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Mike Allison '04
Senior co-captain Mike Allison leads a potent Amherst midfield this spring.

Men's Lacrosse Poised for 2004 NESCAC Title Run

February 9, 2004

2003 RECAP
The rapidly emerging Amherst men’s lacrosse team finished 10-5 overall in 2003, and tied for second in the NESCAC with Tufts and Wesleyan with a 6-3 conference mark - the Jeffs’ best season since their 9-4 (6-3 NESCAC) finish in 1997. They opened with an 18-3 win over Bates College before heading to Port Richey, Florida, where they posted a narrow 6-4 loss to Clarkson University, earned a 15-4 win over Keene State College and upended NESCAC foe Trinity College, 15-9. Once back in New England, they reeled off three more victories, including a NESCAC win over Colby College. The five-game win streak ended with an 11-10 overtime loss to Wesleyan, followed by a narrow 8-6 loss to then fourth-ranked Middlebury College. The Jeffs rebounded with a trio of close NESCAC victories, starting with a 15-13 win over Tufts, followed by an 11-10 overtime win over visiting Bowdoin College and a 7-6 victory over Connecticut College. Senior tri-captain Chris Condlin netted four goals in the win over Bowdoin, including the game-winner, and senior tri-captain Matt Margolis scored the game-winner against Conn. College with just 1:23 remaining. Amherst fell to archrival Williams College 8-6 in its regular-season finale, but avenged the loss the following day with a 12-9 victory over the Ephs in the opening round of the NESCAC Tournament. The Jeffs advanced to face top-seeded host Middlebury in the semifinals, but ended the season with a 14-8 loss.

KEY LOSSES
Amherst graduates four seniors who were an instrumental part of a steadily improving program, highlighted by tri-captains Chris Condlin, Matt Margolis and Stephen Hein. Condlin and Margolis were integral parts of the offense and were the Jeffs’ first and fourth leading scorers, respectively. Condlin was fifth in the NESCAC with 2.33 goals per game and earned Second-Team All-NESCAC honors. Margolis, a midfielder, contributed 20 goals and seven assists in his senior campaign, and led the midfield in scoring and nabbed Second-Team All-NESCAC honors as a junior. Hein was a mainstay on defense, starting all 13 games, and Chris Kane was a solid contributor in the midfield, collecting 26 groundballs in his final year.

RETURNEES
Amherst fields another youthful squad in 2004, but benefits from the senior leadership of co-captains Mike Allison and Alexei Kudla. Allison, the Jeffs’ leading returning scorer, was an Honorable Mention New England Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (NEILA) All-Star and earned First-Team All-NESCAC honors last spring, while Kudla returns for his fourth year as a starting defenseman. Michael Langer and Craig McBeth round out the class of ’04 and will play key roles in the midfield and attack, respectively. Junior Alex Casertano, a Preseason All-America in 2003, leads the Amherst attack. After finishing eighth in the conference in scoring as a first-year, he was the Jeffs’ third leading scorer last year with 16 goals and 17 assists. Sophomore Kevin Boova posted a team-best 20 assists in his rookie campaign, and joins the attack along with juniors Bryan Hiller and Andrew Syfu. Allison heads a potent Amherst midfield along with juniors Colby Griffith, Graham Lake, Joaquin Walker and Josh Cherney, and sophomores Caleb Deats and Sean Murray. Walker and Griffith contributed 19 and 14 goals, respectively, last season, while Cherney, Lake, Deats and Murray hope to increase their contributions this spring. Heading up the defensive midfield are junior Michael Strong and sophomore Ben Lavely, while sophomore Andrew Wilcox holds down the long-stick midfield position. In an impressive rookie campaign, Wilcox earned First-Team All-NESCAC honors and was named a Second-Team ECAC New England All-Star. Amherst returns a strong defense led by Kudla and juniors Greg Donohue and Cushing Donelan. Donohue was named Second-Team All-NESCAC and a Second-Team NEILA All-Star last year, while Donelan was third in the NESCAC in goals-against average (8.11) and sixth in save percentage (.597), as he carries a streak of 25 consecutive starts in goal into this spring. Junior Greg Emmanuelidis and sophomores John Bedford and Kyle Hunt join Kudla and Donohue on defense, and junior Mike McGeeney and sophomore Raul Altreche will back up Donelan in goal.

NEWCOMERS
Amherst will add a balanced rookie class in 2003. First-years David Beck, Derek Dettman, Rob Madden, Pat Sandor and Stephen Williams will join the midfield ranks, and Derek Cherney, Chris Hahm and Chris Hofmann will look to contribute on the attack. Greg Muecke and Owen Neill will join the defensive squad.