Youth-Laden Men's Lacrosse Team Ready To Battle Under Rookie Head Coach|
March 21, 2001
HELP WANTED: Youthful, enthusiastic, yet experienced head coach. Must be able to think on feet at least 14 times this spring. Knowledge of collegiate lacrosse essential. Former All-American preferred. Background as professional player a plus.
Tom Carmean is the right guy at the right time for the Amherst College men's lacrosse program. After a disappointing 4-7 season in 2000, Carmean--a three-time All-American at the University of Massachusetts and veteran of 10 seasons in professional lacrosse--moves from associate head coach to the top slot on the sidelines, much to the delight of a fired-up corps of up-and-coming players.
|Head Coach Tom Carmean
"Our guys view this season as the most positive situation they've seen in a long time," says Carmean, in his first campaign as a college head coach. "We've brought in new assistant coaches who've given the players a different approach, really teaching them new things. Their enthusiasm is threaded throughout the entire group."
Carmean looks at last season as a transition year. After opening with lopsided wins over Stevens Institute of Technology and Wheaton College, the Jeffs dropped seven straight, including consecutive losses to NESCAC rivals Middlebury, Trinity, Wesleyan, Bowdoin and Conn. College. Ironically, the streak that killed Amherst's season may have actually turned out to be a blessing in disguise.
"Our first-years and sophomores were able to take on a lot more responsibility," Carmean added. "By the end of the season, the younger players understood what they were supposed to do and were comfortable assuming larger roles. We even broke the string with a home win over Williams, with seven of our nine goals scored by first-year players."
Indicative of its self-described youth movement, Amherst returns virtually its entire attack, led by sophomore Chris Condlin (Baltimore, MD) and seniors Eric Edelson (Bethesda, MD) and J.P. Bruneau (Concord, MA). With last season's growing pains behind him, Condlin has emerged with renewed confidence after logging nine goals and two assists as a rookie, while Edelson--who switched from midfield to attack last season--is more accustomed to his role as a scorer after tying for the team lead with 15 goals and 23 assists. Meanwhile, Bruneau worked tirelessly in the offseason and looks to be a major contributor, coming off a three-goal four-assist year as a junior.
|Junior Midfielder Gene Nogi
The midfield should be similarly impressive with sophomore Tucker Sowers (Ridgewood, NJ)--the Jeffs' third leading scorer last season--and Matt Margolis (Short Hills, NJ) already showing signs of improvement. Junior Harlow Voorhees (Chevy Chase, MD) is one of the strongest players in the NESCAC and could challenge for the team scoring title, while classmate Gene Nogi (Clarks Summit, PA) scored at least two goals in each of Amherst's three preseason scrimmages. Rob Gibson (South Salem, NY) anchors the midfield as one of only six seniors after posting eight goals and three assists in 2000.
On defense, the Jeffs boast one of the best goaltenders in the nation in senior preseason All-American Corey Simonson (Brookline, MA), along with a trio of outstanding junior defenders in David Greig (Summit, NJ), Colin Renz (White Plains, NY) and Rob Scaramella (North Haven, CT). With standout sophomore Stephen Hein (Washington, DC), first-year Alexei Kudla (Bethesda, MD) and veteran defensive midfielders Phil Cameron '02 (Aurora, OH) and Mark Cahill '01 (Newburyport, MA), Carmean foresees the defense as his "most competent end of the field."
|Preseason All-American |
With so many returnees, Amherst will feature a small but potent crop of newcomers. Besides Kudla, who Carmean says can guard any player in the league, diminutive attacker Mike Allison (West Nyack, NY) averaged four goals per game during the preseason, while heady Craig McBeth (Wykoff, NJ) should contribute from the opening whistle.
The Jeffs open their season in California against one of their more difficult opponents, Whittier College, on Wednesday, March 21, and move right into the Alfred Invitational Tournament the following weekend. Meanwhile, Amherst's conference slate, which features four of the top-20 teams in the nation including preseason No. 1 Middlebury, is punctuated by the first-ever NESCAC Championship Tournament, with an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament at stake.