Pacers Looking for Another Successful Season

John Pelligrini (39) and Chris Vogel (37) helped Marywood hold off Wesley's fourth quarter rally. Source: Marywood University Athletics

By Shane Ostroski
Sports Editor

The Marywood University Men’s Lacrosse Team is looking to reach new heights for the 2010 season. The Pacers, who are coached by Mic Grant, are looking to better their 10-7 record from last year .  The team finished second in the CSAC behind Cabrini College, who has ousted the Pacers from the playoffs the last two years.

Junior Defenseman Lanny Jean explained the team’s goals in an interview with The Wood Word. “Our goals for this season are to beat Cabrini and Scranton, and win the CSAC playoffs.” The Pacers are giving it their all preparing for the season in an effort to meet their goals. “ We are working really hard in practice day in and day out. Our coaches really pushed us during conditioning and we feel that we are physically ready to compete,” said Jean.

The addition of the new turf field has also benefited the team. “ The turf has enabled us to practice outside earlier than in the past. We are further along in our preperation this year because of the outdoor practices that we wouldn’t be able to have without the turf,” described Jean.  The lighted turf field will also give the team a chance to play night games which has the team excited. “ The last two years we’ve played Scranton, we played at their field so we could play under the lights. This year the game is here and we are really excited to play them at our own field at night,” explained Jean.

The captains for the squad are Will Roerdon and James Drescher. Roerdon and Drescher will be asked to lead by example on and off the field for the young Pacers.  The team has no seniors, and is comprised of 14 Juniors, 16 Sophomores, and 10 Freshmen.

The team returns seven starters in Junior Attacker Will Roerdon, Junior Attacker Nick Parks, Junior Midfielder George Downey, Junior Midfielder Brian Roerdon, Sophomore Defenseman John Pelligrini, Junior Defenseman James Drescher, and Junior Goalie Jesse Habich. Will Roerdon scored 26 goals and assisted on 15 others last season. Parks finished with 25 goals and 26 assists. Downey netted 10 goals while adding 5 assists and accumulated 58 groundballs. Brian Roerdon scored 10 goals, assisted 5 and scooped up 66 groundballs. Pelligrini and Drescher collectively gathered 51 groundballs for the Pacers. Habich finished last season with 79 saves between the pipes.

The team has run into some bad luck with injuries to key players. Ryne Boyle, Matt Churchwell and Dustin Sturdevant all suffered season ending injuries during the off-season. Junior Goalie Eric Luhrmann will also miss significant time due to injury. Boyle finished last season with 27 goals and 12 assists. Churchwell was expected to add some much needed depth at the goalie position. Sturdevant added 16 groundballs for the Pacers. Luhrmann shared time with Habich in net and posted a 7-2 record while stopping 99 shots.

The team must also try to replace Drew Lozoskie, who scored 11 goals while picking up 4 assists last season. The lone senior from last year, Alex Dawson has a new position with the team. Dawson is now a volunteer assistant coach for the Pacers. “ It’s pretty cool to have Alex as a coach. He relates to the team well obviously because he’s been through everything with us and he knows the game,” said Jean.

The Pacers will start their season off with a trip to Virginia during spring break. The team will play Randolph College in Lynchburg and then travel to Virginia Beach to play Virginia Wesleyan College. “It’s always fun to go on team trips, plus we’re playing two good teams so it’s definitely beneficial for us,” said Jean. The team will travel to Allentown, PA to play Muhlenberg and then travel to Morrisville, NY to play Morrisville College, before their home opener on March 13th when they take on Wesley College.