Mercy Inks Six Players to Nat'l Letters of Intent

DOBBS FERRY, N.Y. (Nov. 30 2011) Mercy College has signed six recruits to National Letters of Intent for the spring 2013 season, head coach Steve Manitta announced today. These recruits will join a third-year squad recently ranked seventh in the Face-off Magazine Preseason Poll. In addition, four Mavericks were named preseason All-Americans.

"We wanted to make sure we continued to recruit players who were competitors the same type of young men we first broke ground with," Coach Manitta commented. "These six players will be strong contributors and continue to help raise expectations here in Dobbs Ferry."

Dan Chillianis (Bethpage, N.Y.), Thomas Lackaye (Summit, N.J.), Connor McLachlan (Guilderland, N.Y.), Joe Persico (Plainedge, N.Y.), Justin Rohr (Bethpage, N.Y.) and Tyler Van Benschoten (St. Joseph, N.J.) have already joined the Class of 2016 and will suit up for the Mavericks next spring.

Chillianis is a defenseman who started all four years for the Golden Eagles under head coach Erwin Dill, where he was an All-County selection twice and All-America Scholar Athlete.

"Dan brings an aggressive, creative style of play to the defensive side of the field that will only benefit our program in the future," Manitta said.

Lackaye played as a two-way midfielder for New Jersey Hall of Fame coach Jim Davidson at Summit High School, which won three state titles and shattered the state consecutive wins record.

"Thomas is an old-school midfielder who can easily succeed on both ends of the field. He's a terrific athlete who comes from a well-coached, storied program," Manitta said.

McLachlan, an attackman, led the Dutchmen and ranked in the top 15 in New York's Section II in total points last season. "Connor combines tremendous size and scorer's touch that will complement this offense. This is a young man who will push for time immediately," Manitta said.

Persico, a defenseman, was a three-year starter in high school, earning Academic All-Conference honors in his junior and senior years playing for Head Coach Gary Levitan.

"Joe is another one of our big, strong and intelligent recruits who will help us develop the growth of our defensive system and protect Division II's top goaltender," Manitta said.

Rohr, a four-year teammate of Chillianis' at Bethpage High School, was an All-Conference and Academic All-Conference selection as a midfielder in his senior year under Coach Dill. He also started at quarterback the past two seasons for the Golden Eagles football team, which went undefeated in the regular season and advanced to the second round of the state playoffs this year.

"It's no coincidence that he was the starting quarterback for the past two seasons for a successful Golden Eagle program. A tough, hard-nosed midfielder who can trigger transition from defense to offense, he is another athletic, two-way player we are excited about," Manitta said.

Van Benschoten, a versatile attackman who also excels in midfield, was named First Team All-League, All-County and All-State after amassing over 130 total points in his three seasons with the Green Knights playing for head coach Andrew Decicco. "Tyler is a shifty playmaker who has a true knack for scoring. He can create offense from the midfield and at attack. He's a threat on the run, and with time and room," Manitta said.

Mercy finished the 2011 campaign ranked seventh in the nation and climbed as high as sixth during the season with several members garnering various accolades. Manitta was named the East Coast Conference Coach of the Year and goalkeeper T.J. DiCarlo, returning for his junior year, was named First Team All-America and Division II Goalkeeper of the Year, along with multiple other All-ECC selections. The Mavericks lost only three seniors from last year's squad, which posted the country's best man-down defensive percentage.

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