Bullets Looking to Improve on 9-7 Campaign in 2014

GETTYSBURG, Pa. An experienced and talented returning group will have Gettysburg College gunning for a Centennial Conference title and a return to the NCAA Division III Tournament in 2014.

The Bullets return six starters, including two All-Americans, the conference rookie of the year, and their top-four scorers who combined for 61 percent of the team's goals last season. Gettysburg also brings several key defensive players from last season's team that qualified for the Centennial Conference tournament for the 13th year in a row.

Led by 27th-year Head Coach Hank Janczyk, the second-winningest coach in NCAA men's lacrosse history, the Orange and Blue are coming off a season in which they finished 9-7, but that record is deceiving, as every loss came by three goals or less, with six games being decided by one or two goals.

In the preseason, the Bullets were ranked nationally by Inside Lacrosse (No. 17), Lacrosse Magazine (No. 20), and the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (No. 20).

On the attack, the Bullets bring back a pair of prolific scorers in junior Robby Maddux (Baltimore, Md./St. Paul's) and senior Martin Manilla (Fairport, N.Y./Fairport). A tremendous shooter, Maddux led the team and finished third in the Centennial Conference with 35 goals a season ago on his way to earning Honorable Mention All-America and Second Team All-Centennial Conference status. An outstanding playmaker, Manilla led the Bullets with 24 assists third among the conference leaders while netting 24 goals for a team-leading 48 points. He was recognized with All-Centennial Conference Honorable Mention.

A number of players will compete for the final starting job on the attack, including seniors Bobby Distler (Lutherville, Md./Loyola Blakefield) and Henry Tesar (Lake Bluff, Ill./Avon Old Farms [Conn.]); junior Brendan Morris (Waccabuc, N.Y./John Jay); and freshmen Reed Barbe (Greenwich, Conn./Suffield Academy) and Sean Fumai (Weston, Conn./Weston). Distler, Tesar, and Morris each appeared in four games last season, and Tesar posted 21 goals and 18 assists over his first two seasons with the Bullets. Barbe is a transfer from the University of Denver, one of the top Division I programs in the nation.

Gettysburg also brings back a pair of dangerous offensive performers in the midfield. Sophomore Jameson Smith (Glen Ridge, N.J./Glen Ridge) returns after gaining Centennial Conference Rookie of the Year and First Team All-Centennial Conference honors last season, when he piled up 25 goals and 17 assists. He will be joined by junior Bijan Firouzan (Pittsburgh, Pa./Mt. Lebanon), an Honorable Mention All-American and Second Team All-Centennial Conference selection who registered 20 goals and 17 assists over 14 games a year ago.

A host of additional Bullets will battle for the third midfield position, including senior Derek Ruebling (Morristown, N.J./Delbarton); juniors Steven Mahon (Setauket, N.Y./St. Anthony's), Jimmy Morris (Waccabuc, N.Y./John Jay), and Adam Narwicz (Upper Arlington, Ohio/Upper Arlington); sophomores Mike Distler (Lutherville, Md./Loyola Blakefield), Tim Murphy (Darien, Conn./Darien), and Paul Werner (Westfield, N.J./Seton Hall Prep), and freshman Austin Nadeau (Walpole, Mass./Proctor Academy [N.H.]).

Ruebling brings the most experience, having played in 35 games while posting nine goals and four assists for his career. Murphy played in 14 games and started twice last season, posting three goals and three assists, while Distler, the younger brother of Bobby, appeared in 11 games, started once, and logged one goal and three assists. Morris came on strong midway through the season last year, scoring six goals in four games before suffering a season-ending injury. Werner notched one goal and one assist over six games while Mahon (eight games) and Narwicz (three games) also saw action.

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