MEDFORD, Mass. – Second year head coach Casey D'Annolfo and the Tufts University men's lacrosse team will begin their 2018 season with two road contests this weekend against Hamilton and Cortland.
|Danny Murphy looks to score last season against Williams.|
They enter the season ranked ninth in the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association's poll. In his first season at the helm of the program, D'Annolfo's Jumbos finished at 13-6 and 6-4 in conference play. Tufts advanced to the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Semifinal and to the Third Round of the NCAA Tournament. They will look to improve on both of those results this season.
The 50-player squad is made up of 13 seniors, 15 juniors, 10 sophomores, and 12 freshmen. D'Annolfo will look to get the chemistry going early so they can jump right in to the type of lacrosse they want to play.
"Every team is a little different," D'Annolfo said. "Our guys have worked hard in the offseason to get faster and more explosive so that we can better play our up-tempo style."
In 2017, the Jumbos led the NESCAC with 321 goals in 19 games played. The hope will be to replicate that success in this coming season. They look to be in a good position to do so with two of their top four point scorers returning.
Danny Murphy led the team last season as a sophomore with 95 points coming from 54 goals and 41 assists. He had nine points in a game twice, first in an 18-10 win over Endicott and then again later in the season in a 18-6 win over Hamilton. His 95 points tied him for sixth most-points in a season all-time in program history. His goal and assist totals both ranked inside the top 11 in their respective categories as well.
Ben Connelly, also a sophomore last year, was fourth on the Jumbos' scoring list last with 30 goals and 17 assists combining for 47 points. He was consistently solid all season long, registering four points in a game five times and getting multiple points in 14 of their 19 games. Connelly had three goals and an assist in the team's opening NCAA Tournament win over Keene State.
"We have three preseason All-Americans and we expect those guys to do their jobs and be great players," D'Annoflo said.
Two of those three are Murphy and Connelly, and the third is junior Arend Broekmate. Last season, he started all 19 games for the Jumbos on defense and collected 43 groundballs and 28 caused turnovers. The team's 200 caused turnovers on the year led all of NESCAC. Broekmate also had four goals and two assists on the offensive end.
Irwin, Hattler, and Lansdale are the squad's captains and will be joined by fellow seniors Auric Enchill, Jake Geppert, Griffin Johnson, Zach Lesko, Drew McLaughlin, Nico Pollack, Matt Purdy, Holden Rosen Grupp, Andrew Seiter, and Robert Treiber.
The large junior class is headlined by Murphy, Connelly, and Broekmate, but also includes experienced veterans in John Cordrey, James Firpo, James Gilbert, Henry Hollen, Nick Katz, Luke Kurtz, Raul Mendy, Torin Ottaway, William Pasik, Brian Powers, Ben Shmerler, and Stewart Stockdale.
These upperclassmen will be tasked with leading a team through a very talented NESCAC conference that is home to five of the nation's top 20 teams. While Tufts comes in at number nine, Wesleyan (1), Amherst (13), Bates (15), and Bowdoin (20) all join the Jumbos as some the nation's best.
Tufts, Wesleyan, Amherst, and Bates all qualified for the NCAA Tournament last season with Wesleyan advancing the farthest, all the way to the Final Four, and now have the distinction as the preseason favorite.
Jack Carbonari, Tristan Courtney, Jack Donohue, Darian Matini, Kyle Newman-Smith, Jonny Osman, Mason Pollack, Fitz Reese, Nick Shanks, and Matt Treiber make up a sophomore class with a year of collegiate experience under their belts.
The 12-person freshman class who will be getting their first taste of college-level lacrosse includes Bryce Adams, Nolan Bianchi, Matt Boccardo, Jensen Corabi, Evan Cunningham, Finn McTernan, Will Sadler, Garrett Samuelson, Joe Theuer, Max Waldbaum, Jack Walton, and Wyatt Watts.
In order to achieve their goals, D'Annoflo will be expecting contributions from all across his roster.
"Our goals are consistent with past years," he said. "Win the national championship. Win the NESCAC Championship. Maximize our potential. Get better every day."
Written by Curtis Stoychoff, Athletic Communications Intern