February 13, 2010

Limestone Loses Two All-Americans to Injuries

by Matt DaSilva | Lacrosse Magazine Online Staff

Limestone defenseman Spencer Wims, a first team All-American last year, has been removed from the Saints roster with what could be a season-ending injury.

© Limestone College

The No. 5-ranked Limestone men’s lacrosse team’s highly anticipated season opener against No. 3-ranked NYIT was cancelled Saturday, resulting in some restless hearts in Gaffney, S.C.

Due to a blizzard that paralyzed air and other travel, NYIT’s flight to the neutral site game in Orlando was cancelled.

“We’d love to be in Florida right now playing in the Wounded Warrior Classic,” Limestone head coach Mike Cerino said Friday. “It’s the team’s charity they picked a year ago. They already did t-shirt sales, and it just so happened we got invited this year. We were really looking forward to it.”

It could end up being a blessing in disguise for the Saints, however, as injuries to two preseason All-Americans have left them with uncertainty in the lineup. Attackman Thomas Langan and defenseman Spencer Wims have both been removed from the team’s active roster, a sign that they likely sustained season-ending injuries.

“Thomas Langan has a knee injury and Spencer Wims, we’re not sure the extent of it. Now it looks like we may lose him too,” said Cerino, who declined to say the nature of Wims’ injury. “We don’t know what’s up with it right now. I can’t go much deeper than that. He’s here in school, matriculating. Same thing with the Thomas Langan injury -- it seems season-ending at this point, but it’s the doctor’s call.”

Langan and Wims were removed from the roster, Cerino said, to help preserve their eligibility, should they choose to red-shirt the season. Both players are seniors.

Langan, a 6-foot finisher, was the Saints' lead returning scorer. He enjoyed a breakout campaign in 2009 with 31 goals.

Wims, a 6-foot-1 athletic specimen, was a first team All-American in 2009 and the only starter returning on a young defense. Limestone is also in the midst of a goalie competition, as senior Remington Steele battles freshmen Jason Yorston and Jack Ziems for the starting job.

Steele, an entertainer between the pipes for the 2008 Canadian Under-19 national team, transferred from Division I Robert Morris to Limestone and appeared in four games last year. He would appear to have the edge, based on experience, but “now it’s wide open,” Cerino said.

The Saints get another week to see how the goalie competition plays out. They host Wingate, which upset Limestone 7-6 last year, next Saturday at 1 p.m.

Cerino also expects Langan’s and Wims’ status to be clearer by then, but he said Limestone is preparing as if both have been lost for the season.

Not a black eye, but a ‘bright star’

Cerino founded the Limestone program in 1990 and won a Division II national championship in 2000, after which he left the school. Following a six-year stint at Division III Washington and Lee, he returned to Limestone to find that men’s lacrosse had become a black eye on campus.

In 2006, a player was arrested for aggravated assault, among other charges, for using a slingshot to fire a sharp, metal object into a campus security car. A week later, then-head coach Chris Hasbrouch was fired. That December, a Limestone freshman lacrosse player died of alcohol poisoning.

Since then, Cerino, who has also served as the university’s athletic director since fall 2008, has guided the Saints to three straight NCAA tournament appearances, where they’ve lost to eventual champions Le Moyne (2007), NYIT (2008) and C.W. Post (2009).

More importantly, Limestone has remained off the police blotter.

“I wanted to re-establish the credibility of the program on its own campus, in the region and nationally, in that order,” Cerino said. “I think it’s one of the bright stars on campus again.”

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