West/Midwest Region Preview

West Region Preview

StudentSportsLacrosse.com launches its 2014 region previews with a look at the West/Midwest Region.

With several games pitting teams from the west against the more traditional hotbed areas the chances for even more teams from this region to be ranked in 2014 could be increased.

West/Midwest Preseason Top 10

1. Culver Academy (Ind.)
2. St. Ignatius Prep (Calif.)
3. La Costa Canyon (Carlsbad, Calif.)
4. Arapahoe (Colo.)
5. Upper Arlington (Ohio)
6. Brother Rice (Mich.)
7. Dublin Jerome (Ohio)
8. Cherry Creek (Colo.)
9. Bellevue (Wash.)
10. Mercer Island (Wash.)

2014 Preseason: FAB 50 Outlook | West/Midwest Region | Southeast Region | East Region | Northeast Region | How To Get Ranked | Follow the Twitter Vote | Past FAB 50s | Brine King of the Spring Face-Off Classic Preview | Checking For Cancer Preview |

HS Logo_ArapahoeTeam: Arapahoe (Littleton, Colo.)
Last Year’s Record: 16-3
Last Year’s Finish of Note: Colorado 5A State Champion
Last Year’s Final FAB 50 Ranking: No. 44
Returning Starters: 4
Overall Returnees: 16
Number Of Division I Commits Expected On Varsity As Of Today: 2

Top Seniors: Zach Runberg, midfield (Delaware); Cooper Glass, defense (Monmoth); Brendan Till, attack (Ithaca); Kevin Burke, midfield (New Hampshire).

Top Juniors: Austin Shindoll, midfield (undecided); Brian Wilson, attack (undecided); Will Danuser, attack (undecided); Hunter Knowles, defense (undecided).

What You Need To Know: Since 2009 Arapahoe has won three out of five state championships and is looking to three-peat in 2014. Four starters return front he Warriors state championship squad and head coach Guy Cerasoli said he has a good cohesive team unit returning.

Games against Cherry Creek (Greenwood Village, Colo.) and Mullen (Denver, Colo.) will be key regional games.

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HS Logo_Cherry CreekTeam: Cherry Creek (Englewood, Colo.)
Last Year’s Record: 13-6
Last Year’s Finish of Note: Colorado state runner-up
Last Year’s Final FAB 50 Ranking: NR
Returning Starters: 7
Overall Returnees: 28
No. Of Division I Commits Expected On Varsity As Of Today: 5

Top Seniors: Matt Goettleman, defense (Army); Ryan Arthur, attack (Mercer); Zach Yoshioka, LSM, (undecided).

Top Juniors: Mike Morean, midfield (Princeton); Dylan Johnson, defense (Denver).

What You Need To Know:The Bruins entire attack and defense returns from a team that reached the Colorado state championship game and allowed six or fewer goals in 13 games last season.

Led by West Region No. 14 player Goettleman the Bruins will travel to the East Coast once again where they play defending Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association champion Loyola-Blakefield (Towson, Md.) and Severn (Severna Park, Md.).

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HS Logo_Eastside CatholicTeam: Eastside Catholic (Sammamish, Wash.)
Last Year’s Record: 13-3
Last Year’s Finish of Note:
Last Year’s Final FAB 50 Ranking: NR
Returning Starters: 9
Overall Returnees: 18
No. Of Division I Commits Expected On Varsity As Of Today: 3

Top Seniors: Colin MacIlvennie, midfield (Maryland); Ross Komenda, attack (undecided); John Breed, defense (undecided); Blake Lee, midfield (undecided); Colin Schriever, goalie (undecided).

Top Juniors: Arend Broekmate, defense (Lafayette); Zach Steffens, attack (undecided).

What You Need To Know:Given the new Washington State DI conference re-alignment, Eastside Catholic looks forward to another successful season. Its balanced offense should put up big numbers, while its strong defense will limit the opponent’s scoring chances.

