Men’s and Women’s Lacrosse Begins This Week

February 27, 2013

ALLIANCE, Ohio – Both men’s and women’s lacrosse teams at Mount Union will begin competition this week.

Men’s Lacrosse Returns to Mount Union
The rebirth of the University of Mount Union men's lacrosse program is set for Saturday, March 2 at 3 p.m. against Oberlin College in Mount Union Stadium.

Two years ago, Mount Union announced it was bringing back the sport after a nearly 30 year hiatus.  

First year head coach P.J. Kavanagh is in charge of laying the foundation for the program and looks for his team to play an aggressive, up-tempo style of play.  

Kavanagh comes in with NCAA Division III coaching experience as he spent seven years at Plattsburgh State (N.Y.). He spent two years as an assistant coach and five years as head coach with a 47-34 record. 

His first Mount Union team features 17 freshmen, two sophomores and one junior.

That one junior -- defenseman Matt Milano (North Canton/Hoover) transferred in after playing two seasons of college lacrosse and will be the team captain in 2013.

"With his college playing experience, Matt is obviously our most experienced player," commented Kavanagh. "He brings an element of poise and physcality while accepting a leadership role."

Joining Milano on defense will be freshmen Shane Breckenridge (North Canton/Hoover) and Kyle Pavilonis (Chagrin Falls/Kenston), sophomores Jake Baker (Uniontown/Lake) and Ryan Turney(Youngstown/Cardinal Mooney).

In attack are freshmen Zach Maxey (Westlake/Westlake), Michael Taylor (Broadview Heights/Brecksville-Broadview Heights), Josh Stephens (North Canton/Green), Hogan Harris (Medina/Medina), Carl Sopczyk (Glens Falls, NY./Glens Falls), Toren Moore (Columbus/HIllard-Darby) and Josh Bender (Delaware/Delaware-Hayes).

Midfielders include freshmen, Cody Engelhardt (Hamilton/Archbishop Moeller), Andrew Dorman (Medina/Medina), Andy Rosati (Streetsboro/Walsh-Jesuit), Liam Creagh (Massapequa, NY/Massapequa), Nick Ameo (Concord/Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin), Thomas O'Connell (Dublin Bishop/Watterson) and Mike Richardson (Parma/Holy Name).

In goal will be freshman Collin Peters (Portland, Ore./Sunset).

"All of our players need to develop quickly as the season progresses for us to be successful," Kavanagh stated "We are hoping our freshmen adapt quickly to the speed of the game on the college level." 

Women’s Lacrosse Begins Inaugural Season
Two years after announcing the intention to create a women's lacrosse program, the University of Mount Union begins its inaugural women's lacrosse season Saturday, March 2 at noon against Oberlin College in Mount Union Stadium.

The new Purple Raider program features 16 freshmen, two sophomores and one junior for first year head coach Emily Fisher 

Fisher comes to Mount Union after a stint coaching at Hudson (Ohio) High School and in fact two players she coached in high school are on the Purple Raiders' roster in freshmen goalie Casey McHenry (Hudson/Hudson) and midfielder Kolbie Haines (Hudson/Hudson).

"I coached both [Haines and McHenry] at Hudson," stated Fisher.  "One of the most rewarding experiences as a coach is to watch your players improve and grow over the years. I am extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to mentor and coach these two through both high school and college."

Coaching is in the blood for Fisher as her father Tim Baab was the head men's basketball coach at John Carroll University for 11 seasons and she plans to take some lessons from him with her own college coaching assignment.

"My dad's teams were always aggressive and stressed defense and we will do the same," stated Fisher.  "We have good team speed and constantly preach that defense is going to win games for us and everyone needs to be committed to defense no matter where they are on the field."

In attack for the Raiders are freshmen Ashley Christensen (Champlin, Minn./Champlin Park), Shawney Hamilton (Kent/Kent Roosevelt), Anna Lano (Chaska, Minn./Chanhassen), Jackie Leyva (Tustin, Calif./Tustin), Alex Wiley (Monclova/Notre Dame Academy), junior Erica Pecic (Willowick/Lake Catholic) and sophomore Ashley Rivera (Brunswick/Brunswick).

Midfielders include freshmen, Haines, Taylor Pensyl (Kent/Kent Roosevelt), Emily Bergert (North Canton/Hoover), Kelsey Shewbridge (Medina/Medina), Kendyl Stone (Brunswick/Brunswick) and Susie Kraus (Sewickley, Pa./Quaker Valley).

The defenders consist of sophomore Erika Druzina (Kirktland/Lake Catholic) and three freshmen Kaela Smith (Canal Winchester/Bishop Hartley), Taylor Baron (Stafford, Va./Pop John Paul) and Jenna Snider (Overland Park, Kan./Blue Valley Northwest).

In goal for the Raiders will be McHenry and freshman Clare Byrne (Glen Ellyn, Ill./Glenbard West).

Druzina, McHenry and Shewbridge will be the captains for the 2013 season.

Fisher says her first team is a "tight-knit" group that understands the "team" philosophy.

"I can honestly say that I could not ask for a better group of girls to start this program," commented Fisher. "There are no selfish attitudes on our team and it is exciting to have a group of team players who have good fundamentals, understand the game well, and can try new things."

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