Salisbury Men's Lacrosse 2010 Season Preview

Sophomore Evan Hockel (Millersville, Md.) came on strong towards the end of last season and is expected to see more playing time and contribute on the wing for face-offs. Freshman John Churchman (Salisbury, Md.) was a high-school All-American at local Parkside High School and provides depth to the long-stick midfield position.

Senior Will Poletis (Baltimore, Md.), who was an All-CAC second team performer last year, is set to be the top defensive midfielder again for SU. Poletis played in all 20 games last year and is a transition offense threat in between the midfield lines because of his speed.

Senior Kevin Finn (Evanston, Ill.) and junior Dean Rossi (Pleasantville, N.Y.) are competing for the second and third defensive midfielder positions. Finn and Rossi each made the switch from offensive midfielder to the defensive midfield position during the fall season and provide great shooting ability in the transition game for SU. The two add superior size and athleticism to the defensive midfield position.

GOALIE

Junior Johnny Rodriguez (Gambrills, Md.) returns for his second season with the Sea Gulls and looks to be the starter for the second consecutive season. Rodriguez has worked hard on his game to become a much more consistent goalkeeper and his clearing skills have vastly improved. Last season, he logged over 1,000 minutes in the cage and had a goals against average of 7.29 goals per game.

Junior Tim Swinburn (Swarthmore, Pa.) had a great fall season and is pushing Rodriguez for the top spot and for minutes in the cage. Swinburn played in nine games for SU in '09. Freshman Mitch Meredith (Annapolis, Md.) is in the mix for the Sea Gulls, as he made the All-Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association team as the goalie for Archbishop Spalding High School in Severn, Md.

SCHEDULE

If the Sea Gulls are to win their ninth national championship in 2010 they will have to play a schedule competitive enough to prepare them for it, and Coach Berkman has developed a schedule he believes will do just that. SU is set to face four teams that made the 2009 NCAA Division III tournament field and four teams ranked in the preseason top 20 polls, including the top three.

Salisbury opens the season on the road on February 14 at Greensboro College, before returning to the friendly confines of Sea Gull Stadium with a contest against No. 18 Lynchburg College on February 20. The Gulls will then travel to Widener University the next weekend to close out their February schedule.

SU will open up its March campaign with a contest against in-state foe McDaniel College at Sea Gull Stadium on March 3. The next week Salisbury will travel to Haverford College for a matchup set with the defending national champion Cortland State and preseason No. 1 on March 10. The two teams have combined to win the last seven national championships, but this will be the first regular season meeting between the two since March 16, 2002.

Following the Cortland game, Salisbury will return for its next four games at Sea Gull Stadium kick-started with a contest against '09 NCAA tournament participant Ohio Wesleyan on March 13. SU will then host the College of Wooster (March 18) and Eastern Connecticut State University (March 21) before the Capital Athletic Conference opener against Wesley College on March 24.

SU then travels to Gettysburg, Pa. for a game against preseason No. 3 Gettysburg College on March 27 before closing out the month with a CAC contest against University of Mary Washington on the road on March 31.

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2010-02-12



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