2019 Men's Lacrosse Preview Following a trip to the NEWMAC Championship game for the first time in program history, the Bears, who set a school record of 14 wins and finished 14-4 overall, are back in their fifth season.

The 2018 NEWMAC Coach of the Year, Ray LaForte has been at the helm of the Bears since the beginning and boasts a 38-26 overall record with the Bears. He was also recognized by the New England Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (NEILA) last season.

The Bears return 15 seniors, a record number for the program. All are four-year returners that have key roles in leading the Bears to success this season.

A number of returning players earned post-season accolades; two All-American honorable mentions, two recognized by the New England Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (NEILA), and seven named to NEWMAC All-Conference teams.

“You can see it in practice already, people keep getting better and adding skill, late in their career," said LaForte.

Key Returners are All-America honorable mention, junior Riley McNulty who led the Bears with 44 goals and was named to the NEWMAC All-Conference first team. As well as senior Benner Geurtsen, “Geurtsen is on the verge of a breakout year. He is a senior and he is still getting better,” said LaForte. Another offensive threat will be senior Anthony Wyler, who was named to the NEWMAC All-Conference second team. “Wyler has tremendous dynamic, and is a complete intangible player.”
On the defensive end, the Bears return the NEWMAC Defender of the Year and USILA All-America honorable mention, senior goal keeper, Trey Johnson. “He is a wonderful senior leader with tremendous experience and is very lacrosse savy. We also have a great backup goalie in junior Charlie McAllister,who could start for anyone in the league,” said LaForte.
The Bears defense has been outstanding and was ranked number nine in scoring defense in Division III. “Johnson is flanked by some really fleet footed defenders.” Such as senior Tom Bleifuss, a NEWMAC All-Conference second team member and a NEILA third team selection, will be key defensive returner during his senior season. Junior Justin Edwards, who was named to the NEWMAC All-Conference second team “may be our most complete defender” was second on the team with 24 caused turnovers, will play a vital role in the defense this season.
Other key returners are, senior Michael McCaslin is a four year starter who led the Bears with 26 caused turnovers last season. Senior Colin Cashin will be returning and will play a key part in the faceoff, “he is the total package.” The addition of high level sophomores Ethan Geurtsen, Peyton Bowler and senior Connor Ellis as a long stick mid, will provide “more depth, more quality, more competency, and more game ready people.”
The freshman class has some great additions as well. Logan Tobias has been proving himself with face-offs “Potentially one of the best face off kids in the Northeast.” Matt Flynn has been playing very well in the midfield and Paul Mamay “very fleet footed” could move into the defensive mix.
LaForte wants to see the team “continually play quality lacrosse and to raise their level.” The Bears open their season at home with two quality opponents right off the bat. Elizabethtown will be at Cadet Memorial Field on Saturday, February 16 and RPI will be the next test on Wednesday, February 27. The Bears will also travel to the 2018 Division III National Champions Wesleyan, who the Bears beat 10-9 in overtime last season, on Wednesday, March 6. These early season games will prepare the Bears for an always challenging NEWMAC schedule.

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