HAMILTON, N.Y. (1/26/12) – The Colgate men’s lacrosse team is entering its final two weeks of preparation for the 2012 season. The Raiders will first play a pair of scrimmages against Delaware on Jan. 28 and Cornell on Feb. 4, before opening the season with Bryant at home on Saturday, Feb. 11 at 1 p.m.
The 2012 schedule will consist of nine home matchups and five road games. Eight of the games will be against non-conference opponents, six of which will be played in Hamilton, N.Y. The highlights of the schedule include several league opponents and a regular-season finale against 2011 NCAA Tournament runner-up Maryland at home on May 5.
NEW COACHING STAFF
The Raiders will be under the direction of first-year head coach Mike Murphy, who joined the Raiders in July, 2011 after spending the past eight seasons as an assistant coach at Army. Beside him will be assistant coaches Joe Starsia-Lasagna and Mike Abbott who both joined the program in August, 2011.
COLGATE RECEIVES NATIONAL RECOGNITION
The team landed the No. 18 and 20 spots in the Inside Lacrosse 2012 Face-Off Yearbook Rankings. The Raiders clinched the No. 18 spot in the Division I Top 20 Rankings and the No. 20 ranking in the Coaches’ Division I Top 20 Rankings. At the top of both lists was Virginia.
TOP RETURNING STARTERS
This season the team returns six of its starters to its lineup, including 2011 Top-25 Tewaaraton Award finalist and All-Patriot League First Team selection, junior Peter Baum. The midfielder led the team in scoring with 49 points from a career-high 34 goals and 15 assists. His 34 goals are ranked 10th in program history for most goals in a season. Colgate also returns senior goalie Jared Madison who started in all 16 games and completed the season with 31 groundballs and a total of 151 saves for a .539 save percentage.
Alongside Baum and Madison are Academic All-Patriot League Team selection, junior James Queeney, and sophomore Bobby Lawrence. Both Queeney and Lawrence played and started in all 16 games, with Queeney recording 20 groundballs and 10 caused turnovers, and Lawrence collecting 30 groundballs and causing 17 turnovers. Both players also tallied an assist for one point in the season.
The team will have three players serving as captains this season. Senior Kevin Gordon, a two-time captain who completed the season with one goal and six groundballs, senior Jeff Ledwick who finished the season fourth on the team with 15 points, and junior James Queeney who is one of six returning starters for the Raiders.
Colgate welcomes 10 newcomers to the 2012 roster from five different states, including Connecticut, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York and Texas. The rookie group includes three attackmen, six midfielders and one defender/midfielder.
Joining the Raiders this year are Trevor Atkins, Conor Braddish, Matt Clarkson, Alex Kinnealey, Jack O’Callaghan, Matt Reyes-Guerra-Dunn, Geoffrey Sullivan, Ryan Walsh, Parker Weinstock and Matt Yeager.
COPPERSMITH BLOGS LACROSSE
Senior Jason Coppersmith will be working on a Colgate lacrosse blog for LacrossePlayground.com. You can follow his posts at www.lacrosseplayground.com and on the men’s lacrosse page of the Colgate athletics web site in a series entitled “Inside Scoop – Behind the Scenes of Colgate Men’s Lacrosse with Jason Coppersmith.”
2011 SEASON IN REVIEW
The team completed the 2011 season ranked No. 12/13 in the national polls with an 11-5 overall record. Colgate clinched the No. 2 seed with a 5-1 league mark going into the 2011 Patriot League Tournament on April 29 – May 1 in Lewisburg, Pa. The Raiders defeated No. 3 seed Army in the first semifinal before falling to No. 1 seed Bucknell in the championship game. Both the Bison and the Black Knights were also nationally ranked.
Colgate had several highlights last season, which included defeating Navy on the road for the second time since the Midshipmen first joined the Patriot League in 2002. The Raiders then went on to beat No. 9/9 Army at home on April 2, landing them a spot in the national polls at No. 19/20 for the first time in the season. A pair of wins over the next two weeks had the team climb up the polls to the No. 16/16 spots on April 11, eventually reaching the No. 14/17 spots on May 3 following the Patriot League Tournament.
Despite a strong finish to the season with a 10-8 road win over No. 5/6 and eventual NCAA Tournament runner-up, Maryland, the team narrowly missed out on an at-large bid to the 2011 NCAA Tournament. Aside from defeating the Terps for the first time in program history, Colgate matched its best league start since 2009 with a 5-1 record. The team also beat Dartmouth for the first time since 1957 and Hobart for the first time since 1964.