Led by StudentSportsLacrosse.com Top 50 player, MacIlvennie the Crusaders will travel to play Jesuit-Portland (Portland, Ore.) on April 4.

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HS Logo_La Costa CanyonTeam: La Costa Canyon (Carlsbad, Calif.)
Last Year’s Record: 18-4
Last Year’s Finish of Note: California San Diego CIF Open runner-up
Last Year’s Final FAB 50 Ranking: NR
Returning Starters: 6
Overall Returnees: 15
Number Of Division I Commits Expected On Varsity As Of Today: 1

Top Seniors: Cameron Ziegler, attack (Bryant); Ben Keen, attack (undecided); Jared Maffucci, midfield (undecided); Devin Orr, midfield (undecided).

Top Juniors: Nick Pfieffer, defense (undecided); Blake Pinyan, defense (undecided); Colin Harvey, midfield (undecided); Dino Renna, midfield (undecided).

What You Need To Know:The La Costa Canyon offense returns all three starting attackman in Ziegler, Keen, and sophomore Michael Rice. Along with four contributors at the midfield in Maffucci, Orr, Renna, and Harvey, this is the most balanced offense the team has returned in a number of years.

Head coach Jesse Foss’ team looks to be the favorite for the California San Diego CIF Open championship this season, but defending champion Torrey Pines (Del Mar, Calif.) and The Bishop’s School (San Diego, Calif.) are sure the provide a challenge.

The Mavericks will get a chance to prove themselves among the best of the FAB 50 as well this season. In April Foss takes his team to the East Coast to play at Georgetown Prep (North Bethesda, Md.), at Salesianum (Wilmington, Del.) and at Haverford School (Haverford, Pa.). All three teams are expected to be in the FAB 50 when it’s officially released next week and two of those teams are vying for the preseason No. 1 spot.

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HS Logo_Mercer IslandTeam: Mercer Island (Mercer Island, Wash.)
Last Year’s Record: 20-4
Last Year’s Finish of Note: Division I state runner-up
Last Year’s Final FAB 50 Ranking: NR
Returning Starters: 6
Overall Returnees: 12
No. Of Division I Commits Expected On Varsity As Of Today: 3

Top Seniors: Chase York, defense (Loyola); Benji Rothenberg, goalie (Gettysburg); Devlin Conway, midfield (undecided); Charlie Reinertson, defense (undecided); Peter Mahony, attack (Yale); Cooper Johnson, midfield (undecided).

Top Juniors: Evan Condon, midfield (Army); Brett Bottomley, midfield (undecided); Keirnan Coles, defense (undecided).

What You Need To Know:The Islanders return a strong defense with three starters back led by York and goalie Rothenberg. The Islanders reched the Division I state championship game and only allowed double-digits in goals four times last season.

Head coach Ian O’Hearn has an athletic midfield with Conway, Johnson, Condon and Bottomley and that experience will bode well with some new faces on the attack line.

Mercer Island will once again make a trip to the East Coast where they will play Xavier (Middletown, Conn.), Wilton (Wilton, Conn.) and Joel Barlow (Redding, Conn.). Games against Columbine (Littleton, Colo.) and Sunset (Sunset, Ore.) will be key regional games, as will a May 9 game against Bellevue (Bellevue, Wash.).

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HS Logo_Rockhurst JesuitTeam: Rockhurst Jesuit (Kansas City, Mo.)
Last Year’s Record: 15-5
Last Year’s Finish of Note:
Last Year’s Final FAB 50 Ranking: NR
Returning Starters: 5
Overall Returnees: 22
No. Of Division I Commits Expected On Varsity As Of Today: 0

Top Seniors: Canyon Smith, defense (Carthage); Robbie Healy, defense (undecided); Joe Faeber, attack (undecided); Shea McEnerney, attack (undecided); Jack Maple, midfield (undecided); Harrison Cowherd, midfield (undecided).

