2012 Men’s Lacrosse Preview
LANCASTER, Pa. – With all 10 starters returning from an 8-6 2011 season, expectations are high for the 2012 edition of the Franklin & Marshall men's lacrosse team. For the first time in the Todd Cavallaro era, the Diplomats have depth and experience at every position.
"This is the first time where we have experience at every position," said Cavallaro. "Right now we have to take it day-by-day and focus on one game at a time. If we adhere to that philosophy, great things will happen this season."
Senior Freddy Schweizer and junior Scott Beury will help anchor the defensive unit that allowed 8.29 goals per game in 2011. Schweizer earned All-Centennial Second Team honors last season, starting in all 14 contests and collecting 29 ground balls. He was also named a 2012 Inside Lacrosse Preseason All-American Honorable Mention. Beury started 13 contests and picked up 33 grounds while causing 17 turnovers.
Joining Schweizer and Beury on close defense will be junior James King and senior Yazin Elrabie. Both have played a significant amount of time in past years and will help add depth and bring a physical presence to the field. Sophomore Henry Richardson will also be in mix on defense.
Cameron Setian returns between the pipes this year. Setian started all 14 games as a freshman last season, allowing 7.99 goals per game and stopping 138 shots.
"Cameron progressively became stronger and more vocal during every game last season," Cavallaro said. "This year he will be looked upon as the quarterback in the cage and the leader of our defense."
Sophomores Josh Kanter and Carlos Pelaez highlight the long stick middies corp. Kanter started every game as freshman and totaled 33 grounds and six caused turnovers. Palaez had 21 grounds ball and one assist last season.
"Josh is a very aggressive defensemen with great footwork," explained Cavallaro. " Carlos has a tremendous field sense and both will help in our transition game."
The difference for F&M this season could be the play of its short stick middies. Juniors Kier Blevins (26gb), Tim Gaines (3g, 7gb), Jordan McLean along with senior Ryan Whooley (17gb, 6ct), and freshman Zachary Johannes will work by committee this season.
"This group of five are great athletes and can also help out our offense," said Cavallaro. "I am excited to watch these five progress every day in practice and look forward to seeing them on the field."
The bulk of F&M's 139 points last season were scored by three returning attackmen. Colin McKew, Billy Kempner and Tristan Miller combined for 122 points in 2011. McKew led the team with 27 assists last year and is currently 14th on F&M's all-time career list. The senior scored 13 goals and collected 18 ground balls. He brings excellent vision to the field and will run the offense for the Diplomats.
Kempner had a team-high 43 points with 27 goals and 16 assists as a freshman last year. Miller, who brings a strong inside presence to the crease, led F&M with 32 goals in 2011. He had a .705 shot on goal percentage, seven assists and 15 ground balls in 14 starts last season.
"I am excited about this attack group and the leadership they bring to the field," said Cavallaro.
With six returners, combined with a strong mixture of sophomores and freshmen, the offensive middies are clearly the strongest group for F&M this season.
"Our depth in the midfield is tremendous," Cavallaro said. "We have enough talent at this position to potentially run three groups."
Seniors Kevin Kilpatrick (4g, 3a) and James Wenk (18g) will join juniors Jordan Barr, A.J. Reichert and Sean Kenny in midfield. Matt Gillan, Chad Gamble, Evan Bakst and Jamie McCulloch along with Jason Polansky will make up the strong rotation.
Two-time All-CC First Team Faceoff Specialist, Andrew Setian, returns for his junior season. Settian was a 2012 Inside Lacrosse Preseason All-American honorable mention. He won 160-of-271 (.590) of his faceoffs last season and has the ability to take over a game.
F&M lost three games by two goals or less last season and narrowly missed the playoffs. If they can convert those types of games into victories, F&M will have a great opportunity to be successful in the conference.
The Diplomats kick off the season on Wednesday when F&M travels to Immaculata for a 4 p.m. game before heading to Lynchburg on Saturday to take on the Hornets at 1:00 p.m. F&M takes on Gwyneed-Mercy on Feb. 29 for its home opener.