Lacrosse – Class B North Preview
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2015 SHORE CONFERENCE LACROSSE PREVIEW
CLASS B NORTH
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Tim Barile, Sr., Attack, Red Bank Catholic
-Scored 24 goals and added 29 assists last season. Committed to Virginia Military Institute.
Robbie Garavente, Jr., Attack, Rumson-Fair Haven
-A contributor since his freshman year, Garavente is the Bulldogs’ leading returning scorer after netting 27 goals, 17 assists and 32 ground balls last year.
Steven Graziano, Sr., LSM, Ocean
-Standout defender and ground ball magnet who picked up 145 loose balls last season while locking down opponents' top scorers.
John Pierce, Sr., Goalie, Red Bank
-Made 251 saves with a .630 save percentage last season and is one of the top returning goalies in the Shore this season.
Justin Ruiz, Sr., Goalie, Holmdel
-Returning first team SSN All-Shore goalie made 257 saves with a .719 save percentage last year and four games of 20 or more saves.
DIVISIONAL GAMES TO WATCH
Ocean at Holmdel, April 11
St. John Vianney at Rumson-Fair Haven, April 11
St. Rose at Ranney, April 13
Red Bank at St. John Vianney, April 15
Rumson-Fair Haven at Shore, April 16
Red Bank Catholic at Red Bank, April 17
Ocean at Red Bank, April 22
Holmdel at Red Bank Catholic, April 22
Holmdel at Red Bank, April 24
Shore at Ocean, April 29
Rumson-Fair Haven at Red Bank Catholic, April 29
Red Bank at Rumson-Fair Haven, May 1
St. John Vianney at Red Bank Catholic, May 6
St. John Vianney at Holmdel, May 9
In alphabetical order
Last season: 9-8; Shore Conference Tournament qualifiers; NJSIAA Tournament qualifiers.
Head coach: Sal Guastella, eighth season (57-46).
Top returners: Justin Ruiz, Sr., G (257 saves, .719 save percentage); Tom Rogan, Sr., M; Adam Ibrahim, Sr., D; Joe Ibrahim, Sr., D; Chris Tascione, Jr., D; Shaine Norton, Jr., LSM; Jack Cook, So., M; Frank Entwistle, Jr., M; Zack Marcigliano, Jr., M; Parker Aldredge, Jr., M; Billy DeMaio, So., A.
Outlook: The Hornets graduated a slew of talent including midfielder Mark Scherzer and All-Shore defenseman Tim Davis, but return first team All-Shore goalie Justin Ruiz as the backbone of what should remain a strong defense. Seniors Adam and Joe Ibrahim along with junior Chris Tascione and junior long-stick middie Shaine Norton will be relied on heavily as an inexperienced offense tries to find its way. Every year the Hornets always find a way to be competitive, and this year shouldn’t be any different, but there could be some growing pains early.
Games to watch: April 2 at Southern; April 8 vs. Freehold Township; April 11 vs. Ocean; April 22 at Red Bank Catholic; April 24 at Red Bank; May 9 vs. St. John Vianney.
Last season: 0-20.
Head coach: Frank Pannullo, second season (0-20).
Top returners: Christian Berrocal, Sr., G (.720 save percentage); Ishmael Best, D; Dax Davis, M; Ronald Guidetti, M; Joey Jasio, Jr., D; Raphael Lara, M; Brandon Lane, D; Earl Mackason, D; Hunter Marhan, D; Jefferson Ramirez, M; Andrew Tomas, M; Lazaro Valencia, M; David Van Lew, M.
Outlook: The Green Wave picked up their first varsity win in program history with an 8-7 victory over Union City on opening day. They will try to build on that, and have top athletes from other sports all over the field such as football players Brandon Lane and Earl Mackason, football lineman/wrestler Joey Jasio, and wrestlers Christian Berrocal and T.J. Conlon.
Games to watch: Mach 31 at Neptune; April 6 at Point Boro; April 25 vs. J.P. Stevens.
Last season: 7-10; NJSIAA Tournament qualifiers (reached sectional quarterfinals).
Head coach: Warren Towns, seventh season (31-72).
