Lacrosse – 2014 Class A Central Preview
Class A Central
Teams listed in alphabetical order
Head coach: Sal Guastella, sixth season (48-38)
2013 record: 9-6
2014 outlook: The Hornets return a strong group of seniors that includes attackman Joe Tages, midfielders Mark Scherzer and Matt Dixon, and defenseman Tim Davis as they look to remain among the Shore’s best. Tages is the leading returning scorer after posting 31 goals and 17 assists last season. Scherzer had 13 goals and 19 assists along with 50 ground balls, and Dixon had 12 goals and eight assists, 129 ground balls and won 52 percent of face-offs. Davis, a standout pole, had 87 ground balls.
Head coach: Rob Hoffman, first season
2013 record: 11-9
2014 outlook: Standouts Joe Murphy and Blaine Birch lead the Warriors for first-year head coach Rob Hoffman. Birch was a top-10 scorer in the Shore last season with 74 points. Jack Bianco and Kieran Preston also return for one of the conference’s oldest programs.
Head coach: Howard Baranker, first season
2013 record: 0-13
2014 outlook: The Griffins snapped a 19-game losing streak this season and look to build from there under first-year head coach Howard Baranker. Senior midfielders Couper McClay and Dante Mojares return along with junior attackman Kevin Higgins, junior long stick middie Lawrence Aliseo and junior defenseman Mike Merlucci.
Red Bank Catholic
Head coach: Ryan Eichner, 10th season (83-70)
2013 record: 4-11
2014 outlook: The Caseys were young and inexperienced last season, leading to an uncharacteristic 4-11 season. They return their leading scorer, junior attackman Tim Barrile, along with senior midfielder Alex Spezio, the leading returner on ground balls. Sophomore Matt Benjamin steps into the starting spot in goal.
Head coach: Andy Eastwood, first season
2013 record: 18-3
2014 outlook: The Bulldogs have established themselves as the premier team in the Shore Conference and continue to climb the state’s hierarchy. They advanced to the NJSIAA Group I final last season, falling to powerful Mountain Lakes, 8-6. Rumson graduated several top players, but has plenty of talent returning to make a run at its fourth straight Shore Conference Tournament title. Johns Hopkins recruit Chris Hubler controls the midfield while Syracuse recruit Conner Phillips and Siena recruit J.T. Jennings anchor a stingy defense. Chestnut Hill recruit Colin Shea, a 30-goal scorer, leads the attackmen along with senior Dominic Padula and promising sophomore Robbie Garavente. Seniors Bryce Metzger and Logan Pagano give Rumson a pair of top-notch goalies to work with after the graduation of Dylan Rotchford.
St. John Vianney
Head coach: Mike Dowd, fifth season at SJV, 25th overall (185-153)
2013 record: 7-12
2014 outlook: Senior attackmen T.J. Coleman, Pat Gribbon and Christian Byer give the Lancers an experienced group of scorers to work with. Also returning are senior attackman Dan Louriero, senior defenseman Ryan Lucas, senior midfielder Joe Poretta, junior long stick midfielder Aidan Cole, junior defensemen Lou Iovine and Kyle Boyle, sophomore goalie D.J. Soriano, junior middies Matt Adelfio and Rich Mullarkey and sophomore defenseman Mike Gentile.
Head coach: Kevin Preston, first season
2013 record: 3-12
2014 outlook: First-year head coach Kevin Preston inherits a team that returns leading scorer Matt Frost (31-19-50) along with defensemen Joe Erbe and J.P. Regan, who had 102 and 81 ground balls, respectively, last season. Also returning are attackman Sean Sullivan, junior attackman Scott Dimmit, junior defenseman Andrew Sarre and junior long stick midfielder Louis Melone.
Head coach: Greg Malfa, fourth season (31-21)
2013 record: 13-5
2014 outlook: The Blue Devils took a big step forward in 2013 and look to continue their winning ways under fourth-year head coach Greg Malfa. Returners include senior goalie Christian Bostwick, senior defenseman Kurt Hendricksen, senior attackman Chris Francisco, senior attackman Evan Jones, senior midfielders Dennis Vaccaro and Kevin Newenhouse, junior defenseman James Bedell, junior long stick midfielder Mitchell Candido and sophomore middie Doug Goldsmith.