Dougherty Readies Chestnut Hill Lacrosse for 2011 Season

Philadelphia, PA (1/21/2011) Much was accomplished and much was learned in last year's season of firsts for the Chestnut Hill College men's lacrosse team. Chestnut Hill College battled through a gauntlet of talented teams in the East Coast Conference (ECC) to finish 4-11 overall and 0-10 in league play, yet 2011 brings a new direction. The upcoming season will be the second for the Griffins, but it will be the first for new Head Coach Brian Dougherty, who hopes to accelerate the program's plans for success.

"I expect us to improve. Offensively we're solid, defensively and in goal we need to improve. I look forward to the challenges of the season." Coach Dougherty is realistic about the current assets of his program, but he is dedicated to a much higher ideal. "Our goal this year and every year is to make the playoffs and since there is no ECC tournament the playoffs for us means the final four." A berth in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II Championship Tournament is a lofty goal for second-year program, but you cannot climb the mountain without taking the first step.

Chestnut Hill College (4-11, 0-10) returns several key members from the 2010 inaugural roster including leading scorer and team Most Valuable Player (MVP), sophomore attack Mark Winkelspecht (Laurys Station, PA). Winkelspecht totaled 26 goals and 11 assists to top the Griffins season box score with 37 points. He also collected 41 ground balls and was named the ECC Rookie of the Week on March 28, 2010. Other key returnees include sophomores; Shane Morlock (Whitby, ONT), Junji Wiener (Houston, TX), Nate Tharp (Laurel, MD), Tom Carfagna (Laurys Station, PA), Joe Rucinsky (Camp Hill, PA), and Dakota Maurer (Lititz, PA). Morlock was second to Winkelspecht in goals (19) and points (24) while finishing the season as one of three Griffins to start all 15 contests. Weiner recorded 21 points (12 goals and 9 assists) and Tharp added another 19 points (16 goals and three assists), while the trio of Carfagna, Rucinsky, and Maurer anchored the defensive unit.

Several newcomers will play critical roles for the Griffins this season and with defense as a major focus, Alex Frederick (Landisville, PA) and Chris Schaffer (Lititz, PA) are two such freshmen. They will accompany Carfagna and Rucinsky on the starting defensive unit; Fredrick a 2010 red-shirt and Schaffer energetic vocal presence on and off the field.

In the midfield, major contributions are expected from freshmen Mike Landau (Lancaster, PA), Kevin Sonderschafer (Warrington, PA), and Joe Caramante (East Meadow, NY). Landau and Sonderschafer are strong two-way players while Caramante's athleticism will keep him in the midfield rotation. On attack significant additions include freshman Mike Melnychenko (St. Catherines, Ontario) and junior transfer Kevin Festa (Auburn, NY). Melnychenko offers a great left-handed finish while Festa provides experience from two years of competition at Cayuga Community College.

Anticipation continues to build as the snow continues to pile on campus, but when the thaw comes the temperature of the men's lacrosse program will be running hot. 2011 opens with a neutral-site contest against Lees-McRae College and a trip to the defending national champion, C.W. Post University, before the Griffins return home for six straight March home games and in the words of Coach Dougherty, "I am looking forward to getting it on!"

2011-01-21



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