CC Champs Start Title Defense; 2018 Men’s Lacrosse Preview

CC Champs Start Title Defense; 2018 Men’s Lacrosse Preview

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LANCASTER, Pa. — Franklin & Marshall kicks off the 2018 men's lacrosse season on Sunday when the No. 15 Diplomats travel to No. 12 Lynchburg at 12:00 p.m. The Diplomats return 40 players, including 19 that either started or saw significant time last season leading F&M to one of the best seasons in recent memory.   

Click here to meet the 2018 men's lacrosse team.  

F&M set new heights in 2017, climbing as high as No. 10 in the national rankings courtesy of a lengthy regular-season win streak, capturing its first-ever Centennial Conference (CC) Championship, advancing to the NCAA Third Round, and in the process, setting a program record for wins in a season with 16. 

With a core nucleus from 2017 returning, and a handful of talented newcomers, the Diplomats have the pieces in place to make their fifth playoff appearance in the last six years and repeat as Centennial Champions. 

Click here to watch Todd Cavallaro talk about the upcoming season.  

Attack

Sean Rogers will start for the fourth consecutive year and lead the attack unit. The two-time All-American and reigning Conference Player of the Year led the CC in points (84) and assists (33), while placing second in goals (51). He started all 19 of the team's games while also collecting 33 ground balls. 

Joining Rogers to make one the most potent one-two punch in the country is sophomore Kevin Mollihan. Mollihan had one of the best freshman years in program history last season. He gained All-America Honorable Mention recognition and earned a spot all the All-CC First team, as well as being named Rookie of the Year after leading the CC in goals (63) while placing second in points (81) and 10th in assists (18). He scored five or more goals on seven occasions. 

Juniors Stephen DeSimone and Sam Garges along with sophomore Kyle Scheuerle and freshman Luke Keating will all see time in the rotation. 

Midfield

Junior George Briggs and Tucker McBride headline the midfield. Briggs is coming off a season that saw him dish out 26 assists and finish with 43 points. He produced 13 multi-point games on the year and earned All-America Honorable Mention and All-CC First Team honors at the end of 2017. McBride earned All-CC Second Team honors after scoring 33 points with 18 goals and 15 assists. Senior Harry Rice will start as well after tallying 12 goals in 12 games last season. 

Seniors Riley Aviles, Teddy Bossidy, sophomores Ronan Garcia, Wyatt Richins and Nick Crennan, along with a strong and talented freshmen group will see time in the rotation. 

Long Stick Midfield

Junior Ellis Llewellyn and senior Christopher Casey will see the majority of the time at LSM. Llewellyn started in 13 games last year with 52 ground balls and Casey had 24 ground balls in 17 games. Freshman Holden Kammerer will rotate in and see significant time. 

Short Stick Midfield

Sophomore Jarrett Donaghy, senior Read Ziegler and junior John Sommi all return to anchor the midfield. Donaghy earned a spot on the All-CC second team last season after recording 54 ground balls while causing 11 turnovers. Sommi had 19 ground balls and Ziegler recorded seven caused turnovers for F&M. Senior Drew DeBacco adds valuable depths to the position. 

Close Defense

Junior Tommy O'Connor will lead the defensive unit after collecting 40 ground balls and causing 24 turnovers in 2017. Sophomores Doug Mongiardo, Andrew Fine and freshman Jake Wetzel will contribute as well. 

Face-off

Senior Andrew Rose will take the majority of the face-offs this season. He won 186-for-373 face-offs from the X last year and came away with 54 ground balls. Sophomore Timmy Hoarty and freshman Jack Beatty will both compete to see time as well. 

Goalie

Junior Scott Hatch will get the opening day nod in the cage. Hatch went 16-3 last season with a 9.19 goals against average and 150 saves. Senior Thomas Moore and sophomores Jack O'Neill and John Whiteford may also see time in net this year. 

Preseason Poll

F&M was picked to repeat as champions in the Centennial Conference Preseason Poll. Gettysburg was ranked second, followed by Dickinson in the poll conducted by the head coaches of the conference and athletic communication directors. 

Schedule

F&M begins 2018 against No. 12 Lynchburg on Sunday, Feb. 18 at 12:00 p.m. A total of five ranked teams line the Diplomats schedule, including non-conference foe No. 6 Cortland (March 13 in Richmond, Va.), and No. 20 W&L (March 3), as well as CC opponents No. 14 Gettysburg (March 28), and No. 13 Dickinson (April 25). 

Shadek Stadium will serve as the new home for F&M men's lacrosse, with the program's inaugural game scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 24 at 3:00 p.m. against Frostburg St. 

The Conference Semifinals are slated for Wednesday, May 2 while the CC Championship will take that following Saturday. NCAA Playoffs open with the First and Second Rounds on May 8-9. 

Look for the icon below, which can be accessed at the top-right of the 2018 men's lacrosse schedule when viewed on your computer, or bottom-left of all schedules on your mobile device.

Follow Along

All F&M home contests are streamed in HD video, free of charge at GoDiplomats.com/Live and simulcast on the Centennial Conference Digital Network (CCDN). Fans can also follow the action through the live stats page, found here.

Centennial Conference Digital Network (CCDN)

The Centennial Conference announced a partnership with Stretch Internet to become the conference's digital network provider and establish a central location for all CC athletic events. Broadcasts that are present in the Stretch portal are exclusively produced by each of the 11-member institutions of the conference.

In addition to its Roku channel, the Conference will have three new over-the-top (OTT) applications to make broadcasts available – Apple TV, Amazon Fire and Android TV. Home broadcasts that are produced by all 11 members will be available on CentennialConference.TV and the OTT apps.

Follow Along (Social Media)

All of your favorite Diplomat athletic teams are available on social media. Follow them on Twitter and Instagram, like them on Facebook and subscribe to the Diplomats YouTube page for frequent highlight videos of games throughout the season.