2013 SUNY Potsdam Men's Lacrosse Season Preview

Since the start of the State University of New York Athletic Conference lacrosse playoffs 14 years ago, SUNY Potsdam has qualified for the tournament 11 times. Returning to postseason is the always the top priority for the Bears.

Potsdam features 12 seniors and a solid corps of freshman and transfers on a roster of 38 student-athletes. The squad is more than ready for the season to begin and aims to pick up where it left off two years ago, the SUNYAC championship game. The 2012 Bears got off to strong start, but a rash of injuries plagued them down the stretch and they fell just short of conference playoffs.

"Our first goal remains the same: qualify for the SUNYACs," said two-time SUNYAC Coach of the Year Rick Berkman, who enters his 19th season at Potsdam. "Our second goal is to get the number two seed in the SUNYAC playoffs. It's a realistic goal and our players are working hard to host a playoff game for the second time in three years."

Berkman is encouraged by the play of the team in the early part of the season and is once again looking to his veterans to get the their teammates going once the season begins.

"Heading into the opener, we'll be relying heavily on our experienced players who know the system and know my expectations," Berkman said. "We also expect contributions from our newcomers, who should have a big impact throughout the season."

Potsdam will travel to Ithaca College on Saturday, March 2, for its season opener against a very strong Bombers team.

"Ithaca is a very established program and this game will allow us to gauge where we stand as a team and what we need to do to prepare for the difficult season ahead."

The Bears open SUNYAC play at home on Saturday, April 6, against the Brockport Golden Eagles. The team will also have conference home games with Oswego State and SUNY Geneseo and travel to Oneonta State, Plattsburgh State and SUNY Cortland.

"I've always been big on playing the best non-conference teams we can schedule," Berkman said. "I think our three games right out of the gate are going to be a good test for us. Ithaca is a new team for us to play. Morrisville is a program on the rise and the local game with Clarkson is always a battle. These are games that will expose some of our weaknesses and let us see what we have to do better heading into SUNYAC play with Brockport."

Here is a position-by-position breakdown of the 2013 team:

"From what I've seen in preseason, we're moving the ball real well and have a lot of guys who can shoot and dodge," Berkman said. " As we get going into the season, I'm expecting us to reach double digits in goals-per-game no matter who we're playing, which is going to give us a better chance to win."

Junior captain Rob Kunz (Watertown, N.Y./Immaculate Heart), who was second team All-SUNYAC in 2012, returns for the Bears after leading the team in scoring a year ago with 22 goals and 19 assists.

"Rob is the complete package as an attackman. He is very good at dodging and creating his own shot and also getting the players around him involved in the offense."

Joining Kunz on the starting attack will be junior Jeff Seager (Ballston Spa, N.Y./Ballston Spa). Seager missed the entire 2012 season after transferring to Potsdam from Herkimer Community College.

"Jeff is a very well rounded athlete, who has fit right into a starting spot on attack and should ease some of the load on Kunz and help run our offense".

The third spot on the starting attack will come down to an early season battle between returning starter and senior Kyle Nicholas (Syracuse, N.Y./Westhill) and freshman Ed Doherty (Amherst, N.Y./Amherst).

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