Brown Laxers Open 2011 Season – Host Quinnipiac On Saturday
Providence, Rhode Island - Coming off an Ivy league title in 2010, Brown opens its 65th season of intercollegiate Lacrosse on Saturday, February 26, hosting Quinnipiac at Meister-Kavan Field. Face-off is slated for 1:00 p.m.
After two Ivy Championships and an NCAA Tournament in the last three years, coach Lars Tiffany and the Brown men's lacrosse team are once again preparing to compete among the nation's elite programs. With All-Ivy players and veterans at every position, the Bears hope to make a run well into the NCAA Playoffs.
Tiffany expects to have plenty of offense on the field with the return two of three starting attackmen from a year ago, including All-New England Andrew Feinberg, the Ivy League's second leading goal scorer a year ago, junior Parker Brown, who had a break-out year in 2010, and senior middy and team offensive MVP David Hawley, a first team All-Ivy selection a year ago.
Feinberg is among the top scorers in Brown lacrosse history with 127 career points (99 goals, 28 assists), 21st all-time in the Brown record book. His 99 goals rank 11th all-time at Brown. Feinberg's 43 points (36 goals, 7 assists) led the Brown team in 2010, and his 2.57 goals per game were second in the Ivy league, 11th best in the nation. Feinberg, Brown's top goal scorer for each of the last two years, scored four or more goals five times, and registered a career high five goals against Providence.
The winner of the Jim Tepper Award as the most improved player in the program, Parker Brown earned a starting role and responded by scoring 19 goals, fourth on the Brown squad, and handing out 12 assists for 31 points. He scored a career high three goals against Cornell, Yale and Hartford.
The Bears third attackman is up in the air, with sophomore George Sherman having the inside track. Freshman Sam Hurster has impressed the coaching staff in the pre-season and may also get an opportunity for significant playing time. This fall, senior Jeffrey Foote proved he can be an attackman, and he may also run in the midfield. Sophomore Marc White and freshman Brady Williams round out the Bears' attack.
Brown's midfield is also chock full of dangerous scorers, headlined by Hawley, and junior Rob Schlesinger. A first team All-Ivy and All-New England selection, Hawley was Brown's second leading goal scorer with 27 goals, seventh best in the Ivy League. His 31 points (27 goals, 4 assists) ranked third on the Brown team in 2010.He scored three goals against Hofstra, Providence and Bryant, and netted two goals in seven different games, including Brown's Ivy Playoff game against Cornell.
Schlesinger suffered a late season injury that kept him out of both Cornell games and the Dartmouth game, but still able to start seven games for the Bears. He scored 10 goals and handed out nine assists, including two key goals in Brown's win over Harvard.
The coaching staff is also pleased with the development of sophomore middy Alex Jones, who saw action in all 14 games as a first year player, and impressed everyone with his athleticism. He scored two goals and handed out an assist, while picking up 16 ground balls.
Junior Nick Laster is coming off a strong 2010 campaign in the offensive midfield, scoring five goals for the Bears. Tiffany also looks to sophomore Johnny DePeters (three goals in six games) and senior Teddy Daiber to contribute, along with freshmen Stephen Chmil, who might also play in the defensive midfield, and David Bonomo.
The defensive midfield is anchored by senior captain Jimmy Wittpenn, who was named the winner of the Dom Starsia Award as the Brown player who best represents the spirit of Brown lacrosse year in and year out. Wittpenn played in 12 games and picked up 12 ground balls for last year's Ivy League Champion team.
Senior All-American Peter Fallon headlines the Brown defensive effort. A two-time All-Ivy selection for the Bears, Fallon is the glue behind Brown's defensive effort. He was an honorable mention All-American selection in 2009, and ranked second on last Brown team with 37 ground balls. He scored his second career goal against Bryant, and received a rare honor for a defenseman in being named the Ivy League Player of the Week for his tenacious play in Brown's wins over #8 Cornell and Providence.
Junior Brennan Bailey started all 14 games at close defense a year ago and quickly developed the reputation of a shutdown defenseman, consistently matching up against the opponent's top scorer.
A long stick midfielder, sophomore Roger Ferguson, the 2010 New England Rookie of the Year, was a spark plug for the Bears as a long stick middy and on defense. He scored his first career goal in Brown's Ivy league Playoff game against Cornell, finding the back of the net on an end-to-end clearing run. He was Brown's team leader with 39 ground balls, and handed out seven assists, sixth best on the Brown team.
Senior Matt Greenburg is another talented long stick middy. Greenburg picked up 20 ground balls a year ago, while also scoring two goals. Sophomores Sam Ford and Clay Del Prince will see time for the Bears defense, along with seniors Joe Orloff and Nick Martell (LSM), junior Jason Hardy (LSM), and freshmen Peter Vivonetto and Phil Pierce.
The backbone of the Bears' defense is senior goalie Matt Chriss, the next in a long line of outstanding goalkeepers at Brown. Chris logged over 800 minutes for the Bears, posting a 10.46 goals against average and a save percentage of .519. He made a career high 18 saves against Cornell in an Ivy League Playoff game, and made 15 saves at Duke. He will be ably backed-up by freshman Will Round.
Brown has shown tremendous improvement at the face-off x, and will feature senior Seth Ratner, along with Martell and freshman Tommy Capone. Ratner will get the bulk of the face-off opportunities after taking just over 200 face-offs for the Bears and earning 93 wins.