Top Juniors: Kevin McLiney, attack undecided); Andrew Mohajir, defense undecided); Liam Ryan, defense undecided); John Tulipana, midfield undecided).

What You Need To Know: After graduating 62 percent of its goals and 73 percent of its assists from 2013, Rockhurst Jesuit’s strength this season will be its defense anchored returning starters Smith who was ranked as the No. 3 player in Missouri by StudentSportsLacrosse.com, and Healy.

Offensively the Hawklets are led by Faerber (24 goals/10 assists in 2013) and Maple (9/9) and newcomers Wheaton Jackoboice and Kevin McLiney.

Games against defending Kansas state champion Shawnee Mission East on April 14 will be a key regional game as will an inter-state game against St. Ignatius Prep (Chicago, Ill.), which will give a common opponent with some of the best teams in Illinois.

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shield colorTeam: St. Ignatius Prep (San Francisco, Calif.)
Last Year’s Record: 21-1
Last Year’s Finish of Note: WCAL champion
Last Year’s Final FAB 50 Ranking: No. 24
Returning Starters: n/a
Overall Returnees: n/a
Number Of Division I Commits Expected On Varsity As Of Today: 6

Top Seniors: Cyrus Scott, goalie (Colgate); Joe Lang, attack (Harvard).

Top Underclassmen: Peter Aliman, junior, midfield (Fairfield); Finn Barry, junior, attack/midfield (Furman); Grant Giulino, junior, defense (Hobart); Stephen MacLeod, sophomore, defense (Georgetown).

What You Need To Know: The Wildcats were the class of the West Region last year, going 21-1 and only losing to New York power Chaminade (Mineola, N.Y.) by one goal.

With a pair of StudentSportsLacrosse.com Top 50 players in Scott and Lang and four underclassmen already committed to Division I programs 2014 could be another stellar season.

The biggest games come late in the year for head coach Chris Packard when he takes his team east to play defending IAC champion St. Stephens’ & St. Agnes (Alexandria, Va.) and defending Delaware state Salesianum (Wilmington, Del.) in late April.

Early games against Torrey Pines (San Diego, Calif.) and Regis Jesuit (Aurora, Colo.) will be big regional games.

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HS Logo_Torrey PinesTeam: Torrey Pines (Del Mar, Calif.)
Last Year’s Record: 18-3
Last Year’s Finish of Note: California San Diego CIF Open champions
Last Year’s Final FAB 50 Ranking: NR
Returning Starters: 4
Overall Returnees: 13
Number Of Division I Commits Expected On Varsity As Of Today: 3

Top Seniors: Owen Weselak, FoGo (Marquette); Bryce Cady, goalie (Bryant); Connor Lansdale, defense (Tufts); Eli Suhadolnik, midfield (Colorado Mesa); Peter Hollen, LSM (Tufts).

Top Juniors: Henry Hollen, midfield (undecided); Adam Alsadek, defense (undecided).

What You Need To Know:Head coach Jono Zissi has led the Falcons to CIF titles in 2013 and 2011 in just four seasons and he has yet to win less than 17 games in any of those years.

This year’s team will be a whole new, inexperienced team with the graduation of 19 seniors from last year, but the team is expected to be strong at face off with Weselak and goalie with Cady. The defense is expected to be strong with Lansdale and Hollen providing senior leadership and sophomore Beau Botkiss (Cornell) adding more talent and depth. Spencer Small (Syracuse) is another midfielder to watch along with Hollen.

The schedule starts off with a challenge as the Falcons face St. Ignatius Prep (San Francisco, Calif.) on March 14. Games against The Bishop’s School (San Diego, Calif.) on April 1 and La Costa Canyon (Carlsbad, Calif.) on April 4 will be key regional games and could determine which teams make it into the FAB 50.

