Feb. 19, 2004
When Brown men's lacrosse coach Scott Nelson talks about this year's team, he does so with the enthusiasm of a coach on the verge of returning the Bears to the upper echelon of the Ivy League standings.
"We have a great goalie in senior Mike Levin, some outstanding senior leadership, our defense is a year older and more athletic, and we expect several of our upperclassmen to step up and become impact players," said Nelson.
The Bears feature one of the top net-minders in the nation, senior All-American Mike Levin, who has consistently ranked among the top goalies in the nation over the last two years, and has the ability to make a difference in big games. A first team All-Ivy selection in 2002, Levin posted a 9.38 goals against average as a sophomore and allowed 11.26 goals per game last season. He made 19 saves against both Syracuse and UMass in 2003, and registered a career high 20 saves vs. Cornell in 2002. With Nick Gentilesco missing the season with a year-long internship in New York, freshman Chandler Clarke will back-up Levin.
Nelson is optimistic about the Bears' midfield and will rely heavily on junior Chris Mucciolo to carry the bulk of the scoring load. Mucciolo is expected to be one of the top middies in the league after moving over from the attack. He scored a season high four goals against Yale, and is Brown's top returning scorer with 19 goals and 4 assists.
Seniors Rich Tuohey and Rick Whelan will be counted on for scoring and leadership in the midfield. Tuohey, Brown's fourth leading scorer a year ago, netted 8 goals and dished out 10 assists, while Whelan had a goal and four assists. The Bears also have high expectations in the midfield for John Urquhart (2 goals, 1 assist), a senior with great skills.
Nelson has strong expectations in the midfield for junior Britton Derkac, who scored 8 goals and picked up 30 ground balls, sophomore Will McGettigan, Brown's top freshman a year ago, sophomore Grant Derkac, a good ground ball man, junior George Bassett, sophomores Tom Pitcher, Ben Donoghue and Kyle Wailes, and junior defensive middie Tony Frick. Freshman Alex Buckley is a high school All-American, who boasts the hardest shot on the Brown team. Freshman Michael Bernard, Will Davis and John Gilles should also see some playing time.
Junior Kirk Teatom captured 159 of 288 (.552) face-offs last season, and will handle the face-off duties for the Bears along with McGettigan, who won 4 of 10 face-offs a year ago. He picked-up a team high 88 ground balls last season, second best in the Ivy League
On the attack, Nelson will be counting on junior Chazz Woodson, senior Charlie Towers and senior Brian Miller to create havoc for the opponents' defense. Woodson, one of the fastest players on the Bears' squad in the open field, netted 13 goals and handed out nine assists a year ago. Miller is Brown's fourth leading returning scorer with 9 goals and 3 assists, while Towers emerged as a legitimate scoring threat with six goals last season. Sophomore Rory Hyland is an excellent passer, who should also be ready to step into a bigger role for the Bears.
Brown's defense features a young, but experienced group, headed by juniors Dan Spinosa, Mark Girolomo and Bryan Bennett, and sophomore Rob Cotter. Spinosa, a long stick defensive midfielder, is expected to step up and lead the Bears' defense. Girolomo started all 14 games for last year's squad, while Bennett saw action in 12 games for the Bears. Cotter's playing time increased in the latter part of the season, and he established himself as an aggressive checker.
The Bears' defense will also be buoyed by the addition of junior Reece Pacheco, a transfer from Bucknell, where he started for the last two years. Sophomores Chris Kearney and Jim Faello should also see playing time, along with sophomore Ryan Seidman and junior Doug Faron.