Griffins Prepare for Epic Season in Year Four

Philadelphia, Pa. (2/5/2013) "I expect us to compete at a very high level and have a lot of fun." Staying lose and excelling on the field is nothing new to Chestnut Hill College head coach Brian Dougherty, whose Griffins are now garnering high expectations from their peers across NCAA Division II. Entering their fourth season of play, the Griffins aim to fit the billing of a #10 nationally ranked roster (Lacrosse Magazine, 1/4/2013).

2012 Chestnut Hill College spent six consecutive weeks in the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) Coaches' Poll (2/27-5/7), topping out at #8 for a two-week period (3/19 and 3/26) and finishing their second season under Head Coach Brian Dougherty at 8-6 overall and 5-5 in the East Coast Conference (ECC). The 2013 preseason picked up where 2012 left off as the Griffins earned a #8 national ranking in's 2013 Face-Off Yearbook DII Top 10 and a #10 national ranking in Lacrosse Magazine's 2013 NCAA Division II Preseason Rankings (11/29/2012).

To reach such a level of success the Griffins will rely on an experienced, cohesive roster, which will be led by team captains, senior goalkeeper Dakota Maurer (Lititz, Pa.) and junior midfielder Michael Landau (Lancaster, Pa.), All-ECC performers senior midfielder Michael Duddy (Toms River, N.J.) and junior attack Mike Melnychenko (St. Catharines, Ontario), and senior defenseman Tom Carfagna (Laurys Station, Pa.), who joined Melnychenko as a 2013 Face-Off Yearbook Preseason All-American.

Maurer earned the 2012 Men's Lacrosse Coach's Award after providing the Griffins with an 8.25 goals-against-average (GAA), a .586 save percentage, and an 8-6 overall record. Landau ranked fifth on the team in scoring (12 goals) and tied for fourth in points (17) while Duddy offered three of his 18 goals in game-winning fashion. He totaled 21 points, 23 ground balls, and five caused turnovers.

Carfagna was recognized as the team's Most Valuable Player (MVP) after a season of two goals, four assists, 56 ground balls, 27 caused turnovers, and marking the opponent's best attacker. Melnychenko continued the great start to his collegiate career with a team-leading 48 points (36 goals and 12 assists), 25 ground balls, and ten caused turnovers.

Key additions to the team include freshmen, attacker Tanner Fisher (Port Coquitlam, British Columbia), midfielder Nicholas Thomas (South Ogden, Utah), and defender Derrick Darnulc (Baldwin, N.Y.). A High School All-American at Blue Ridge High School, Fisher joins the Griffins after a senior season of leading the state of Virginia in scoring (86 goals and 28 assists, 114 points). Thomas will help solidify the midfield and battle for face-offs. He was a two-time captain for Bonneville High School, in Utah, where he was twice named All-North Division I First Team performer.

Darnulc will be competing for a starting position in the backfield. As a four-year defensive starter, Darnulc was named to the All-Nassau County (NY) Men's Lacrosse Team after his junior (2011) and senior (2012) seasons.

Other additions to the 2013 roster include; sophomore defenseman James DeCarlo (Conshohocken, Pa.), freshman defenseman Danny Fleagle (Forest Hill, Md.), freshman midfielder Zachary Groves (Coatesville, Pa.), freshman attack George Markey (Neshanic Station, N.J.), freshman midfielder Austin Mercado (Temecula, Calif.), junior defenseman Scott Parke (Springfield, Pa.), freshman attack Michael Plaia (Hicksville, N.Y.), freshman defenseman Gabriel Straub (Nazareth, Pa.), and sophomore defenseman Coleman Till (Chester Springs, Pa.).

The men's lacrosse team will ring in the 2013 season when they travel up to Syracuse, New York, on February 23 for a 2:00 p.m. contest against Le Moyne College.


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