The Mid-Atlantic Region preview, presented by LaxRecords.com features a four-part series. Part three looks at some teams, players and coaches around the region.
Cape Henlopen (Del.) won its first state title since 2014 after defeating Salesianum (Del.) 12-10. They snapped Salesianum’s streak of four-straight titles. The championship was head coach Mark D’Ambrogi’s first title since 2008.
Newark Charter (Del.) finished 11-4 last season and enters its fourth year as a varsity program. Twenty players return, including Second Team All-Conference selection Dillon Ziemba at attack. Head Coach Michael Dunn has led the Patriots to back-to-back winning seasons in both seasons at the helm.
Salesianum (Del.) hahas reached the last 13 championship games and won nine of those. Returning from last year’s state runner-up are attackmen Ryan Cassidy (Cabrini) and Chris Wong (Cornell) along with face-off men Matt Riley (Georgetown) and Matteo Gariffo (Ithaca). LSM Colin Kennedy (Utah) and defender Cameron Marion (Navy) also return.
Boys’ Latin (Md.) returns 30 players from a 12-7 season, but the return of Brendan Grimes from injury will make a big difference in the Lakers’ lineup, which is saying a lot considering the Lakers reached the conference semifinals last season. Grimes is on the 2020 U.S. Men's U19 Training Team and ranked by Inside Lacrosse as the No. 7 player in the nation. Ben Smith (Penn) is the leading returning scorer after leading the team in goals (38) and finishing second in points (55). Dominic Pietramala scored 43 points on 33 goals and 10 assists as a freshman last season and considered one of the top players in his class. Garrett Glatz (Navy) was fourth in scoring with 30 points and also returns.
Loyola-Blakefield (Md.) head coach Gene Ubriaco went with youth last season and with 30 players returning from a 10-7 squad, it could pay dividends in 2020. The Dons were a MIAA A Conference semifinalist and have 16 players already committed to play lacrosse in college. Henry Tolker (Navy) leads the attack unit with Jake Gigliotti. Midfielders Chase Llewellyn (Georgetown), Ryan Lancaster (Fairfield) and Alexander Burchell also return. Delaware commit Kevin Ellingtonn (Delaware) anchors the goal.
McDonogh (Md.) entered last season as the early favorite to win the conference. A four-game losing slide to start conference play hurt, but the Eagles rebounded to win six of their last seven games to reach the MIAA A Conference playoffs. Head Coach Andy Hilgartner returns 10 players committed to Division I colleges, including one of the league’s best face-off men in Gable Braun (Virginia).
St. Mary’S (Md.) reached the MIAA A Conference finals last year and returns a strong defense led by goalie Westin Schmidt (Maryland), and defenders Nick Kaufman (Johns Hopkins), Colin Burlace (Yale), Max Silva (Navy), Gavin Ridgeway (York) and Will Tominovich (Georgetown). Overall, the Saints have 11 players committed to college, which includes senior goalie Lachlan Barber (Franklin and Marshall). The St. Mary’s defense did not allow any team to score more than nine goals in any of their 13 wins last year. In the conference playoffs, they held their first two opponents to 11 goals total. It was only Calvert Hall that put up the most goals of the season against the Saints.
The IAC will be an interesting conference to watch this season. Georgetown Prep (Md.) and Bullis (Md.) each won an IAC title last season. The Hoyas won the regular season while the Bulldogs won the playoff title over St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes (Va.).
Bullis also won the GEICO Invitational and brings back 20 players from the team that went 21-3. Among the key returnees are Jack Fracyon (goalie), defensemen Ethan Till and Tyler Kuehl, midfielder Nate Gilkey, Spencer Hughes, Kieran Anzelone, Mac Reitano and attackmen Isaac Aronson (who returns from an ACL injury), Connor Davis, and Gus Weiner.
Georgetown Prep (Md.) won the regular season IAC title last year and return 11 players committed to Division I programs. Inside Lacrosse’s No. 78 player in the Class of 2021, Michael Ridgway is among the returnees. Fellow midfielders Will Angrick (Notre Dame), Quinn McBride (Air Force), Hugh Mullane (Pennsylvania), and Damon Hsu (Lehigh) also return. The Hoyas play on the road against St. Mary’s (Md.) before taking on Gonzaga on March 13. Their first three games are against teams that were all playoff teams last season. They also take on Haverford School and Malvern Prep.
Landon (Md.) had a new head coach in 2019 and Ian Healy finished 11-6. The Bears return 27 players, including three starting attackmen, including Joey Graham (Harvard), and Graham Hertzberg (Michigan). Eight Bears are already committed to play in college, but that doesn’t include Hunter Taylor (goalie) or Nick Kopp (face-off), who assistant coach JR Bordley expects to have breakout seasons. Midfield and depth at defense may be the only questions in Healy’s second year and with four teams that could win the IAC, while it may be cliché, every game will count.