Top returners: Steven Graziano, Sr., LSM (145gb, 1g); Erik Rant, Jr., M (48g, 14a, 70gb) Joey Appio, Jr., A (31g, 49a, 50gb); Chris Psomias, Sr., D; Haydn Matarazzo, Sr., D (42gb); Clayton Hauck, So., D; Connor Daly, Jr., M (23g, 54gb); Alex Bravo, Jr., M (70% face-offs); Sam Hanna, So., M (18g, 9a); Christian Goslin, Sr., A (8g, 30gb); David Walk, So., G.
Outlook: The Spartans made real progress last season, especially toward the end of the season when they stunned Red Bank in the first round of the state tournament. They return their two top scorers, juniors Joey Appio and Erik Rant, along with outstanding senior LSM Steven Graziano, who had 145 ground balls last season, plus junior middie Connor Daly. The loss of goalie Bobby Graziano to graduation leaves sophomore David Walk between the pipes. B North is the deepest division in the Shore Conference, so each game will be a battle, but the Spartans have the goods to jump their record over .500, qualify for the SCT and make a run at a spot in the top 10.
Games to watch: April 11 at Holmdel; April 22 vs. Red Bank; April 24 vs. St. John Vianney; April 29 vs. Shore; May 9 at Red Bank Catholic.
Last season: 5-10.
Head coach: Denis Noonan, first season.
Top returners: Peter Gerhard, Sr., M.
Outlook: Bucknell University-bound senior midfielder Peter Gerhard looks to lead the Panthers into the Shore Conference and NJSIAA Tournaments as they continue to improve in their first season under head coach Denis Noonan.
Games to watch: April 8 vs. Moorestown Friends; April 13 vs. St. Rose; April 18 at Shore; April 25 vs. Pennington.
RED BANK CATHOLIC
Last season: 10-8; Shore Conference Tournament qualifiers; NJSIAA Tournament qualifiers.
Head coach: Dave Erdman, first season.
Top returners: Tim Barile, Sr., A (24g, 29a); Matt Pieringer, Sr., D (40gb); Brett Habich, Jr., M (28g, 22a, 35gb); Matt Benjamin, Jr., G (212 saves, .644 save percentage); Liam Kerekes, Sr., D; Alec Mintz, Jr., A (10g); Liam McArdle, Jr., M (7g, 33gb).
Outlook: The Caseys bring back two of their top three scorers in Barile, a VMI commit, and Habich, a Siena College commit. Also returning is standout defenseman Matt Pieringer, a first team SSN All-Shore selection last season, along with junior goalie Matt Benjamin. Look for a big year out of Habich, who is big and physical and should be a load to handle for opposing defenses. This team can certainly contend for the division title and make a deep run in the SCT.
Games to watch: March 28 at Manasquan; April 15 at Freehold Township; April 17 at Red Bank; April 22 vs. Holmdel; April 29 vs. Rumson.
Last season: 14-7; Shore Conference Tournament quarterfinalists; NJSIAA Tournament qualifiers.
Head coach: Don Femminella, fifth season (48-34).
Top returners: Brian Fagan, Jr., M (31pts, 111gb); John Pierce, Jr., G (251 saves, .630 save percentage); Cole Smolokoff, Jr., A (45pts, 32gb); Dan Vilardi, Sr., M (38pts, 118 gb); Ryan Martino, Sr., D (21gb); Brayden Seely, Jr., A (8pts, 32gb); Jack O’Connor, Jr., M (4pts, 29gb).
Outlook: The Bucs graduated A Central Player of the Year and SSN first team All-Shore midfielder Jake Smolokoff, along with defensemen Zach Bradley and Ryan Seely, but return a solid core that should have them in contention all season long. Brian Fagan and Dan Vilardi were ground ball machines last season while junior Cole Smolokoff is the leading returning scorer. Goalie Jon Pierce should be among the best in the conference, and he’ll need to be in front of an inexperienced defense. Red Bank has a pair of CBA transfers in the fold in sophomore midfielder Kevin Paz and junior midfielder Ryan Gilmartin, the latter of whom should make a major impact after sitting out because of the NJSIAA transfer rule.
