Fairfield University head men’s lacrosse coach Andy Copelan announced the signing of nine student-athletes to National Letters of Intent today. Conor Dalton (Ellicott City, Md.), Joseph Guidarelli (Huntington, N.Y.), Michael Gulasey (Medina, Ohio), Paul Hellar (Duxbury, Mass.), Pierce Hyldahl (Annandale, N.J.), Trent Lauer (La Jolla, Calif.), TJ Neubauer (Glen Arm, Md.), John Petzold (Ridgewood, N.J.) and Ian Seale (The Woodlands, Texas) will enroll at Fairfield in the Fall 2012 semester and join the University’s Class of 2016. The Stags will complete their 2012 recruiting class during the spring commitment period.
“We’re pleased with the way the class of 2012 has taken form,” said Copelan, who is in his fourth season at the helm. “Specific needs have been addressed and it’s a group of fine of young men who are passionate about Fairfield lacrosse and our future.”
Dalton is a 6-foot-1, 195 pound senior at Loyola Blakefield High School and plays for the Laxworld Lacrosse Club. He was ranked 49th overall by ESPN in the Class of 2012, 12th among attackmen, and played in the Warrior 40 game.
“I was fortunate to coach Conor’s cousin, Will,” Copelan said of the attackman, “and I love the way the Dalton family competes. Conor isn’t always pretty, though he may tell you otherwise, but he is a winner and really wants to be great.”
Guidarelli is a 5-foot-10, 160 pound senior at Harborfields High School and plays for the Edge USA Redshirts club team. An All-Division selection during his junior campaign, Guidarelli tallied 21 goals and handed out 27 assists.
“Joe is a grinder and unlike most midfielders, he is a feed first guy,” Copelan said. “Joe doesn’t fit the bill of your 6’3” 200 pound midfielder, but he plays very hard and can play both sides of the ball.”
The 5-foot-10, 175 pound Gulasey is currently attending Western Reserve Academy and is a member of the Titanium Elite club team. A three-year varsity letter winner and starter at attack, he finished his junior season with 111 points, including 73 goals. Aside from lacrosse, Gulasey is the Western Reserve starting quarterback and has lettered in hockey.
“Michael is a natural goal scorer who almost plays like a Canadian’” Copelan said of the future Stag attackman. “I’m a firm believer that in order to be good offensively, you must be dangerous inside and Michael is one of the best off ball players I saw in the class of 2012.”
Hellar is a 5-foot-11, 160 pound senior captain at Duxbury High School and played his club lacrosse for the Fighting Clams and Laxachusetts. He has led his team in scoring in each of the last two seasons and was ranked 25th in the Class of 2012 by InsideLacrosse, as well as being selected to play in the Under Armour Underclassmen game. A Patriot Ledger All-Scholastic selection, Hellar has helped Duxbury reach the Division I State Championship Game in each of his three varsity seasons, winning the crown in 2009 and 2011.
“Paul comes from one of the best high school programs in the country in Duxbury,” said Copelan of the attackman. “He has an explosive first step and has developed into a pretty balanced scorer and distributor.”
Hyldahl is a 6-foot-1, 185 senior at North Hunterdon High School and is playing his club lacrosse for Leading Edge Elite 2012. His 77 percent win rate at the face-off X was tops in New Jersey last season, and combined with his 56 points, earned him Express Times First-Team All-Area honors. Hyldahl has won over 77 percent of his career face-off attempts and begins his final scholastic season with 73 goals and 38 assists.
“We initially recruited Pierce as an athletic face-off guy,” Copelan said, “but we have been really pleased with his offensive development over the past 18 months. He has turned himself into a real two-way midfielder who, in my opinion, has All League potential.”
Lauer is a 5-foot-11, 185 pound senior at The Bishops School that has played for RC Starz, West Coast Starz and San Diego Tropics club teams. He is a two-time First-Team All-Coastal League selection and was named a San Diego Union Tribune Scholar-Athlete last season. Lauer begins his final campaign with 130 career ground balls and eight points.
“Trent is very vanilla in a real positive way,” Copelan said of Lauer, who is slated as a defender for the Stags. “He is a low risk, high reward signing because he has great footwork, plays very sound and plays well within a system.”
Neubauer is a 5-foot-10, 185 pound senior at Loyola Blakefield High School and a member of the Laxworld Lacrosse Club. A 2011 Baltimore Under Armour Team selection, he begins his senior campaign with 33 career goals and 20 assists.
“TJ is a tough, two-way, old school midfielder who can do it all,” said Copelan. “We feel strongly that TJ has the tools and the ability to be special.”
Petzold is a 6-foot-3, 180 pound defender who currently attends Don Bosco Preparatory High School and has played for the Gamerz and Tri-State All-Stars club programs. He has collected 84 ground balls in his three seasons at Don Bosco and was selected as a Maverik Showtime All-Star as a rising junior.
“John is long, rangy, intelligent and has a great handle,” said Copelan. “We need to make sure he continues to put some pounds on, but believe his ceiling his quite high.”
Seale is a 5-foot-9, 160 senior at The Woodlands High School and has played club lacrosse for Dallas Select and Texas United. He is a two-time First-Team All-State selection and was named an Honorable Mention All-America following his junior campaign. Seale has scored 86 times in his career and is The Woodlands all-time leader with 90 assists.
“Ian plays with an edge and never backs away from a challenge,” Copelan said. “He is fast, scrappy and possesses a high lacrosse IQ being the son of a coach.”
Fairfield is a member of the ECAC Lacrosse League, and advanced to the championship game of the league’s inaugural championship in 2011. The Stags have won at least seven games in each of Copelan’s seasons at the helm, going 8-8 (3-3 ECAC) last spring, and have never finished below .500 under his tutelage.