Senior Thomas McDonnell leads a deep group at attack.
The 2009 Amherst College men’s lacrosse team started off the season with a disappointing 15-6 road loss at Tufts University, but rebounded by winning a pair of home nonconference games over Hartwick College and Mount Ida College to improve to 2-1. In the fourth game of the season, the Lord Jeffs got a trio of goals from Thomas McDonnell ’10 in the final nine minutes of the fourth quarter to pull out a 9-8 win over Conn. College. Amherst won just one of its next six games, but finished the regular season with one-goal wins over local rival Springfield College and Trinity College to earn the No. 8 seed in the NESCAC Championship. The Lord Jeffs were unable to pull off an upset over top-seeded Middlebury on the road, ending the season with a 16-7 loss to finish with a 6-8 overall record.
Amherst lost nine players to graduation last spring, but welcomes its lone 2009 All-NESCAC selection back to the sideline this season as an assistant coach. Chris Fitzpatrick, a senior quad-captain last year and a Second Team All-NESCAC selection, was named the Hitchcock Fellow for this year joins the team’s coaching staff after working with the football team in the fall. Fellow quad-captains Matt Pietroforte, Clint Marchese and Tim Thornton graduated alongside Fitzpatrick last spring, as did classmates Nick Gilligan, Evan O’Roark, Jelani Lundy-Harris, Thomas Foote, and Brett Miller. Seven of the nine members of the Class of 2009 earned NESCAC All-Academic honors, as one of the brightest classes on and off the field.
Amherst returns a deep group at attack this season, led by seniors Thomas McDonnell and Matt Kellman, junior Luke Arnold and sophomore Cole Cherney. McDonnell, one of three tri-captains, was Amherst’s leading goal-scorer last season with 33 goals in 14 games, and should spearhead the Lord Jeff offense this year. Kellman makes the shift from midfield this season, but will still factor into Amherst’s face-off game this spring. After another successful hockey season, Arnold will join the team as another returning starter who will surely fit into the equation on attack. Cherney scored three goals to go with a pair of assists as a rookie, playing in a dozen games last season. Also providing depth on attack are returning sophomores Mike Ng and Pir Granoff, who have each turned heads during preseason.
Senior tri-captain Rob Denious is a leader
in the midfield.
In the midfield, Amherst returns a pair of lines that should provide a solid one-two punch on offense. Sophomores Alex Fox, Evan Redwood and Matt Rawson return as a talented trio now with a full season in the Amherst system under their belts. Senior tri-captain Rob Denious has flourished in his new leadership role with the Lord Jeff midfield, and alongside sophomores Dan Routh and Sebastian Herdt will help solidify Amherst’s offensive midfield group. At long-stick midfield, Kyle Standiford and Parker Holcomb both return as upperclassmen, with Holcomb joining Kellman and sophomore Brian McFeeley to share face-off duties.
On the defensive end, junior tri-captain Gabe Mann returns as Amherst’s lone starter from last season. Mann pairs with seniors Nigel Carr and Franco Aguirre to form the foundation on close defense. Aguirre has made significant strides this off-season, and enters his senior season primed to star in both man-down and even-strength situations. Playing in front of the long poles are defensive midfielders juniors Matt Levine, and Nick Edwards and sophomore Will Reed. Providing some depth at defensive midfield is sophomore Ryan Conway.
In net, sophomore Sam Jakimo moves to the top of the depth chart following Pietroforte’s graduation. Jakimo played in four games last season, with a 7.65 goals-against average. Ready to step into the crease behind Jakimo are rookie Steve Levy and sophomore Matt Aizpruru.
Amherst welcomes a talented group of first-years to the program this season, with a number of rookies ready to contend to playing time right away. First-year Ramsey Bates will likely break into the rotation on attack immediately, as will long-stick midfielders Dan Gold and Arne Anderson. Defensemen Matt Cahn, Tony Argibay, Nolen Davis, will all pull on the purple and white for the first time this spring, with Jeff Izzo, Rob Schwab, and John Sinnigen joining the midfield unit this season as well.