2011 Washington & Lee Men's Lacrosse Season Preview

Roberts won 12 of 23 faceoffs last season, while Rehberger won 16 of his 22 faceoffs (.727). Mitchell is a talented rookie, who won 8 of 16 draws in the Lee-Jackson game against one of the better faceoff men in the country.

"The success we have as a team will in large part be determined by the success we have in the middle of the field," said McCabe. "We have a strong tradition of excellence at the faceoff position and I firmly believe this group is capable of great things."

McCabe has made some adjustments to the defensive midfield for 2011 in an attempt to "improve our effectiveness in the clearing and transition game."

In addition to facing off, Roberts is expected to receive a good deal of playing time as the short-stick, while senior Thomas Jenkins is the front-runner for the lion's share of time at the long pole.

Both players have seen action in 23 contests over their first three seasons and McCabe is confident in their abilities to improve the Generals' defense and transition game this spring.

"Jeff brings a lot of intensity and leadership to the team and he has prepared himself to have a great senior season," McCabe noted. He added of Jenkins "Thomas is one of the most tenacious and hard-working guys that I have ever coached. He is quick, agile and relentless and he has the ability to make plays in transition."

Junior Logan Allen, sophomores Andrew Fusselbaugh and George Brooke, and first-year Nick Zanetis will also see time with the defensive middies throughout the season.

On close defense, the Generals return plenty of talent though overall depth is a concern for the unit.

"We don't have as much depth here, but we have a lot of experience returning," said McCabe. "We expect this group to have a better year than they did last year even though we led the conference in goals allowed."

The leader of the group is senior J.D. Englehart, who has seen action in 19 contests over his first three seasons. He joins his father (Sam '73) and brother (Will '08) as team captains for the Generals.

"J.D. started the Lee-Jackson game for us during the fall and he is a tremendous leader and a tireless worker," said McCabe.

Senior Austin Wernecke is the most experienced member of the defense, having played in 47 games as a three-year starter and two-time Honorable Mention All-ODAC selection.

"I refer to Austin as being vastly underrated and overshadowed by some other guys," said McCabe of Wernecke. "He had a phenomenal Lee-Jackson game this fall and I have no doubt that 2011 will be his best season yet."

Sophomore Joe LaSala is a gifted player who gained tremendous experience during his rookie season. LaSala led the team with 40 caused turnovers en route to receiving Second Team All-ODAC laurels. He also enters the 2011 campaign as a preseason All-American.

"Joe is a talented defenseman with great range and good feet," said McCabe. "He also brings a physical presence to our defense."

Junior Jack Hurley will also be in the mix after seeing action in 31 games over his first two years. He spent the fall studying abroad in Denmark, but is ready to contribute this spring.

"Jack has seen a lot of playing time over his first two seasons," said McCabe. "He is difficult to beat on the ball and he has strong instincts."

McCabe also highlighted juniors Jason Harden and Bryan Stuke as players that would compete for playing time and could break into the rotation at the position.

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2011-02-01



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