2013 Washington College Men's Lacrosse Season Preview

CHESTERTOWN, MD -- After a pair of rebuilding seasons, Washington College re-established itself on the national stage in 2012, finishing atop the Centennial Conference regular-season standings for the first time since 2004, advancing to the NCAA Division III tournament for the first time since 2008, and appearing in the national rankings for the first time since 2009.

All told, the Shoremen finished 2012 with an 11-6 overall record, two more wins than in the previous two years combined, and a 7-1 mark in Centennial play. Head coach Jeff Shirk was voted the conference's Coach of the Year in his second season in Chestertown, while attackman Bennett Cord (Gaithersurg, MD/Gaithersburg) was named the Centennial Conference Player of the Year. Cord (second team) and since graduated goalkeeper Peter Stewart (honorable mention) were named All-Americans. In short, the Shoremen were back.

That's not to say there are no more hurdles. The Shoremen open 2013 still in search of their first Centennial Conference Championship since 2003 after falling to Dickinson in last year's conference title game and their first NCAA Tournament win in five years.

No doubt these Shoremen are ready for those challenges. The entire coaching staff returns intact and nine of the 13 players who started at least five games each last season also return. Nine of the Shoremen's top 10 point-getters, eight of the Shoremen's top 10 in ground balls, and four of the Shoremen's top five in caused turnovers from 2012 are all back.

Cord, of course, headlines the rather lengthy list of the Shoremen's returning players and will lead the attack as one of the team's two captains during his senior campaign. A 2012 All-Centennial Conference first-team pick, he led the team in both goals (38) and assists (22) and paced the entire conference in goals per game and points per game. Junior JD Campbell (Baltimore, MD/Mount St. Joseph) scored nine goals while assisting on eight others. JuniorJim Cusick (Fallston, MD/Calvert Hall) scored six goals and handed out two assists while starting the first five games of 2012 before being sidelined by injury. Senior Matt Lewis (Mt. Airy, MD/Glenelg Country School) registered 13 goals and two assists a year ago. Sophomore Stephen Luck(Catonsville, MD/Boys' Latin) should see an increased role on attack this season after scoring a pair of goals in nine games as a freshman. FreshmanCasey Kermes (State College, PA/Northfield Mount Herman [MA]) also figures to be in the mix on attack.

The Shoremen also return a wealth of talent at midfield, including the Shoremen's second, third, and fourth leading point-getters from a year ago. JuniorHunter Nowicki (Baltimore, MD/Franklin) was named to the All-Centennial Confernce second team after scoring 15 goals and assisting on 16 others, while sophomore Grant Hughes (Alexandria, VA/St. Stephen's & St. Agnes) had an impressive freshman campaign with 23 goals and four assists. Senior Patrick Coyle (Reisterstown, MD/Calvert Hall), meanwhile, is coming off 13-goal, eight-assist season, while sophomore Kodie Englehart(Coronado, CA/Coronado) earned All-Centennial Conference second-team honors with 11 goals, five assists, and 32 ground balls. Sophomores Adam Smith (Cockeysville, MD/Loyola Blakefield) and Luke Birnbaum (Melville, NY/Half Hollows Hills East) had three goals and three assists and one goal and one assist, respectively, as freshmen. Four freshmen - Sid Looney (Westhampton, NY/Westhampton), David McBrien (Bel Air, MD/Calvert Hall), Burke Harrington (Ft. Lauderdale, FL/St. Thomas Aquinas), and Matt Savage (Bethlehem, PA/Allentown Catholic) - have also emerged as contenders for regular playing time at midfield.

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