Gonzaga (D.C.) won its second consecutive Washington Catholic Athletic Conference (WCAC) title in 2019. The Purple Eagles are riding a 13-game winning streak with two wins over St. John’s College (D.C.) and Paul VI (Va.). Gonzaga returns 28 players, including 11 college commits. Key returnees for Gonzaga include, Andrew O'Berry (midfield), Doane Kiechel (midfield), Clay Weiss (midfield), Brendan O'Berry (LSM), Michael Bath (defense) and Aidan Taplin-Patterson (midfield).
St. Andrew’S Episcopal (Md.) is coming off its first conference title since 2002 after they defeated Flint Hill (Md.) 16-1. Junior Liam Savage returns after scoring 77 points and 63 goals last season.
Maryland split the Class 2A/1A title game and Patterson Mill (Md.) has won back-to-back Class 1A titles. They defeated Sparrows Point (Md.) 14-3 to win it all last season.
Perry Hall (Md.) was the No. 2 seed in Maryland 4A North last season and brings back a strong senior class, highlighted by their defense. The Gators return three-time 2nd Team All-County goalie Colin Kurcoba (546 career saves) along with seniors Justin Headley, Logan Ryan, Luke Pennington and sophomore Will Kazmierski who will add depth and experience to the defense. Head Coach Phil Rossetti expects several newcomers to contribute right away. Perry Hall graduated two of three attackmen from its 2019 squad, which means there will be great opportunity for guys to earn spots and playing time. Senior John-Bryant Dolan along with juniors Noah Heitner, Matthew Upp (transfer), Dominic Manna, and Logan Connolly are a few of the players expected to contribute.
Severna Park (Md.) is going for its fifth-straight state championship after defeating Howard (Md.) 9-6 in the Class 4A title game last year. Michael Harmeyer (Virginia) returns after scoring a state-best 99 goals last season. The senior enters the year with 155 career points.
Westminster (Md.) won back-to-back Class 3A titles and boast one of the longest winning streaks in the nation. The Owls return Austin Sipes (Frostburg), Logan Covey (Marist), Conner Covey (Marist) and Evan Park (Newberry).
Brick Memorial (N.J.) returns eight-of-10 starters, including its entire offense, which should help head coach Brent Middlemiss improve upon last year’s 9-9 record. Overall, 19 players return to the lineup.
Bridgewater-Raritan (N.J.) returns 15 players overall, including five committed to college programs. Head Coach Chuck Apel is among the Garden State’s all-time win leaders with 512 career victories. Attackmen Ryan Cernuto (Gettysburg) and Ethan Fought (York) spur the offense while face-off specialist Michael Lenskold (Drexel) returns to an offense that scored 125 goals last season.
Caldwell (N.J.) reached the semifinals and returns eight players, including its starting midfield after a 12-8 season.
Delbarton (N.J.) won the NJSIAA Non-Public A championship and reached the Tournament of Champions final. The Green Wave returns 30 players, including CJ Kirst, Tommy Jepson and Carter Cecil on the attack line.
Mountain Lakes (N.J.) won the Tournament of Champions and the Group 1 title last season. Head Coach Tim Flynn is No. 4 all-time with 675 career wins and 14 state titles, so the Lakers are always a threat to challenge for a title. Four players return, including John DeFazio, Tristan Plotts, John Holda and Alex Kuehm.
Summit (N.J.) is the defending Group 2 state champion and returns seven players, including Luke Dinola (Penn), Mike Bonomo (Holy Cross), John Fischetti (Holy Cross), Kevin Beatty (Providence) and Austin Groce (Army). Head Coach Jim Davidson has compiled a record of 385-70 in his career and is coming off a 17-3 season.
Wayne Hills (N.J.) went 16-2 and won the Passaic County title and reached the Group 3 quarterfinal. Six players, includingPatrick Orapello, Michael Rasa, Dan Daly and Ethan Hirsh return to the lineup this season.
Bishop Shanahan (Pa.) has one of the state’s all-time win leaders in Jon Heisman and is riding a 20-game winning streak. Gabe Goforth (Maryland) returns at midfield along with attackmen Owen Mehok (St. Joseph’s) and Owen Murray (Quinnipiac). They also return goalie Keegan Billie (Widener) and defensemen Sam Kirk (Cabrini) and Collin Gucwa (Drexel).
Conestoga (Pa.) is senior laden after a 21-4 season in which the Pioneers were PIAA AAA runner-up. Head Coach Brody Bush has a defense that boasts Michael Prestipino (Virginia), Scott Smith (Johns Hopkins), Robbie Wilson (Babson) and goalie Mick Lee (Notre Dame). That defense did not allow more than nine goals in a game during its final 11 games last year.
Crestwood (Pa.) only loses three starters from the team that reached the Final Four and won District 2 and the Wyoming Valley Conference. They return possibly one of the best duos in the state in Anthony Caporuscio and Wyatt Malia and have TJ Kulak at attack. Head Coach Brian Zabroski has compiled an 82-31 record since taking over the program and brings 28 total players back from last year’s 18-6 team.
