AU Press Releases

AU men’s lacrosse team looks to move up ranks of the Empire 8

ALFRED, NY — With seven of 10 starters returning and a host of talented newcomers joining the squad, the 2011 Alfred University men’s lacrosse team will look to improve upon a 3-11 (0-8 Empire 8 Conference) 2010 campaign.

Head coach Jason Lockner’s roster numbers 40 players, the most in his six-year tenure at the Saxons’ helm. Among the key returnees are senior attackman and tri-captain Marc Zoyhofski (Blasdell, NY/Frontier), the team’s leading returning scorer; senior Adam Schutz (Geneva, NY/Geneva), who returns to play goalie after playing midfield in 2010; and sophomore defenseman Jake Spadoni (Webster, NY/Webster Schroeder), who anchored the defense as a freshman, leading the team in caused turnovers and ranking second in groundballs.

The Saxons will miss the scoring punch provided by former attackman and 2010 graduate Mike Russo (team-best 22 goals and 14 assists last year), but if Zoyhofski and senior midfielder Justin Kieffer (Middletown, MD/Middletown) can rebound from junior years that saw them miss four and nine games, respectively, to injury, the Saxons offense should be potent.

Zoyhofski had 25 points (12 goals, 13 assists), which ranked second on the team. Kieffer had 41 goals and six assists his first two seasons and will be counted on to provide similar production his senior year.

Alfred’s attack will be solid. Joining Zoyhofski on attack are a pair of newcomers in freshman Caleb McCaig (Corning, NY/Corning West) and junior Stefan Dabkowski (Latham, NY/Shaker), a transfer from SUNY Delhi, where he was an all-conference performer. Other attackmen include sophomore Charlie Barbay (Seneca Falls, NY/Mynderse) (two goals in 2010); junior Aaron Ward (Hamburg, NY/Frontier), a first-year player; and freshmen Brett Carroll (Buffalo, NY/Bishop Timon-St. Jude) and John Lanz (Vestal, NY/Vestal).

Improvement on attack will be key to the Saxons’ success, as AU was outscored 149-109 last year. Alfred did well on man-up situations, converting 22 of 64 opportunities (34 percent).

The Saxon midfield will be deep and should be a strength, despite the loss of junior David Malave (Shoreham, NY/Shoreham-Wading River), a first-line midfielder who will sit out the 2011 season with injury. Three newcomers — freshmen Tyler Brooks-Lambert (Seneca Castle/Midlakes) (US Lacrosse high school All-American in 2010) and Derek Green (Pittsburgh, PA/Kiski School) and sophomore Jay Stearns (Corning, NY/Corning West), a transfer from Mercyhurst — will see significant playing time, as will sophomore Matt Zon (Tonawanda, NY/Sweet Home), a starter as a freshman in 2010, Kieffer and junior Brendan Murphy (Buffalo, NY/Bishop Timon-St. Jude). Zon had five goals and an assist, 37 groundballs and was 76-152 on faceoffs in 2010 and Murphy had four goals, two assists and 21 groundballs.

Brooks-Lambert is a faceoff specialist who could step in and improve the team’s success on draws. Last year, AU won 52.6 percent of its faceoffs.

Providing depth at midfield will be sophomore Simon Chon (Farmington, CT/Farmington), and freshmen Derek Smith (Wilson, NY/Wilson), Mark Almquist (Buffalo, NY/Bishop Timon-St. Jude), Darren Palmer (Wingdale, NY/Trinity-Pawling) and Mike Barbone (Rochester, NY/Hilton).

Defense will be a strength, with all three starting defenders — Spadoni, and seniors Alex Hamilton (Corning, NY/Corning East) and Trent Thurston (Webster, NY/Webster Schroeder) — returning to man the back line. Hamilton had 18 groundballs and caused 12 turnovers, and Thurston had 28 groundballs and 12 caused turnovers. Freshman Tony Juliano (West Seneca, NY/Nichols) should step in and see significant minutes.

Three long-stick midfielders will compete for time on defense: senior Dustin Jacobson (Cicero, NY/Cicero-North Syracuse) (seven starts, 31 groundballs in 2010) and freshmen Pat Walsh (Buffalo, NY/Bishop Timon-St. Jude) and Zack Blain (Bristol, NY/Honeoye).

Senior Kevin Kostyk (Islamorada, FL/Seneca, NJ), sophomore Matt Hodnik (Binghamton, NY/Binghamton) and freshman Matt Hauser (Hamburg, NY/Frontier) are competing for time as defensive midfielders.

Adding depth on defense will be sophomores David Konnick (Vestal, NY/Vestal) and Chris Frauenhofer (Hamburg, NY/Frontier) and freshmen Zac Halor (Angola, NY/Lake Shore) and Andrea Gigi (Yonkers, NY/Archbishop Stepanic).

Schutz returns to goal after playing midfield in 2010. He started in goal his first two seasons and was an honorable mention All-Empire 8 goalie as a freshman in 2008, when he had a 7.43 goals against average and .653 save percentage. In 2009, he posted an 8.68 GAA and .590 save percentage.

Junior John Landi (Putnam Valley, NY/Putnam Valley) and sophomore Justin Becker (Conesus, NY/Livonia) will compete for time in goal as well.