St. John's Men's Lacrosse Season Outlook for 2010

QUEENS, N.Y. (Jan. 28, 2010) Entering his fourth season at the helm of the St. John's lacrosse team, head coach Jason Miller believes this year's team could be one of his best. Returning the entire starting close defense unit and several offensive producers who were sidelined with injury last year, Miller has good reason to be optimistic. The Red Storm will have plenty of opportunity to showcase its talent this season against one of the nation's toughest schedules in the newly formed BIG EAST Lacrosse Conference.

Last year, St. John's started the season 5-1 and was ranked as high as 15th in the USILA Coaches Poll. However, season-ending injuries to midfielder Tom Manes and attacker Terence Leach slowed the Red Storm attack as the team finished the year at 5-9.

"Last year we missed those guys more than we wanted to admit," said Miller. "This season, we have both of them back healthy along with a very talented freshman class. We have high expectations for ourselves this year."

Attack

Sophomore Harry Kutner returns from a productive freshman season where he ranked second on the team with 24 points on 13 goals and a team-high 11 assists. After getting surgery this summer, Kutner played well during the team's fall season and is expected to be a scoring leader in just his second year with the Red Storm.

"Harry had a better freshman year than any of us expected," said Miller. "He's a pretty opportunistic dodger, an excellent feeder and he has great vision. He's a former basketball player so in a lot of ways he plays like a basketball player in terms of his ability to distribute the ball."

Although he only played in six games last year before getting injured, Leach emerged as one of the team's most talented attackers. His healthy return as a junior will add both a scoring presence and experience to the attacking corps.

"Terence is an excellent lefty with great hands," said Miller. "He's a catch and finish guy, and he's worked on his ability to score the ball from eight yards and out. It was a big hit for us when he went down last year and we are looking forward to having him back."

Challenging for the third starting spot at the attack position will be right-handed junior Joe Bagnasco, who tallied three points last year, as well as sophomore Charlie Holenstein and freshmen Tyler Novotny and Adam Bitzer.

Midfield

The Red Storm will boast an experienced and talented midfield in 2010, starting with fifth-year senior captain Manes, who collected two goals and three assists in just three games last year before succumbing to a season-ending foot injury. Manes, who has started 34 games out of 41 contests played in his career, elected to take a redshirt season and returns as St. John's most experienced player.

"Like Terence, we missed Tom more than we realized last year," said Miller. "He's a natural lefty and one of the fastest guys on the team. He has grown into a very important leadership role for us and we're pleased that he came back for another year."

Manes will be joined in the first midfield by senior Garrett Mitchell, who has played in 36 games in three seasons, and sophomore Matt Hurst, who had a three-goal and three-assist freshman season.

Freshmen Jarrett Carr, Brandon Ayers, and Alex Lagodich will see the field early in the season in the second midfield and they will be counted on to grow into a productive role. Redshirt sophomore Ryan Herits and redshirt freshman Shane Foley will provide depth in the midfield.

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2010-01-29



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