Men's Lacrosse looking to build off 2008 season
New England College men’s lacrosse is looking to pick up where they left off last season as the Pilgrims stormed back into the playoffs in 2008 after a two year absence. The Pilgrims finished last season with an overall record of 4-12 and a Commonwealth Coast Conference (TCCC) record of 3-6, earning the seventh seed heading into the playoffs. NEC faced off against the #2 seeded Western New England College Golden Bears in the TCCC opening round falling to the eventual conference champions 3-16. The Pilgrims did earn some huge victories a season ago including conference wins over University of New England, Nichols College and Curry College.
Second year head coach Curtis Gilbert did lose a couple impact players due to graduation, including the Pilgrims’ leading scorer last season Dillon Lantz and the team leader in assists midfielder Kyle Burke. Returning on attack for the Pilgrims will be sophomore Ryan Von Uffel. Von Uffel (Cold Harbor Springs, N.Y.) played in 12 games for the Pilgrims last season and led all first-year players in scoring finishing with four goals. NEC will also look to junior captain Matt Vozzolo (Somers, Conn.) for offense. Vozzolo was second on the team in scoring last season finishing with 17 points, including 14 goals and three assists. Junior midfielder Clint McDonough (Mountain Lakes, N.J.) will return as well finishing last season with a goal and four assists.
The Pilgrims have a veteran crew returning on defense this season, including captains Aamad Chaudhrey and Paul Ganley. Chaudhrey (Ocala, Fla.) played in 15 games for the Pilgrims last season finishing fourth on the team in ground balls with 28 and second on the team in caused turnovers with nine. Ganley (Burlington, Mass.) started 15 games for the Pilgrims a season ago and finished with 27 ground balls. Also returning on defense will be sophomore Derek Weckbacher (Duxbury, Mass.) who played in 15 games last season and senior Jesse Devitte (Henniker, N.H.) who played in eight games in 2008. Anchoring the Pilgrim defense in goal will be sophomore Nick Acquaviva (Syracuse, N.Y.) Acquaviva had an impressive rookie campaign in goal a season ago finishing the season with 207 saves and a save percentage of .618.
The Pilgrims have a handful of first-year players joining the team, including Matt Goyette (Lowell, Mass.) who will see time as an attack player. Also looking to make an impact will be midfielders Jake Flynn (Merrimack, N.H.), Sam Freihofner (Scarsdale, N.Y.), defensemen Greg Jacques (W. Hartford, Conn.), Dan Shupe (Dartmouth, N.S.), and Jake Ryan (Victoria, B.C.)