February 25, 2011

Lebanon Valley Read for Second Campaign

from press release

ANNVILLE, Pa. - A year after bringing men's lacrosse back to Lebanon Valley College for the first time since 1985, Head Coach John Haus has plenty to look forward to as he transitions from merely getting the program off the ground to building it into a winner.

Lebanon Valley, which was picked 10th in the preseason Middle Atlantic Conference coaches' poll, will start its season March 5 at home against Mount Saint Mary's.

With the addition of 20 freshmen to the roster, Haus will have significantly more depth to work with in 2011. He expects that to result in a quicker and elaborate offensive game, along with more aggressive match-up defense.

"We've got the personnel, depth, lacrosse IQ, and the thing to really put us over is the competition in practice," Haus explained. "That all puts us in a position to win games."

For 2011, Haus adds former all-American goalkeeper Joe LaBella to his staff, a move he has seen pay immediate dividends with his goalkeepers.

"At this level, we're really luck to have a goalkeeper coach," Haus said. "They come away every day learning things from Joe, and they're only going to get better."

MAC Preseason Coaches' Poll
1. Widener - 116 pts. (9)
2. FDU-Florham - 102 pts. (1)
3. Elizabethtown - 98 pts.
4. Eastern - 95 pts. (2)
5. Messiah - 81 pts.
6. Lycoming - 75 pts.
7t. King's - 51 pts.
7t. DeSales - 51 pts.
9. Manhattanville - 49 pts.
10. Lebanon Valley - 31 pts.
11. Misericordia - 24pts.
12. Alvernia - 14 pts.

Preview - Attack
With just two returners on attack, Haus will rely on a talented group of four freshmen to fill in the gaps. Back are Ty Fosnacht and Sean Foley; Fostnacht started all 15 games and scored 8 goals with 5 assists, while Foley played in 11 contests with 4 goals. New to the team are Malik Pedroso, Alex Beard, Matt Roupe, and Ryan Leonard.

Haus says Pedroso could wind up as the "quarterback" of his offense, a lefty who loves to create as much as he can score. Beard will play on the right side and is a good feeder; he can also play midfield. Roupe comes out of Baltimore's Archbishop Curley as a tough finisher, and Leonard, another lefty, thrives in match-up situations and will be a key man-up attacker.

Preview - Midfield
Three returners will anchor the midfield in 2011, along with a veteran making a position switch. Ian Schmid, who led the team with 16 goals and 15 assists last year, will make the move from attack, where he'll work with co-captain CJ Adams (10g, 7a) and Scott Sutton (11g, 5a) on the offensive side. Steve Wildberger, who finished the 2010 season strongly on defense, returns at defensive midfield after grabbing 32 ground balls last year.

Four freshmen will add to the mix, as well, with Jordan Mayr, Andrew Dennison, Bryan Cooney, and Scott Travers joining the program. Mayr and Dennison will attack the goal with great vision out of midfield, while Cooney is a solid shooter on net. Travers can play both ways and will be a top option on face-offs.

Preview - Defense
Five defenders return from 2010 with co-captain Rich Drazin joining Jason Dougherty, Colin Thompson, Ian Repko, and Michael Hull at the back. Thompson led defenders with 65 ground balls and 25 caused turnovers last year, while Drazin had 25 GBs and 14 CTs. Dougherty started every game and picked up 20 ground balls, and Repko - who Haus identified as one of the team's most improved players - played in 14 games, scooping up 20 GBs as a freshmen. Hull saw time in all 14 games, grabbing 18 GBs and causing 15 turnovers.

Three freshmen bolster the backline with Andrew Kruter, Ryan Lanigan, and Tyler Skroski joining the team. Kruter has the makings of a top close defender, with a "workaholic" attitude and deep lacrosse IQ. Lanigan could start immediately up top, and comes from a great high school program at Connetquot (N.Y.). Skroski is an unknown for the coaching staff; coming off a successful freshman season as one of the ice hockey team's top blueliners, the Wyoming Seminary graduate could make a big impact for the lacrosse program as well.

Preview - Goalkeepers
After having just one true goalkeeper to call on last year - returning starter Ethan Hilberg - Haus is spoiled with five this year as four freshmen join the fray. Hilberg made 171 saves last year while playing nearly every minute in front of the cage, and he showed aggressive leadership on defense.

Pushing him will be freshmen Kevin Krasley, Connor Effinger, Bryan Lockward, and Mike Moll. Haus expects all five goalkeepers to be in the mix up to the start of the season, and he says playing multiple goalkeepers may be an option this season.

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