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Men’s Lacrosse 2017 Season Preview

Photo by Jonas Powell '18
Photo by Jonas Powell '18

2017 SEASON OUTLOOK

The Wesleyan University men's lacrosse team opens its 2017 season Saturday, March 4th on the road in an exciting conference matchup against No. 15 Bates College at 1 p.m. The Cardinals return to action four days later and will host Roger Williams in their home-opener on Citrin Field. Wednesday's game is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. The 2017 slate features six away games, one neutral site contest and eight home events.


COACHES CORNER WITH JOHN RABA


The Cardinals return a bevy of talent from last year's team that finished 10-5 overall, and 6-4 in the ultra-competitive NESCAC. They were ranked No. 17 in the Inside Lacrosse preseason poll and No. 19 in the USILA/NIKE preseason coaches poll. All three of the team's 2016 All-Conference selections are back – Harry Stanton '18 (First Team), Ted Bergman '17 (Second Team) and Taylor Ghesquiere '18 (Second Team) – as well as four of last year's top-six scorers.

Entering his 21st season at the helm of the program, Head Coach John Raba has cemented himself as one of the top coaches in all of Division III. For the past fifteen seasons, Wesleyan has consistently found itself ranked in the national Top 20 poll. Additionally, Raba has coached twenty-eight All-Americans and two National Player of the Year award winners. He currently ranks 16th in the country in wins among active coaches (226) and 19th in winning percentage (.677).

MEET THE TEAM

  • Headlining the unit is 2015 NESCAC Rookie of the Year and 2016 First Team All-Conference selection, Harry Stanton '18. Stanton is coming off a terrific sophomore campaign, in which he also earned Second Team All-New England honors from the NEILA, and was named a USILA/NIKE All-America Honorable Mention. A dynamic goal scorer, Stanton led the team and ranked tied for fourth in the conference in goals as a sophomore with 49. He also led the team in points a year ago with 56, and joined the 100-point club in just his second season with the program.
  • Stanton will be joined by midfielder Taylor Ghesquiere '18. As a sophomore, Ghesquiere earned Second Team All-NESCAC laurels with 47 points (39G, 8A). He ranked second on the team in both points and goals, and was named the NESCAC Player of the Week and the USILA/Lids Division III North Offensive Player of the Week early in the season.
  • Wesleyan will also look for strong contributions from Christian Barker '19 and Carter Hawthorne '19, who are coming off outstanding freshman campaigns. Barker, a midfielder, finished fifth on the team in points (37) and second in assists (22) a year ago. Hawthorne, an attack, finished sixth in points (33) and fourth in goals (22). Cole Turpin '18, Ryan Flippin '18, Zander Kotsen '19, and Corey Aviles '19 should add tremendous depth and athleticism to the Cardinal midfield this season as well.
  • The Cardinals also boast two talented long-stick midfielders – senior Grey Bradshaw-Mack and junior Ben Shively. Shively led the team in groundballs last year with 46, while Bradshaw-Mack placed third (11).
  • Wesleyan is fortunate to return three starters at close defense, which is led by Andres Rodriguez '19, a tremendous cover man with great feet. Rodriguez finished second on the team in caused turnovers (12) last year as a freshman. He'll be joined by Quinn Mendelson '17 and Jake Cresta '18. Mendelson is an extremely physical player who will look to build off an impressive junior campaign, in which he led the team and ranked fourth in the NESCAC with 23 caused turnovers. Cresta has a ton of experience and should have a break out year after being hampered with injuries in 2016.
  • At short stick defensive midfield, Wesleyan has two of the best in the conference. Eric Meyreles '18, who is also a starting wide receiver on the football team, and Colin Hitter '19 are both tremendous athletes that started for the Cardinals last season. They both have great speed and are offensive threats when they clear the ball.
  • The Cardinals return two very experienced faceoff men in Jason Gibson '18 and Ryan Lynch '18. Both athletes have enjoyed a tremendous preseason and will help the Cardinals at the faceoff X.
  • In net, Raba has the luxury of returning senior veteran, Ted Bergman. The 2016 Second Team All-NESCAC selection finished fifth in the league a year ago in goals-against average (10.25) and save percentage (54.6). He also ranked second on the Cardinals in groundballs with 42.

HEAD COACH JOHN RABA

"I am extremely optimistic for the 2017 season. Even though we are still a young team on paper, we have a tremendous amount of experience and returning talent. This group is battle tested, and willing to work to earn their success. The energy level has been fantastic and we have a very tight group of players. I am looking forward to a great season!"