HS Logo_Blake SchoolTeam: Blake School (Minneapolis, Minn.)
Last Year’s Record: 10-6
Last Year’s Finish of Note:
Last Year’s Final FAB 50 Ranking: NR
Returning Starters: 9
Overall Returnees: 15
No. Of Division I Commits Expected On Varsity As Of Today: 2

Top Seniors: Bryan Kennedy, midfield/face off (undecided); Tom Blease, defense (Hobart); Eric Hartman, defense (Colby); Grant Oie, attack (Beloit).

Top Juniors: Gus Asutin, attack (undecided); Quinn Ellis, attack (undecided); Moss Shannon, midfield (undecided).

What You Need To Know: The Bears coaching staff enters its second year with team and returns its entire attack and close defense from 2013. Nine starters and the face off men at midfield also return. Midfield transfer Moss Shanon will add to midfield depth.

The Bears will get an early midwest region test when they play MICDS (St. Louis, Mo.) followed by games against Prior Lake (Savage, Minn.) and Benilde St. Margaret (St. Louis Park, Minn.).

Culver AcademyTeam: Culver Academy (Culver, Ind.)
Last Year’s Record: 19-2
Last Year’s Finish of Note: FAB 50 No. 7
Last Year’s Final FAB 50 Ranking: No. 7
Returning Starters: 7
Overall Returnees: 16
Number Of Division I Commits Expected On Varsity As Of Today: 17

Top Seniors: Joel Tinney, midfield (Johns Hopkins); Riley Thompson, attack (Princeton); Matt Neufeldt, LSM (Maryland); Pierre Byrne, midfield (Notre Dame); Michael Calvello, goalie (Furman); PJ Bogle, attack (Michigan); Beau Ecksten, face off (Delaware).

Top Juniors: Dawson McKenzie, attack (Princeton); David Dilts, defense (Syracuse); Spencer Secord, midfield (Georgetown).

What You Need To Know: The Eagles will be a contender for the FAB 50 Preseason No. 1 and the national championship this season. With 17 players already committed to Division I programs, Culver Academy will once again take on some of the best teams in the East. Games against Gilman (Baltimore, Md.), McDonogh (Owings Mills, Md.) and Timon-St. Jude (Buffalo, N.Y.) will be decisive games. The Eagles have a strong offense and its players are fast and skilled. The defense is young, but Furman commit Calvello provides strong leadership in goal.

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Brother RiceTeam: Brother Rice (Bloomfield, Mich.)
Last Year’s Record: 18-5
Last Year’s Finish of Note: Michigan Division I champion
Last Year’s Final FAB 50 Ranking: No. 40
Returning Starters: 4
Overall Returnees: 13
Number Of Division I Commits Expected On Varsity As Of Today: 0

Top Seniors: Jason Alessi, midfield (Yale for football); Joe Plaskey, defense (Mercyhurst); Liam Reaume, midfielder (Binghamton); Patrick Cosgrove, defense (undecided); Joe Dudley, attack (undecided).

Top Juniors: Bo Pickens, midfield (undecided); John Lockwood, attack (undecided); Brendon Kennedy, attack (undecided); Peter Leary, defense (undecided).

What You Need To Know: Brother Rice is the gold standard when it comes to lacrosse programs in the midwest. The Warriors have won 11 straight championships, including evey state sanctioned championship since 2005. They have not lost to another Michigan team since 2002.

The difference between those seasons and 2014 is that long-time head coach Rob Ambrose resigned in July and new head coach Ajay Chawla took over the position a few weeks later. Ambrose had a 380-44 career record. Chawla is a first-year head coach.

Until someone defeats the Warriors they will remain the favorite within the state with 13 players overall, including four starters returning. StudentSportsLacrosse.com Midwest Region No. 9 Jason Alessi will play football at Yale and will lead the midfield.

An early contender and an up-and-coming program in Michigan, Cranbrook (Cranbrook, Mich.) will travel to Bloomfield for an April 8 game against Brother Rice and will be a key FAB 50 and Midwest Region game. The big game among the Midwest Region will be on April 13 when FAB 50 No. 1 contender Culver Academy (Culver, Ind.) comes to Brother Rice.

