February 16, 2011

Frostburg State Mens Season Preview

from press release

FROSTBURG, Md. - The 2011 Frostburg State University men's lacrosse team will begin the second chapter of the program as it begins its first season at varsity status since the late 1970s. First year head coach Tommy Pearce has built the program from scratch and has a young, but talented group of players that will compete in the tough Capital Athletic Conference this season.

"There will definitely be a learning curve because of our youth, but the team's working hard and couldn't be more excited for the challenge," Pearce said. "We'll focus on getting better every single day and take the season one game at a time. Hopefully, the byproduct of that is some wins this year, but also a foundation to build Frostburg Lacrosse into a top-tier Division III program."

This year's team is set on creating the culture of lacrosse at FSU and is focused on laying the groundwork and foundation for a successful program in the future with academic programs, off-season weight training and a maximum effort at practice and games.

The backbone for creating that culture will be four student-athletes that make up the 2011 team captains. Three of those captains have experience in collegiate lacrosse after transferring to Frostburg, but all four have demonstrated a dedication and commitment to success both on and off the field.

Juniors Dan Dowd (Friendship, Md./Southern) and Zack Hiller (Dunkirk, Md./Southern), sophomore Lucas Flaig (Pasadena, Md./Chesapeake) and freshman Joey Busch (Glen Ellyn, Ill./Glenbard West) were selected by their teammates to serve as team captains in what will be the 10th year of varsity men's lacrosse in FSU history.


Dowd and Flaig will provide some much needed veteran leadership to the 2011 attack. Dowd, an Honorable Mention All-Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) selection last spring, scored a total of 57 goals in his two previous seasons at Guilford College while Flaig found the net six times last year for New England College.

The duo have locked up two starting spots while the third will likely go to freshman Ryan Serio (Pasadena, Md./Chesapeake), a Second Team All-Anne Arundel County. Freshmen Ricky Kneebone (Catonsville, Md./Catonsville) and Nick Finagin (Callaway, Md./Leonardtown) have emerged in preseason as front runners to see additional time on the attack.


The Bobcat midfield unit will be made entirely of freshmen and will most likely have a starting three of Brandon Lutz (Leonardtown, Md./Leonardtown), Devon Stailey (Leonardtown, Md./Leonardtown) and Phil Hess (Ephrata, Pa./Ephrata). Lutz was a First Team All-St. Mary's County honoree as a senior while Hess was a First Team All-Lancaster-Lebanon League selection as both a junior and senior.

Zach Douglas (Rising Sun, Md./Rising Sun), an All-Upper Chesapeake Bay Athletic Conference Susquehanna Division selection, should push for significant time in the midfield while Steven Marciniak (Mt. Airy, Md./Linganore), Andy Luhmann (Ashburn, Va./Briar Woods) and Marcus Kyricacou (Annapolis, Md./Annapolis) will add depth to the position.

The long-stick midfield positions will be handled by committee this season as Jake McNew (Baltimore, Md./Eastern Tech), Branden Geldart (Severna Park, Md./Severna Park) and Hunter Marshall (Pocomoke, Md./Worcester Prep.) will all be in the mix for playing time.

Busch, a three-time All-West Suburban Conference player at Glenbard West, will see a majority of the playing time at short-stick defensive midfield and will likely be joined by Dan Ruland (Olney, Md./Magruder).


Freshman William Lark (Huntingtown, Md./Huntingtown) has earned the starting face-off job for Pearce and the Bobcats this spring. He has the most experience of anyone on the roster and he earned First Team All-SMAC honors after winning 61.5 percent (181-of-282) of his face-offs as a senior at Huntingtown. Also helping out with the face-off behind Lark will be McNew, Marshall and freshman Glenn Horning (Havre de Grace, Md./Havre de Grace), an All-Upper Chesapeake Bay Athletic Conference Susquehanna Division selection.


Hiller along with freshman Brad Miller (Marriotsville, Md./Liberty) and Zach Burkhardt (Baltimore, Md./Eastern Tech) will solidify the FSU defense. Hiller is one of the four team captains and appeared in 13 games last spring for Chestnut Hill while Miller is a two-time All-Anne Arundel County selection in high school. Burkhardt is a two-sport athlete at FSU and he participated in the ESPN Rise games after his senior year at Eastern Tech.


Freshman Tyler Haines (Westminster, Md./Winters Mill) has established himself as the Frostburg State starting goalkeeper through his play during the preseason. Haines was a 2009 All-Carroll County honoree during his high school playing career at Winters Mill. Freshmen Thomas Issermoyer (Eldersburg, Md./Liberty) and John Glass (Lusby, Md./Patuxent) will both be competing for backup time in net this spring.


The Bobcats won't get to ease their way back into things this spring, despite 2011 being the first year at varsity status since 1978. FSU faces a tough schedule with very good teams throughout its 17-game slate. Frostburg State is set to face four teams that made the 2010 NCAA Tournament and three teams ranked in the preseason top-20 polls, including two in the top five.

The Bobcats open their season on the road at Shenandoah on February 19, before returning to Bobcat Stadium with a contest against St. Vincent a week later on February 23. FSU closes out February when it travels to Catholic on the 26th.

Frostburg State will open its March campaign with a home game against Neumann on March 5. The Bobcats travel to back-to-back 2010 NCAA Tournament teams in Goucher (March 9) and Widener (March 12).

Following the two road games, FSU hosts two-straight games at Bobcat Stadium. Frostburg welcomes St. Joseph's (Maine) on March 14 and opens CAC action against York (Pa.) on March 19. The Bobcats have their first conference road matchup on March 23 at Wesley. Frostburg closes out the month of March with a road game at preseason No. 18 ranked St. Mary's (March 26), before hosting Susquehanna in non-conference action on March 29.

April will be the toughest test for the Bobcats as they play five-straight conference games before the CAC Tournament starts on April 17. FSU travels to Mary Washington on April 2, but then hosts preseason No. 2 Stevenson (April 6) and No. 3 Salisbury (April 9). Frostburg travels to both Hood (April 12) ad Marymount (April 15) to close out league play. FSU's final regular season games takes place on April 27 at Washington & Jefferson. The NCAA Tournament begins on May 11.

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