Men’s lacrosse gears up for 2011 season

The Geneseo men's lacrosse team is geared up to hit the field again after nearly winning the SUNYAC championship in 2010 – a title which was instead claimed by SUNY Cortland.

At the end of the 2010 season, the Knights ranked No. 16 in all of Division III men's lacrosse with a 10-4 record. This season, the goal is to take that success one step further. "We expect to win the conference and make the NCAA tournament," head coach Jim Lyons said.

This preseason, Geneseo is ranked No. 13 in Division III and is second only to Cortland in the SUNYAC conference. The burning question facing the team now is finding a replacement for last year's D-III Goalie of the Year, Dennis Costanza.

With four goalies on the current roster, Lyons has plenty of options. Freshman Ryan Zaremba, a transfer from the United States Military Academy Army Preparatory School, joins junior Noah Berg, sophomore Michael Greubel and freshman Adam Perri as competitors vying for the job.

"The starter will be who's playing well at the time," Lyons said. "All are playing really well right now, but until you get into games, you don't know who will step up."

The role of face-off specialist also needs to be replaced. Last year's all-SUNYAC first team senior Eric Baranowski graduated after winning 61.8 percent of the face-offs. Lyons said that sophomore Frank DiSanti "will be the guy for now."

Although the Knights will need to build up experience in those two key positions, Lyons said he believes in his team. "This is as talented a group as we've had here," he said.

All-American senior Joe May leads a veteran close defense that includes junior Joe McCormack, a returning starter, and junior Tom Gordon, who is looking to step into the starter role this season.

The midfield has a similar experience returning. Junior Jeff Watson will lead an offensive group of midfielders including sophomore Tim Hayden and senior Scott Cost. The goal for this group will be balance: the trio combined for 71 points and 44 ground balls last year. Sophomores John Felix and Chris Topping will handle the defensive midfield duties. Senior Ray Ryan, an All-SUNYAC player in 2008, will return after missing the last two seasons.

Sophomores Bob Mascia and Jeff Dunworth will be handling the long stick midfield role for the Knights. Freshman Kyle Kerrigan will see a great deal of field time this season, either playing close defense or at the defensive midfield.

Geneseo's top seven scorers return from a team that scored more than 11 points per game last year. The fantastic foursome of seniors Evan Bryant, Bobby King, all-SUNYAC Craig Lange and junior Brendan Kurpis will lead the way. These four combined for 87 goals and 52 assists last season and will certainly be looking to surpass those totals this season with another year of experience under their belts.

The Knights opened up their season with a 14-4 win Wednesday against Lycoming College. They travel to Nazareth College this Saturday at 5 p.m.