HANOVER, N.H. – After a 3-11 campaign last season, the Dartmouth men’s lacrosse team is looking to making a splash in Ivy League play in 2014.
The Big Green’s record wasn’t indicative of the team’s heart and talent. Dartmouth squared off against seven nationally ranked teams in 2013, including scoring a thrilling come-from-behind, 10-9 victory against No. 9 Princeton at home on April 13.
Head coach Andrew Towers saw his team compete and stay in many contests throughout the daunting slate as Dartmouth had 10 of its 14 contests decided by three goals or fewer.
Once again, Dartmouth has a very competitive non-conference slate. The Big Green will take to the field 12 times in the regular season, including a trip to the Lone Star State to compete in the Patriot Cup for the second straight year. The squad opens the year with five straight games away from the Upper Valley.
With the release of the first polls of the season, Dartmouth has six matchups against top-20 opponents, four of which come in Ancient Eight play.
This year, the Green and White return four of their six leading scorers. Dartmouth will look to youth and returning underclassmen to fill the void left by the graduation of Chris Costabile (22 goals) and Nikki Dysenchuk (14 goals).
Adam Fishman, Adam Hull and Brendan Rotanz are top returners on attack for the team from the Upper Valley. Fishman was second on the squad with 21 points (11g-10a), Hull registered a team-high 12 assists as a sophomore and Rotanz netted 12 tallies during his junior campaign.
Other returners looking to contribute are senior Mike Olentine and sophomores KC Beard and Cam Lee. Olentine had his first career hat trick against Princeton last season, while Beard led first-year players in points (11) and assists (8). In eight games last year, Lee had seven goals, highlighted by the pair he scored in his collegiate debut against No. 10 Colgate.
Junior Phil Hession will look to build on his record-setting sophomore campaign. In which he set a new program record for groundballs with 94, while going 129-273 in faceoffs. The Canton, Mass., native was named one of the team’s five captains for 2014. Joining Hession are Rotanz, Eric Clemmenson, Patrick Resch and Robert Osgood.
Osgood, who was second on the team with 63 groundballs a year ago, is the lone member of the team to earn preseason NEILA honors, being named a second-team defenseman.
Clemmenson leads a Big Green defense that allowed 10.5 goals per game and caused 115 turnovers. The Farmington, Conn., native had a team-high 22 caused turnovers and looks to carry over his strong play.
Between the pipes, a trio of untested goaltenders are vying for playing time. With the graduation of Bernie Susskind, who started all 14 games, the team will look to an underclassmen to step into the role. Ham Sonnenfeld saw action in two games, making three saves with a .429 save percentage and Blair Friedensohn appeared against North Carolina in 2013, making one save in just over two minutes of playing time. Freshman Jake Landman and junior Colin Heffernan are also in the mix during the team’s preseason training.
Besides Landman, the Class of 2017 features 10 players for Dartmouth. Making their collegiate debut this year will be Wiley Osborne, Don Stephan, Justin Harvey, Dylan Key, Christian Guinchard, Timmy Burke, Jesse Bown, Landman, Jack McCormick and Krieg Greco.
Dartmouth opens the season this Saturday, Feb. 22, traveling to Chapel Hill to square off with No. 3 North Carolina. The Big Green are looking to avenge a 13-5 defeat to the Tar Heels last season at Fetzger Field.