbock is the team's leading returning scorer after scoring 26 goals and 32 total points en route to being named Second Team All-CAC. A pair of his goals also came on man-down opportunities. A native of Milton, Del., Brozey led the Wolverines with 14 assists while ranking third with 15 goals and 29 points, but will be asked to score even more this season. After scoring a goal and two assists in 14 games as a reserve last year, Lipari will also need to score more for the Navy & White this spring.
On the second line, head coach Gorrow is looking to sophomore Drew Hammer and freshmen James Moss and Tony South. Hammer played in every game last season off the bench and tallied four goals and an assists for five points. Also vying for minutes on the third line are sophomore Jose Flores and freshman Steve Greco.
Tryon and McQuarrie are expected to carry the short-stick defensive midfielders after highly successful years in 2011. Tryon, who is also a member of Wesley's football team, started ten games for the Wolverines last season and tallied 32 ground balls and caused eight turnovers to go with a goal and an assist. Also seeing time at the position will be freshman Dion Harris. Several players figure to be in the mix among Wesley's long-stickers, but freshman Sylvester Tatman has really impressed the coaching staff with his athleticism and could see major minutes, as will Payton Rose.
A very young defensive front will be headlined by sophomore David Gorski, junior Ryan Morris, and sophomore Kyle Funk. Gorski, who is the younger brother of teammate Nathan Gorski, started in 14 games last season while recording 24 ground balls and seven caused turnovers. Morris was a true enforcer in Wesley's backfield in 2011 causing 20 turnovers to rank second on the squad and also dished out an assists. Funk also saw valuable minutes last season appearing in ten games as a freshman. Senior Ken McDonald should be the first substitute in on the defensive side after starting ten games last season. A big body at six-foot-four and 250 pounds, McDonald will certainly give opposing offenses a different look and caused eight turnovers last year.
After serving as a backup the last two seasons, junior Matt Ryan will see the bulk of the time between the pipes for the Wolverines. A vocal leader who quarterbacks the defense, Ryan has benefitted greatly from the tutelage of new assistant coach Keith (K.R.) Schultz. Freshman Sam Kennedy should also see key minutes in net after leading Upper Arlington High School to an Ohio State Championship in 2010 and runner-up in 2009.