February 16, 2011

Limestone Opens at Lees-McRae Wednesday

from press release

GAFFNEY, S.C. – No. 5 Limestone College men's lacrosse opens its 2011 season on Wednesday, February 16 when they begin defense of their Conference Carolinas title with a league clash at Lees-McRae. Face-off is set for 4 p.m. Lawson Tate Field at the Fred I. Dickerson Athletics Complex in Banner Elk, North Carolina.

Team Capsules
Limestone College
2011 Record: 0-0, 0-0
2010 Record: 12-2, 5-0
Limestone is coming off a 12-2 overall mark last season, a mark that included a 5-0 record in league play en route to the regular season title. They have been picked to repeat this season according to the Conference Carolinas Preseason Poll.

Limestone returns five starters and 13 players that saw in action in the Saints' 2010 NCAA Division II National Semifinal game.

Among those back at attack are Riley Loewen (Burnaby, British Columbia) who led the team with tallying 39 points (30 goals, 9 assists) as a freshman posting a .700-plus shot on goal percentage and totaled 18 groundballs. Riley appeared in all 14 games staring 12. Jeff Santo, a senior (Timonium, Md.) returns as well after totaling 14 points (9g, 5a) and adding 22 ground balls while forcing five turnovers. He appeared in all 14 games.

Limestone's attack line will be bolstered by the return of pre-season senior All-American Thomas Langan (Potomac, Md.) who missed last season due to injury. As a junior in 2009, Langan was the Saints second leading scorer totaling 34 points thanks in part to 31 goals (3 assists) and led the team with a .707 SOG% in addition to tallying 20 groundballs, forcing 5 turnovers playing in all 14 games. For the strong effort, Langan earned Second-Team All-Conference Carolinas honors.

The Saints midfield is headlined by the return of senior captain Sam Buppert (Eldersburg, Md.), junior Jackson Decker (Port Moody, British Columbia) and senior Brian Patridge (Columbus, Oh). Buppert forced 17 turnovers appearing in all 14 games while ranking second with 33 ground balls. He also scored 16 points (14 goals, 2 assists). Decker is second among returning goal scorers tallying 17 last year and combined with 9 assists gave him 26 points, the third best mark of returnees playing in all 14 games with 13 starts. He also sported a shot on goal percentage in excess of .580 and recorded 17 ground balls. Patridge, who had a .676 shot on goal percentage is the second returning scorer after totaling 28 points thanks to 16 goals and 12 assists starting five of the 13 games that he played. He also grabbed 12 groundballs.

Also bolstering the midfield are sophomore Josh Williams (Davidsonville, Md.) as well as juniors Mason Mundell (Severna Park, Md.) and Randy Waugh (Severna Park, Md.). Williams totaled five points (3g, 2a) and 11 ground balls, while Mundell had 17 groundballs as did Waugh who showed scoring punch with 10 goals and 16 points (6a). All three appeared in all 14 games while Mundell had eight starts.
Junior Brian Hogan (West Islip, N.Y.) and senior captain Ken Kerr (Pasadena, Md.) return as part of defense that yielded just over six goals last season and is bolstered by the return of preseason All-American and senior co-captain Spencer Wims who redshirted last season. Wims, a three-time all-conference selection, earned 2009 First Team USILA (United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association) Division II All-America honors for his role as a "shutdown" defender, often matched against the opponent's top scorer. He appeared in all 14 games hustling to 29 groundballs and scored a pair of goals as well. Wims, in 2009 earned both Conference Carolinas All-Tournament team honors as well as First Team All-Conference accolades. Hogan appeared in every game last season, starting 13, with 15 groundballs and seven caused turnovers while Kerr had three caused turnovers, five groundballs appearing in nine games.

The Saints will be experienced between the pipes with the return of goalie Steve Gartleman (Seaford, N.Y.) who had a 5.92 goals against average and .563 save percentage over the 14 game season in 2010.

Limestone, which has won every meeting with Lees-McRae, took last season's contest 17-1 on March 16, 2010 notching the 200th win in program history.

The 2011 season will mark the 22nd season of competition for the Limestone men's lacrosse team which sports an all-time record 208 wins and 85 losses. The Saints hold an all-time scoring advantage against their foes of 4,157-to-2,514.

Lees-McRae College
2011: 0-0, 0-0
2010: 3-8, 0-5 (Conference Carolinas)

The Bobcats have been picked sixth in the preseason poll and are coming off a 3-8 campaign that included a 0-5 record within the conference.

Lees-McRae returns its second and third leading scorers from 2010, its top face-off specialists and both goalies. At attack, junior Brett Yusiewicz returns after posting a team best 13 goals and totaling 16 points along with a team best .714 shooting percentage. Senior midfielder Landon Guntman scored 12 goals, good for second on the team, and added a pair of assists for 12 points.

Faceoff specialists Derrin Valla and Ryan Sparks are back as well and combined for 78 ground balls going 92-171 on face-offs (.538%). Senior goalies Mike Fahey and Andy Desdill are also back for the Bobcats. Desdill had nine starts with a .508 save percentage and Fahey started one of the eight games that he played with a .445 save percentage.

Wednesday's game marks the coaching debuts at the helm of both programs. J.B. Clarke at Limestone and Brendan Arthur at Lees-McRae. Arthur Lees-McRae was elevated to the top post after two seasons as an assistant.

Limestone College Director of Athletics Mike Cerino named Clarke as the new head coach of the Saints men's lacrosse team on June 26, 2010. Cerino guided the Saints to unprecedented success in his 15 seasons in which he became the school's all-time wins leader for men's lacrosse with 128 victories and 66 losses.

Clarke is now the fifth coach in the 22-year history of the program replacing, Cerino who relinquished his coaching duties to focus his attention on administering an expanding athletics department.

Clarke comes to Limestone after a 12-year tenure as the head coach and assistant director of athletics at Washington College. While there he guided the Shoremen to a combined 138-63 (.687) overall record. In that time, he reached 100 wins faster than any coach in Washington College history. Under his leadership, the Shoremen appeared in the NCAA Division III Tournament seven times and reached the Centennial Conference Championship in eight consecutive seasons.

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