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Matt Margolis '03
All-NESCAC senior midfielder Matt Margolis

Men's Lacrosse Ranked Second Regionally, Poised for Another Postseason Run

February 14, 2003

AMHERST, MA - After posting a 5-8 record in 2001, the Amherst College men’s lacrosse team continued to move in a strong and positive direction in 2002, improving to 9-7 overall despite a trio of one-goal losses to Bowdoin College, Wesleyan University and Union College. Ranked second in the region in the preseason (ahead of perennial powers Bowdoin and Colby College), this year’s squad is among the league’s most balanced. Head coach Tom Carmean enters his third season at the helm of the program and has assembled a group that returns a hefty crop of starters looking to capture the NESCAC title.

The nucleus of the team remains intact despite losing a pair of key players to graduation. Harlow Voorhees ’02 netted a team-high 28 goals last season and will be sorely missed. The Jeffs will also be without the services of Gene Nogi ’02, a tenacious midfielder who was among the conference leaders in ground balls. This season’s team remains young and possesses the experience and firepower to overcome these setbacks.

Offensively, Amherst has six attackmen who will all see significant time on the playing field. Preseason All-American sophomore Alex Casertano is just the first of many weapons, notching a team-leading 44 points as a rookie last year. He returns as a second-year starter. Senior tri-captain Chris Condlin also poses a viable scoring threat, while juniors Craig McBeth and Andrew Meeks, along with sophomores Bryan Hiller and Kevin Boova should prove to be valuable assets.

“The midfield is our strong point,” says Carmean. “We can run three full lines all day long and in our league, that’s a rarity. Hopefully, we will be able to use the numbers to our advantage and run other teams into the ground.” Leading the charge is senior tri-captain Matt Margolis, who was tabbed Second-Team All-NESCAC following the 2002 campaign. Gritty junior Mike Allison will look to seize any ground balls, while sophomores Josh Cherney, Colby Griffith and Graham Lake each have a year’s experience under their belts and are well prepared to contribute once again. Classmates Joaquin Walker - who had a breakout soccer season this past fall - and Andrew Syfu - yet another two-sport athlete who missed nine games last year with a broken thumb - are another pair of exciting players to watch, while senior Chris Kane, junior Sean Morgan and newcomers Caleb Deats, Sean Murray and Austin Martin round out the core of a deep and talented midfield.

“Last year we generated one point from the long stick midfield position,” explains Carmean. “This year’s long pole middies are offensive-minded, so we hope to get some production from them as well.” Sophomore Scott Aldrich - also a star on the hockey team - returns as a second-year starter, while classmates Michael Salvatore and Michael Strong supply some added punch. Rookies John Bedford, Andrew Wilcox and Ben Lavely will also see action.

Sophomore Greg Donohue anchors a stingy defensive unit. Senior tri-captain Stephan Hein and juniors Alexei Kudla and Michael Langer will accompany Donahue, seeking to shut down opposing offenses. Sophomores Greg Emmanuelidis and Bradford Craigen should also provide additional muscle in front of the cage. After finishing with a 9.51 goals against average during his rookie campaign, sophomore goalie Cushing Donelan returns to shield the Amherst twine. First-year Raul Altreche and sophomore transfer Mike McGeeney both convey a strong work ethic and will back up Donelan in net.

Amherst opens its 13-game slate on March 12 against league foe Bates College at Springfield College. They then travel south for a three-game Spring Break trip that includes contests against Clarkson University, Keene State College and Trinity College. After returning from Florida, they faceoff at Colby College and Western New England College before returning to Hitchcock Field for a six-game home-stand that opens with a tilt against defending NCAA Division III Champion Middlebury College, who upended the Jeffs, 16-5, in last year’s NESCAC Tournament Semifinals. They conclude the regular season with a match-up at Little Three rival Williams College on April 26.