December 28, 2009

Merrimack Unveils Class of 2014

from staff reports

NORTH ANDOVER, MA - Merrimack College men's lacrosse head coach Mike Morgan is pleased to announce the signings of eight student-athletes to National Letters of Intent to enroll and participate in men's lacrosse beginning with the 2010-11 season.

"We are very excited to have such a talented group from a great selection of high school programs joining us next year," said Morgan. "This group should lead to the continued success of Merrimack Lacrosse and our pursuit of a National Championship."

Merrimack opens the 2010 season at the defending National Champion C.W. Post on February 27 at 12 p.m. with the home opener slated for March 24 at 4 p.m. against Saint Michael's. The Warriors won a school-record 14 games in 2009, while advancing to their first-ever Final Four.

Connor Whittemore, Defense (East Walpole, MA/Walpole H.S.)

4 Year varsity starter....Bay State All-Star....2 goals, 3 assists, 81 groundballs in 2009...Massachusetts State C Champion 2009.

Morgan on Whittemore: "Connor is an all-around defenseman from a great high school program. He has the ability to contribute on defense, in transition and with his leadership skills. Walpole is a state championship program, and Connor has been a very big reason for that over the past few years, guarding some of the best players in the state. His versatility will give him the ability to make an impact right away for our defense."

Brett Axelson, Attack (Cazenovia, NY/Cazanovia H.S.)

All-League 2009....40 goals, 17 assists in 2009.

Morgan on Axelson: "Brett is a very skilled attack man who can bring a great deal to our offense next year. He is an excellent dodger who has the ability to initiate the offense to feed or score. Brett had a great career at Cazenovia, and we expect him to contribute right away for us as a freshman. He has the ability to develop his game into a complete attack man right away."

Austin Waiter, Goalie (Westport, CT/ Staples H.S.)

4 Year varsity player...2010 team captain .....58% save percentage

Morgan on Waiter: "Austin is very good between the pipes and equally as good out of them in the clearing game. He has a long frame and is a good presence in net for the defense. We expect Austin to come in and compete for the starting position as a freshman and continue the tradition of very strong goaltenders at Merrimack."

Brandon Waiter, Defense/Lsm (Westport, CT/ Staples H.S.)

4 Year varsity player.....71 groundballs as a junior

Morgan on Waiter: "Brandon is a very quick and skilled defenseman with good size. He has shown an ability to play in tight around the net or out on the perimeter equally as well. He will look to compete for time as a freshman with this very talented defensive class. Brandon has the skill to make an impact very early in his college career."

Chad Hollenshade, Attack (Lutherville, MD/ Avon Old Farms)

20 goals, 19 assists and 18 groundballs in 2009

Morgan on Hollenshade: "Chad is a big, strong and quick attack man who can score and create very well on or off the ball. He will give us an added dimension to our attack unit next season, and we expect him to push to see significant time as a freshman. Chad has the ability to be a very tough cover for defenses due to his size and skill."

Matt Klepper, Attack (Manlius, NY/ Fayetteville Manlius H.S.)

12 goals, 15 assists and 21 groundballs in 2009....All-Scholastic...Fayetteville Manlius finished 16-5 in 2009

Morgan on Klepper:  "At 6'3, 175 pounds, Matt has great size with equally as great talent to find the open man. He is a great passer as well as a talented team-offensive player and finisher. We expect Matt to fight for significant time as a freshman and give us an attack man with the size we have never had at Merrimack. Coming from such a successful program like F.M. in an area known for great lacrosse, he has proven to be one of the top offensive players from that area."

Ryan Usher, LSM (Golden Valley, MN/ Robbinsdale Armstrong H.S.)

All-Conference 2009.....51 ground balls/2 assists as a junior.....70% face-off percentage

Morgan on Usher: "Ryan is a very strong and tough defensive player who is very strong on groundballs as well as in the transition game. We are looking for him to compete for significant field time as a freshman and give us the ability to be more physical on the defensive side of the ball as well as helping our transition game. He is one of the top defensive players from Minnesota, and by adding him, it shows that Merrimack Lacrosse has spread its name to the Midwest."

Mark Cyron, Defense/LSM (Lincoln University, PA/ Salesianum School)

All-American 2009...1st Team All-State 2009.....2007 & 2009 Delaware State Champions

Morgan on Cyron: "Mark is a very good cover defenseman who aggressively knows how to put the ball on the ground while guarding his opponent. He has the ability to play long stick midfield as well as down defense for us next year. Mark played against most of the top players from his area over the past few years and has been very successful."

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