Games to watch: April 15 at St. John Vianney; April 17 vs. Red Bank Catholic; April 24 vs. Holmdel; April 27 at Freehold Township; May 1 at Rumson-Fair Haven; May 4 at Southern.
Last season: 17-4; Class A Central champions; Shore Conference Tournament champions; NJSIAA South Jersey Group I finalist.
Head coach: Andy Eastwood, second season (17-4).
Top returners: Cooper Cuje, Sr., D (24gb, 11 forced turnovers); Robbie Garavente, Jr., A (27g, 17a, 32gb); Matt Waters, Jr., M (18g, 22gb); Lucas Seckler, Sr., M (17g, 20gb); Jack Moore, Sr., LSM (23gb, 12 forced turnovers); Bryan Hess, So., M (5g, 3a, 13gb).
Outlook: The Bulldogs graduated 18 seniors, including first-team SSN All-Shore selections Colin Shea, Chris Hubler and J.T. Jennings, off a team that won a record fourth straight SCT title and reached the South Jersey Group I final. It’s still Rumson, however, and there’s no doubt there are talented players stepping in who have been waiting for their chance to shine. The feeder program in Rumson is tremendous, so there shouldn’t be a big drop-off. The Bulldogs aren’t the overwhelming favorites they’ve been over the last few seasons, but they are still a formidable bunch and the Shore’s best team until proven otherwise.
Games to watch: March 28 at Summit; April 4 vs. Southern; April 13 vs. CBA; April 20 at St. Augustine Prep; April 27 at Princeton; April 29 at Red Bank Catholic; May 1 vs. Red Bank.
ST. JOHN VIANNEY
Last season: 10-7; Shore Conference Tournament qualifiers; NJSIAA Tournament qualifiers.
Head coach: Mike Dowd, sixth season at SJV (38-54).
Top returners: Lou Iovine, Sr., D; Kyle Boyle, Sr., LSM; Aiden Cole, Sr., D/LSM; D.J. Soriano, Jr., G; Ryan Gilfillan, So., M; Andrew Poretta, So., A; Matt Adelfio, Sr., M; Rich Mullarkey, Sr., M; Mike Gentile, Jr., D.
Outlook: In going 10-7 last season, the Lancers lost by three goals or more just once, and that was to St. Augustine Prep, a top 10 team in the state. Graduated are second team All-Shore midfielder T.J. Coleman and all-division attackman Dan Louriero, but the Lancers return standout goalie D.J. Soriano along with midfielders Ryan Gilfillan and Matt Adelfio, plus hulking defenseman Lou Iovine. Junior middie Tom Hanson had a big game in a season-opening, double-overtime win over Freehold Township with the game-tying and game-winning goals, as did senior long-stick middie Kyle Boyle. The offense is young in terms of chemistry, but the Lancers proved in their first game they can be a factor in the division race.
Games to watch: April 4 vs. Old Bridge; April 11 at Rumson-Fair Haven; April 15 vs. Red Bank; April 20 at CBA; May 6 at Red Bank Catholic; May 9 at Holmdel.
Last season: 5-12; NJSIAA Tournament qualifiers.
Head coach: Gregg Malfa, fifth season (36-33).
Top returners: Chris Johnson, Sr., A; James Bedell, Sr., A/D; Mitchell Candido, Sr., LSM; Paul Wedel, Sr., D; Billy Deerin, Sr., M; Michael Cooper, Sr., A/M; Max Sobrano, Sr., A/M; Doug Goldsmith, Jr., M; Jack Britton, Jr., M; Eric Graham, Jr., D; Casey Rogers, Jr., D; Matt Laytham, So., M; Ean Delehanty, So., LSM/M.
Outlook: Coming off a year in which they graduated several top players, the Blue Devils suffered their first losing season since the program began in 2011. They return this season with key returners like senior attackman Chris Johnson, senior James Bedell, who will play both attack and defense, and junior midfielder Doug Goldsmith as they look to rebound and be competitive in the division.
Games to watch: April 15 vs. Rumson-Fair Haven; April 18 vs. Ranney; April 20 vs. Manasquan; April 25 vs. Red Bank Catholic; April 29 at Ocean; May 6 at Long Branch; May 8 at Red Bank.