PISCATAWAY, N.J. (January 6, 2012) – The start of the New Year means the Rutgers men’s lacrosse team is about to begin practice in preparation for the 2012 season. After a strong fall semester of practices and workouts, head coach Brian Brecht and the RU squad is primed to start the spring semester and welcome 10 student-athletes to its freshman class as they get set to begin their Division I lacrosse careers.
The contingent in their initial year “On the Banks” consists of: defenseman Kevin Albert (Franklin Park, N.J.), midfielder Dylan Bozel (Hunt Valley, Md.), defenseman Blake Burkhart (Newport Beach, Calif.), attackman Alexander DeGangé (Ottawa, Ontario), midfielder Brian Goss (Arlington Heights, Ill.), defeseman Joshua Matanin (Ellicott City, Md.), defenseman Kieran Morris (Ridgewood, N.J.), midfielder Joseph Nardella (Cazenovia, N.Y.), attackman Campbell Sode (Dallas, Texas) and midfielder Jacob Werman (Lighthouse Point, Fla.).
A total of seven states and two countries are represented by the RU freshmen. Albert and Morris hail from the Garden State, while DeGangé traveled south from Ontario, Canada to join the Scarlet Knights. Burkhart covered the most ground making his way to Rutgers, arriving from Newport Beach, Calif.
The group of 10 bring a bevy of experience to Rutgers, having claimed no less than eight state or provincial championships in their time in the high school and prep ranks. They put their previous knowledge to the test during the rigorous fall season, culminating in scrimmages against UMass and Maryland on Oct. 16.
“I am excited to welcome the team back to campus next week as we prepare for the upcoming 2012 season,” Brecht said. “My staff and I have been very pleased with the team’s effort this past fall, both on the field and academically in the classroom. This freshman class has worked hard and has meshed well with the returning players during the fall semester, as it is an exciting time for them as they start their Division I careers. It’s an equally exciting time for the entire Rutgers lacrosse family as we anticipate the start of the spring season.”
The RU freshmen and the rest of the Scarlet Knights begin the season on the road at Duke. The Feb. 11 trip to Durham, N.C., matches Rutgers against a squad that advanced to the semifinals of the NCAA Tournament last season. The game is set to begin at 1 p.m.