NCAA violations ripped away any chance of 2011 post season opportunities for the Hobart men’s lacrosse team. With no playoff bans for the 2012 season the Statesmen looked to establish a fresh start and improve their record; however things did not go as planned. Hobart went 4-9 overall and was on the outside looking in for the ECAC tournament which saw conference winner Loyola eventually crowned NCAA champs. With some strong returnees and their most discussed freshman class in recent years, Hobart will enter their 3rd and final season under NCAA probation with goals to re-establish their competitive reputation.
The junior duo of Alex Love and Cam Stone will lead the Hobart attack unit. Love was named All-ECAC second team last season after recording 45 points. Love also posted 38 goals as a sophomore, the most by a Statesmen since moving to Division I. Stone also impressed in 2012, showcasing his set up skills with 29 assists to go along with 12 goals for 41 points. Sophomore Zach Grace is a strong candidate to start on attack with the loss of Sam Miller, who posted 27 points in his senior season. Bud Graham and Matt Opsahl are both top ranked attack recruits and will look to push for starting time as freshmen.
With top scoring midfield Chris Pederson graduated, sophomore Taylor Vanderbeek will carry the scoring load for the Hobart mids. Vanderbeek will look to continue the momentum from his successful frosh campaign that saw him finish with 27 points and ECAC All-Rookie team honors. Vanderbeek will desperately need some secondary scoring, as apart from him no returning midfielders notched more than 5 points last season. Seniors Jake Siberlecht and Ryan Korn, both returning captains, will look to provide some leadership to an inexperienced midfield unit.
Seniors Sean Regan and Reid Rosello are returning starters on defense. Junior Connor Eustace also returns to the Hobart defensive core. After starting early in the 2012 season, Eustace was sidelined for most of the year by injury. Senior Ethan O’Connor will look to continue his stellar LSM play after registering 43 ground balls and 4 points last season. Junior goaltender Peter Zonino seems poised to return as the team’s starter. Zonini finished his first season as starting tendy with a .530 save percentage.
With NCAA violations still looming over the Hobart lacrosse program and an active streak of three consecutive losing seasons, spirits may not be the highest they’ve ever been for Statesmen lacrosse. However, with some skilled young returnees to base the team around and an anticipated freshman class entering the Geneva, N.Y. campus, Hobart may be able to turn their luck around in 2013.