5/6/03

Kemper Named All-CAC

YORK, PA-York College men’s lacrosse player Jason Kemper (Bel Air, MD/Bel Air) was named to the All-Capital Athletic Conference second team on Friday as the coaches’ voting was released. It is the third time in his four-year Spartan career that Kemper has earned second-team All-CAC accolades.
Kemper, a midfielder, has had another solid year for the green and white. He was York’s top face-off man as he has captured 56.4% (92-for-163) of his face-offs. Kemper scored 11 goals and added four assists for 15 points. He has also proven to be the Spartans’ top ground-ball hawk as he has collected a team-high 90 ground balls. He led the CAC in ground balls per game as he averaged 9.0 ground balls per contest.
Kemper leaves YCP as the all-time leader in ground balls with a total of 378. His career average of 7.3 is also tops in the Spartans’ all-time career list. He is also tops on the Spartan career list for face-off wins (378) and winning percentage (57.6%). Kemper also ranks on the career charts as he is second in points (91), third in goals (53), and third in assists (38).
Kemper is York’s first multiple All-CAC honoree as the Spartan program just finished up its fourth varsity season.

 

3/3/03

2003 Men's Lacrosse Preview

YORK, PA-The York College men’s lacrosse team enters the 2003 campaign with expectations towards improvement on the successful beginnings of the four-year program.
Second-year head coach Rob Horrigan believes that this season will be a great learning experience for the 16 players that are new to the Spartan program.
“We have 16 new players on a 30-man roster this season,” states Horrigan. “Of those 16 newcomers, 14 are freshmen so basically half of our team are freshmen. With more than half the team being new to the program, I think the most important thing for us is to have patience with each other and to work hard everday towards becoming better. That is how we are going to become a program that is a contender in Division III lacrosse.”
“Certainly we are excited about the season, and I really have high expectations for this year,” says Horrigan. “We have worked very hard and have modeled this program after other successful men’s lacrosse programs.”
Horrigan faces a number of challenges in building the young program but the energetic head coach has tackled the task head on.
“We are so much more athletic than we have ever been,” says Horrigan. “We are deeper, and we have more good lacrosse players on the team than ever before. I can look down our bench and know that these kids can get the job done when called upon.”
One of the biggest challenges that Horrigan faces is finding scoring to replace a pair of graduated attackmen that accounted for a combined 69 goals and 36 assists, a staggering 50% of the Spartans’ total offensive production.
If Horrigan is worried about replacing Scott Hermes and Ryan Wynne, he certainly doesn’t show it.
“Scott and Ryan were outstanding players and replacing them will not be easy,” comments Horrigan. “However, the way we will be playing this year, I think we will be more balanced offensively and, therefore, not as reliant upon one or two guys.”
Horrigan’s attack will look different as he spent the fall moving guys around looking for the right chemistry. Sophomore Ricky Cherba (Annapolis, MD/Annapolis), freshman Ben Libertini (Catonsville, MD/Catonsville), and sophomore Mike Gilbert (Columbia, MD/Wilde Lake) compose the starting attack. Cherba is a big, strong athlete that had a solid freshman year. He scored six goals and dished out five assists last season from the midfield as he made seven starts in 14 games. Libertini comes to York from a good high school program and Horrigan expects the freshman to have an immediate impact. Libertini has outstanding stickwork and isn’t afraid to stick his nose in the action, a trait that Horrigan appreciates. Gilbert was a midfielder last season and has done a nice job of making the transition to the attack. He does a nice job of possession, which is something that Horrigan has put a premium on this season. Gilbert tallied a goal and an assist in 14 games last season. He was one of York’s face-off men last year and converted 41.1% of his face-off chances, a number that Horrigan expects to increase this year.
“I don’t believe we have one dominate scorer this year,” says Horrigan. “However, I do believe that our balance will be so much better this year, and I also feel that will make us a more difficult team to defend. Our opponents are going to have to make some difficult decisions in terms of match-ups in their defensive end. We are very young in the attack, but I am confident that these kids will grow into their roles and we will get positive results. These kids should really benefit from our offensive philosophy.”
Sophomore Mike Sayo (Hicksville, NY/Hicksville) should also see the field in the attack while freshman Dan DeBonis (Massapequa, NY/Massapequa) has moved from defense to the attack to provide the green and white with some depth. Sayo is a smart, quick player with outstanding game sense while DeBonis has surprised the coaching staff with how quick he has adjusted to his position change.
The first midfield features the Spartans’ top player as Jason Kemper (Bel Air, MD/Bel Air) returns for his final year in the green and white. Kemper, a two-time All-CAC midfielder, finished last season with 14 goals and 16 assists, but just as importantly, he hawked a team-record 154 ground balls. Kemper was the Spartans’ top face-off man as he won 152-of-264 attempts, good for a winning percentage of 57.6%. He was also an ironman for the green and white as he usually played between 50 and 55 minutes per game.
