Lax Picked to Finish Fourth in AE; Hosts #2 Maryland Saturday
Coming off a season where it fell one goal short of reaching the America East Tournament Championship game for the second-straight season, the University of Hartford men's lacrosse team was picked to finish fourth in a vote by the conference's head coaches.
Four-time America East champion Albany is the conference's men's lacrosse preseason favorite while two other schools—UMBC and reigning league champion Stony Brook – also received first-place votes in the poll.
The 2011 conference champion, Hartford finished the 2012 season with an overall record of 6-9, including a 3-2 mark in league play. Eighth-year head coach Peter Lawrence brings back 26 lettermen from that team, which saw its season come to an end in the semifinals at Stony Brook in a 9-8 decision.
Highlighting the returners is a trio of second-team all-leaguers in Jared Franze, Tate Klidonas,and Rory Nunamacher. Franze and Nunamacher combined for 33 goals and 20 assists as juniors last season while Klidonas tallied six goals and three assists as a sophomore and was the Hawks' leader at the face-off X with a 53.4 win percentage (47-of-88).
Between the pipes, Hartford brings back Frank Piechota, a junior who earned a medical redshirt last season. As a sophomore, Piechota, who filled in for an injured Scott Bement, earned a record of 6-4 in goal, posting a goals-against average of 8.44 coupled with a .546 save percentage.
Joining the core group of returners in 2013 will be 12 talented newcomers, a class that is headlined by nine high school standouts and four transfer student-athletes.
The 2013 campaign begins with a challenge for the Hawks as they welcome the No. 2 Maryland Terrapins to Al-Marzook Field at Alumni Stadium on Sat., Feb. 16, at 1 p.m. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling 860.768.HAWK or by ordering online.