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HS Logo_Cranbrook SchoolTeam: Cranbrook (Bloomfield Township, Mich.)
Last Year’s Record: 17-6
Last Year’s Finish of Note: Michigan Division II State Champion
Last Year’s Final FAB 50 Ranking: NR
Returning Starters: 7
Overall Returnees: n/a
Number Of Division I Commits Expected On Varsity As Of Today: 6

Top Seniors: Matthew Giampetroni, midfield (Duke); Taylor Ghesquiere, midfield (Wesleyan); Christopher Brown, midfield (Boston College Hockey).

Top Juniors: Michael Landgon, defense (Notre Dame); Johnny Wagner, attack (Marquette).

What You Need To Know: The Cranes lost just six games last year, but four of those losses were by one goal and each in overtime. This spring Cranbrook will be competing in the North American Invitational so they have stepped up the schedule compared to last year.  Games against Michigan powerhouse Brother Rice (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.) and defending CHSAA AA champion Timon-St. Jude (Buffalo, N.Y.) will be tests of the Cranes FAB 50 quality.

Cranbrook is talented and its attack will be led by junior Johnny Wagner (Marquette). In addition to its returning players they add sophomore Jack Staab from Florida on defense.  Staab has tremendous upside. Cody Haas is a sophomore transfer from Canada who plays for The Edge and should also help the team’s depth and talent.

With a head coaching change at Brother Rice, Cranbrook could be a team to take the mantle of best team in Michigan this year.

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HS Logo_Dublin JeromeTeam: Dublin Jerome (Dublin, Ohio)
Last Year’s Record: 16-7
Last Year’s Finish of Note: Ohio Division I runner-up
Last Year’s Final FAB 50 Ranking: NR
Returning Starters: 6
Overall Returnees: 15
Number Of Division I Commits Expected On Varsity As Of Today: 5

Top Seniors: Mikey Bano, attack/midfield (St. Joseph’s); JB Smith, LSM/defense (Fairfield) Shawn Ewert, attack (Jacksonville); Chase Rose, goalie (Robert Morris); Lucas Brush, midfield (Rollins); Ian Brim, attack (Wooster).

Top Juniors: Steve Kidwell, midfield (Fairfield); Chris Haimbaugh, attack/midfield (undecided).

What You Need To Know:The Celtics return a balance of offense and defense and athletic depth at midfield from a teach that reached the Ohio state championship game last season. Last year among the losses the Celtics incurred were to Michigan state champion Brother Rice (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.), New York CHSAA AA champion Timon-St. Jude (Buffalo, N.Y.) and Upper Arlington (Columbus, Ohio) in the state championship game.

That big-game experience should help the Celtics in 2014. An April 2 game against Upper Arlington will be an early FAB 50 deciding game in addition to determining the region ranking.

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Team: Eden Prairie (Eden Prairie, Minn.)
Last Year’s Record: 18-0
Last Year’s Finish of Note: MSHSL Champion
Last Year’s Final FAB 50 Ranking: NR
Returning Starters: 5
Overall Returnees: 13
No. Of Division I Commits Expected On Varsity As Of Today: 3

Top Seniors: Charlie Venable, attack/midfield (St. Thomas MN); Ryan Connelly, midfield (Wisconsin (football)); Ronnie Spielman, midfield (Ohio State); Max Fahey, goalie (Indiana); Ben Campbell, midfield/face off (undecided).

Top Juniors: Sean Patterson, attack (Sacred Heart).

What You Need To Know:Eden Prairie returns the top goalie in the state in Fahey and along with some dynamic offensive players are in a good position to defend its state championship. The defense is young with a lot of speed & skill.

In 2013 the team got over the hurdle of winning its first state championship after losing the previous four state finals and enter the season with an 18 game winning streak.

Updated: February 10, 2014

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