“I am not sure there is anything I can say about Jason that would do him justice,” says Horrigan. “He is the heart and soul of our team and really personifies our program. He is tough, smart, determined, and driven to be a great player. I expect Jason to have a rewarding senior year.”
Joining Kemper in the first midfield is fellow senior Brendan Brace (Bethpage, NY/Bethpage) and sophomore John Cannon (Silver Spring, MD/Gonzaga College). Brace moves to the midfield after spending his first three seasons in the attack for YCP. He scored 19 goals and added six assists last season as he started all 14 games in 2002. Cannon saw action in 10 games during his freshman year and he scored three goals and added one assist. The second midfield should also be solid for the Spartans as junior Kurt Miller (Quakertown, PA/Quakertown) will team with sophomore Justin Meyers (Farmingville, NY/Sachem) and freshmen Josh Papson (Baltimore, MD/North County) and Brian Leone (Bel Air, MD/McDonogh) to form the second group of middies. Miller is a great athlete that continues to improve all facets of his game, particularly his stickwork. Miller scored two goals and dished out two assists in 14 games last season. This group of first and second midfielders should get a boost midway through this season as sophomore Pat Wynne (Mt. Airy, MD/South Carroll) is scheduled to return to the lineup after he completes his rehabilitation from off-season surgery. Wynne was York’s fourth-leading scorer as a freshman last year as he banged home 17 goals to go along with nine assists.
The midfield will have depth as sophomore Tony Legge (Westminster, MD/Westminster), senior Dave Larson (Dover, DE/Dover), freshman Matt Kita (Collegeville, PA/Methacton), junior Hunter Truchett (Finksburg, MD/Westminster), and freshman Scott Kaskel (Baltimore, MD/Parkville) should battle for the opportunity to earn playing time in the midfield.
Horrigan is happy with the depth and ability in the midfield.
“We have a strong group of players that should allow us to play the way we want to play,” says Horrigan. “We should receive more scoring out of the middies this season and those kids are a tough group that aren’t afraid to mix it up. I like their attitudes and I expect their solid work ethic to be a real asset.”
Horrigan is very excited about his two long-stick midfielders as freshman Brian Bell (Bel Air, MD/C. Milton Wright) joins senior Jim Mancusi (Norwalk, CT/Brien McMahon) to give YCP a great presence with the long sticks. Mancusi is a leader that does a great job of handling the ball and clearing the ball to the offensive zone. Mancusi also has the ability to score as he had four goals and one assist last year. Bell is one of Horrigan’s top recruits, and the coach expects him to make an immediate impact. Bell is a tough defender and an outstanding stick handler that won’t play like a freshman.
“Jimmy and Brian are two outstanding players, and I feel very comfortable having either of them in the game,” says Horrigan. “They will certainly be one of the strengths of our team.”
The close defensive unit will be anchored by senior captain Andrew Marsh (Vienna, VA/Flint). Marsh will be joined by freshmen Christian Henderson (Catonsville, MD/Catonsville), Dave Budniakewicz (Cockeysville, MD/Dulaney), Brian Porter (Fallston, MD/Fallston), and Joel Sheehe (Lancaster, PA/Hempfield) to compose the defense. Marsh is a four-year starter that provides the younger Spartans with a great example thanks to his tremendous work ethic. Marsh’s toughness and determination will lay the groundwork for the freshmen and allow the younger players to learn what it takes to be a defenseman at the collegiate level. Senior Mike Connors (Mt. Airy, MD/South Carroll) and freshman Scott Kimball (Phoenix, MD/Dulaney) will also be in the mix for playing time.
“We are young in the close defensive unit but the potential is there,” says Horrigan. “Having Andrew back there is a benefit but the young guys will need to quickly adjust to the college game. The quicker they do that, the better our defense is going to be.”
The goaltending duties will fall on the shoulders of senior Evan Mazzocchi (Swarthmore, PA/Strath Haven) and freshman Dave Welti (Stroudsburg, PA/Hicksville). Mazzocchi is a senior captain that has evolved into a solid player in the pipes. Mazzocchi played in 795:21 of the Spartans’ 843:17 minutes last season. He started all 14 games and recorded a save percentage of .539 and a goals against average of 13.88. Welti provides Horrigan with a solid back up that could step into goal if needed during the season.
“Some coaches feel that a team is only as good as its face-off men and goalie allow them to be,” says Horrigan. “I feel good about our face-off men and our goalie. Evan has developed more consistency which I think will help him tremendously come game time. He is more focused on being mentally prepared for each and every minute of the game.”
Horrigan has a list of things that he wants his team to accomplish each game.
“There are things that we must do in order for us to be successful during this season,” says Horrigan. “We need to get possession, keep possession, clear the ball, and play with a passion that will enable us to outwork the teams we play. I believe that these will be the keys to our season.”
Horrigan also knows that the program is headed in a direction that will find the Spartans drawing more respect from opponents than it has in the past.
“We are so much more athletic up and down the line,” says Horrigan. “The depth has made practice much more competitive and that has really elevated our ability to improve every day. Getting better every day is a goal and is something we take pride in. That will also enable us to become the team, and the program, we are working to become.”