Excitement is in the air for Hampden-Sydney Lacrosse as the Tigers return an impressive amount of talent and are beginning a new era under the direction of first-year head coach Jason Rostan. The Tigers were picked fourth in the ODAC Men's Lacrosse Preseason poll. H-SC garnered 62 points, just one point behind third-place Lynchburg.
Hampden-Sydney has a home-heavy schedule this year and kicks off the season at Lewis C. Everett Stadium against Mary Washington on February 11 at 1 pm. Former H-SC head coach Ray Rostan will be the halftime guest on the webcast. For live coverage of the game, please click here.
Leading the attack is Ian Levin, Connor Pool, and Duncan Morris. All three scored at least 41 points in 2016. Levin led the squad in goals (43) and points (61). The junior was named Second-Team All-ODAC last year and scored the ninth most single-season points in school history. He additionally ranked fifth in the league in points and fourth in goals. Pool totaled 44 points on 35 goals and nine assists and was a consistent player, posting at least one point in 17 of 19 games. Morris enters his senior season after scoring a career-best 42 points on 34 goals and eight assists last year, including a hat trick against #5 Salisbury.
Also projected to heavily contribute at attack include freshman Jack Hayden, a high school All-American, and sophomore John Burke, also a high school All-American who returns to the team after sitting out last year. Additionally, sophomore Seamus Byrne, junior Conor O'Brien, and several talented newcomers have been impressive in preseason workouts.
Projected to man the first line midfield will be Hunter Brown, Chandler Shaheen, and Jack Doetzer. Brown led the team and the ODAC in assists with 33 to go with 22 goals for 55 points while being named Second-Team All-ODAC. His 55 points are the sixth-highest in a single season at H-SC for a midfielder and his 33 assists are the fifth most in school history. Shaheen contributed 38 points on 29 goals and nine assists as one of the top shooters on the team. Doetzer played in 19 games as a freshman and showed tremendous maturity and talent in the fall.
The competition is strong for spots on the second and third line midfields. Luc Cassier, Jack Little, Garrett Patnesky, Robbie Bugbee, Jake Hargrove, Brooks Apperson and Ryan Quick are athletic midfielders who have all positioned themselves for roles on the top three midfield lines.
The Tigers graduated two starting defenseman from 2016, but a few starters return as well as several returners who have worked to earn their opportunity for an increased role. Kent Henry returns as the starter at LSM after a sophomore campaign where he broke out as one of the top defensive players in the ODAC. Henry and junior Zach Leitner will man the LSM position.
Senior captain Triston Stegall is the Tigers lone returning starting close defender and will be counted on to lead the defense in 2017. Senior Davis Horbal, along with juniors Jay Moss, Marshall Via, Tre Williams, and sophomore Quinn Ainslie have been impressive in practice; each have worked hard throughout their careers and have earned important roles on the Tigers close defense. Additionally, freshman Jack Cosby has shown promise in practice and could vie for playing time.
The Tigers top two face-off midfielders are back in the mix in senior captain Jared Arntzen and junior Wilson Booth. Arntzen went 122-228 on face-offs while Booth went 104-189, and the duo combined for 115 ground balls to help the Tigers rank third in the ODAC in faceoff win percentage at 54.3%
H-SC has the top returning goalie in the ODAC in junior Mitch Renfrow. Renfrow was named second-team All-ODAC last year as he started all 19 games in the cage boasting an 8.41 goals against average with 152 saves. Freshman Nick Arcuri, a transfer from Cabrini, has stood out as the top goalkeeper among a talented recruiting class and will be competing for time in the cage.