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Amherst Men's Lacrosse Eyes NESCAC's Upper Echelon

February 21, 2002

Chris Condlin '03
Junior Chris Condlin, who tied for the team-lead with 18 goals last season, is one of two returning starters on offense
AMHERST, MA - With a highly-improved offensive arsenal and a revamped defense, the 2002 Amherst College men's lacrosse team will look to seize the NESCAC title in what should turn out to be an extremely balanced and talented conference. Head coach Tom Carmean enters his second season on the sidelines after posting a 5-8 mark during a rookie campaign that saw the Jeffs jump out to an impressive 5-1 start, including an 8-5 victory over NESCAC rival Bates College. The second half of the season wasn't as kind, however, as Amherst dropped seven straight, including losses to NESCAC foes Middlebury, Trinity, Bowdoin, Conn. College, Williams, and a NESCAC Tournament first-round game at Wesleyan.

"Last year was part of a rebuilding structure," Carmean explains. "This year, we plan on moving into a strong and positive direction with the hopes of becoming one of the top teams in the league." Carmean believes the Jeffs have the ability to turn last year's close losses - the team lacked some depth and relied on four or five midfielders to carry the brunt of the workload - into this season's victories. "We plan on playing a wide-open style. Hopefully we can throw the throttle open a bit as the season progresses."

With a dramatic increase in speed and depth, this year's club should be exciting to watch despite a trio of key losses. Graduated goaltender Corey Simonson '01, a First-Team All-NESCAC and Second-Team ECAC selection last season, will be particularly tough to replace, as will attackman Eric Edelson '01, who paced the Jeffs offensively with 43 points on 18 goals and 25 assists. The third of the trio, Rob Gibson '01, led all midfielders with 21 points and will be sorely missed. Despite loosing these top players, Carmean remains optimistic, "Thankfully, we have an excellent recruiting class that should have an immediate impact."

Picking up the slack on offense, Amherst returns a pair of starters from last year's attack. Sophomore Mike Allison's tallied 10 goals and five assists as a rookie, while junior Chris Condlin tied Edelson for the team-lead with 18 goals. Senior Harlow Voorhees, who switched from midfield to attack last season and netted four goals in the Jeffs' NESCAC tournament game at Wesleyan, is now more accustomed to his role as a scorer and will help fill the void left by graduation. Sophomores Craig McBeth and Andrew Meeks, along with first-years Alex Casertano, Brian Hiller, and Colby Griffith, will also vie for significant playing time.

The midfield should be equally impressive with junior Matt Margolis, the Jeffs' fourth-leading scorer last year, returning as a key contributor. Senior quad-captains Gene Nogi and Phil Cameron should also provide a lift. Nogi, also a standout linebacker on the football team, netted 11 goals last season and will be a force to reckon with in the trenches, while Cameron returns as a starting defensive middie. Senior Damon Talbot will provide added experience, while juniors Tucker Sowers and speedy soccer standout Chris Kane have shown steady improvement. First-years Joaquin Walker and men's hockey player Josh Cherney could see additional action along with classmate Andrew Syfu, yet another two-sport athlete who earned 2001 NESCAC Rookie of the Year honors in men's soccer.

On defense, the Jeffs will look to highly-recruited first-year netminder Cushing Donelan to fill Simonson's considerable shoes, along with a trio of veteran defenders. Quad-captains Dave "The Bear" Greig and Colin Renz return as the team's emotional leaders, while three-year starter Rob Scaramella will look to resume his role as a top defenseman after an injury sidelined him much of last season. Junior Stephan Hein has been a consistent starter and will be a significant factor. Sophomore Alexei Kudla also returns to the lineup after a rigorous off-season conditioning program, along with classmate Michael Langer. First-year men's hockey stars Scott Aldrich and Bradford Craigen will provide added muscle, while senior football standout Jay Garvey and first-year Derek Cash should see action in goal, along with Donelan.

Amherst kicks off the 2002 campaign debut with a trio of games in Port Richey, Florida, staring with its season-opener against non-league foe Clarkson University on Tuesday, March 19th. Other schedule highlights include a battle against Wheaton College in their home-opener on Thursday, March 28, and a Saturday, April 6 road-tilt against defending Division III National Champion Middlebury College.