Garnet Valley (Pa.) is traditionally strong and led by the legendary Frank Urso the Jaguars should be once again. Their 2019 season ended in double overtime in the state semifinal to eventual champion La Salle College. Attackman Mitch Lachman (Bryant) returns along with midfielder Jake Morin (Penn State).
La Salle College (Pa.) is the defending Class 3A champion and returns strong senior leadership for Head Coach Rob Forster. Overall, 20 players come back, including seniors Will Vandegrift (attack/midfield), Danny Mallee (attack), Kyle Cullen (midfield), Griffin Zoebel (defense) and Ryan Meagher (defense).
Malvern Prep (Pa.) boasts 11 players already committed to play in college, including returning attackmen Eric Spanos (Maryland), Nick Potemski (Duke) and Will Peden (Johns Hopkins). The defending Inter-Ac champions went 16-5 last season and Head Coach John McEvoy should also have a strong midfield with Cooper Frankenheimer (North Carolina), Matt Traynor (Penn State), Cade Szostek (Penn State), and Drew Pettinelli (Gettysburg) providing experience and depth. The March 24 meeting of Malvern Prep and Gilman should be fun to watch with former conference rival Nostrant leading the Greyhounds in his first season.
Palmyra (Pa.) won its league, division and district titles, but the season came to a premature end. The Cougars lost eight starters to graduation, but return 15 from the 20-3 team. Andrew Ward, Seth Robertson Andrew Cleck, Brandon Luft, Manny Rose, Richie Kowalski, James Rudegair, and Jake Miller highlight the returning players.
Radnor (Pa.) boasts a Syracuse commit at attack in Jackson Birtwistle who Inside Lacrosse considers one of the Top 100 players in the Class of 2020. Complimenting him on the attack line is High Point commit Damien Ramondo. Cole Schwartz (Dickinson) returns at LSM. The Red Raiders start their season against defending champion La Salle College and go on the road at Conestoga on March 26.
Springfield-Delco (Pa.) lost a big senior group last season from a team that went 19-4. Head Coach Tom Lemieux has a pair of senior defensemen returning in Danny Albany and Connor Smith (Williamson) along with midfielder Aidan Shandley (Stockton) and attackman Colin Hopkins (Stockton).
Strath Haven (Pa.) will be young this season, but head coach Jef Hewlings believes the team will steadily improve as the season progresses. Three players return from the team that went 15-9 and reached the Class 2A semifinal, including Christian Mazur, Ibo Pio (Jacksonville) and Matt Faggioli.
York Suburban (Pa.) returns 17 seniors and 27 players overall from last year’s squad. Dominic Corto (Tampa) surpassed 300 career points during his junior season after scoring 132 points. He earned First Team All-YAIAA honors and earned 2019 NLC All-Star honors after the season. Austin Sipes returns with Corto at attack andEvan LeCates returns at midfield after scoring 85 points last season. Head Coach Frank Corto has high expectations for this year’s squad.
“We have one of the best offensive players in Central Pennsylvania in Dom Corto. He should shatter the YAIAA scoring record and if he just does what he has for the last three years he could end up in the Top 5-10 in Pennsylvania history,” Corto said. “We think we could be a seriou factor in the YAIAA, District 3 and also Class 2A.”
Collegiate (Va.) went 10-10 last year, but returns a solid nucleus of players. All tolled 24 players return, including seniors Quin Timmerman (Furman), Edward Sinnott (Dickinson) and Charles Geho (defense).
Hanover (Va.) should be strong in goal with the return of Connor Bond (2021). The defense held eight of its opponents to single-digits in goals. Midfielders Grant Sobel (2023), Ben Chadwick (2022) and Anthony Luck (2020) highlight the returnees.
Paul VI (Va.) graduated its all-time leading scorer in Jacob Angelus, but Head Coach Bob Waters has built a program that seems to reload every season. Charlie O’Connor (Duke), Brian Howdershell (VMI) and Billy Saffin (Loyola) anchors the midfield unit. Face-off specialist John Kelly (Marist) will get the offense started and look to Max Redmond (VMI) to help replace Angelus’ scoring threat. Goalie Will Barnes (Boston) also returns. The Panthers reached the VISAA Division I title game last season.
St. Christopher’s (Va.) reached the Final Four and went 19-1. They return All-American goalie Walker Wallace (Cornell) and defenseman Cole McCoy (Denison) along with eight more players committed to college programs. Chase Mullins (Maryland) transferred from Patrick Henry (Va.) and will strengthen the face-off and spur an offense that boasts Porter Lewis (Army) and Will Tazewell (Richmond).
St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes won the VISAA Division I championship over Paul VI (Va.) last season to earn head coach Tim Dodds his first title and the Saints’ first title since 2017. The defense should be SSSA’s strength, anchored by Virginia commit Ben Wayer. Kris Huber (midfield, 2021) is a new transfer from Colgan (Va.) who Dodds expects to see much in terms of time this year, and will likely play both middie and attack to maximize his time on the field. Dodds is 49-21 since taking over the Saints program three years ago.