Manhattanville Looking for New Start
from press release
PURCHASE, N.Y. – The Manhattanville men's lacrosse program under first year head coach Kevin Warnock will look to erase recent memories of seasons past and lead the program in a new direction. The change in head coach also comes with a change in the MAC Conference this season as the conference will now sponsor two separate leagues with the Valiants joining the Freedom Conference as is the case with Manhattanville's other team sports.
Warnock comes to Purchase with a decorated lacrosse past which included his collegiate playing career at the nationally recognized Springfield Pride program. After graduating he began coaching at Western New England for a few seasons before heading south to St. Leo University in Florida to help build the up-and-coming program. After two years in Florida, Warnock returned to New England and took a position at Bates College for three seasons prior to making his way to Manhattanville.
The program Warnock will lead this season returns several key members from last year's squad including the second leading scorers from last season, senior Joe Daly (Mahopac, N.Y., Mahopac) who had 16 goals and five assists in 2011. Also back with 21 points is sophomore Brian D'Iorio (Huntington, N.Y., Saint Anthony's) who had 10 goals and 11 assists. On the defensive side of the ball the Valiants return senior captain Phil Honovich (Cortlandt Manor, N.Y., Walter Panas) who started in all 16 games last season while collecting a team-high 51 ground balls while causing 20 turnovers.
The front line of Manhattanville is headlined by four returners, who will need to play a larger part in the offense after the departure of Mike Strauss '11. The attack will be led by D'Iorio and three other returners who all saw time in the starting lineup last season.
Junior Will Sahakian (Natick, Mass., Rivers School) started in 14 games a season ago and contributed to the offense with 10 goals and added six assists as he finished fourth on the team in points in 2011. Also returning this season are sophomores Jeb Miller (Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., Cold Spring Harbor) and Brendan Kuntz (Ridgewood, N.J., Ridgewood), Miller also reached double-figures in goals with 10 as a freshman, Kuntz added five goals as well during his first season while getting the starting nod in seven contests.
Joining the three letterwinners are five freshmen, Tom Tarczali (Stratford, Conn., Saint Joseph) comes to Manhattanville after a successful high school career that ended last season with a Connecticut State Championship. Travis Quinones (Nanuet, N.Y., Nanuet) also joins the team after a high school sectional championship last season. Four-year high school starters Conor Reeves (Tappan, N.Y., Tappan Zee), Evan Maultasch (Great Neck, N.Y., Great Neck South), and Corey Steimel (Wyckoff, N.J., Ramapo) will also look to break into the Manhattanville starting unit.
The midfield will also have a mixture of youth with their returning unit led by Daly and fellow senior Conor McAndrew (Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., Cold Spring Harbor) who have a combined 89 games on the field for Manhattanville. Daly brings his team-leading 21 points back from a season ago, while McAndrew returns with four goals and six assists after limited action last year.
Also in the midfield mix are a quartet of juniors headlined by Bill Motherway (Kings Park, N.Y., Kings Park) who brings his faceoff skills in addition to his 13 points back to the unit. Motherway led the team last season in faceoff percent going 23-for-42 for a 54.8 winning percent, the Long Island native also tallied 11 goals and a pair of assists in 15 games last year.
Returning for his third season is Jordan Kolb (Sisters, Ore., Sisters) who has seen limited action his first two years with the crimson and white. He'll be joined by classmates Justin Figueroa (Ardsley, N.Y., Ardsley) who scored one goal in his first season on the team.
Manhattanville also returns a pair of sophomores to the midfield unit including Mike Arena (Stratford, Conn., Saint Joseph) who started in 13 games of the 15 he played in last season while recording 21 ground balls. Eric Brown (East Brunswick, N.J., East Brunswick) also comes back for his second year after recording four shots and going 29-for-79 on faceoffs as well.
Joining the Valiants for their first seasons this year are Connor Castleman (Kingwood, Texas, Kingwood), Mike Caldwell (Rockville Centre, N.Y., South Side), Jack Polak (Longmeadow, Mass., Longmeadow), Antonio Ramos (Stratford, Conn., Saint Joseph), George Scales (Copiague, N.Y., Copiague), Garrett Namian (Cincinnati, Ohio, Lakota East), and Cory Balog (Hamden, Conn., Hamden) who will all battle for playing time this spring.
The defensive line has four upper-classmen with lacrosse playing at the collegiate level that is led by senior captain Honovich who has started every game over the first three seasons of his Manhattanville career. Over his three-year campaign Honovich has posted 51 caused turnovers and collected 87 ground balls and even collected his first collegiate shot last season at Alvernia.
Juniors Drew Newgaard (Sterling, Va., Blue Ridge School) and Austin Daigh (Westport, Conn., Trinity Pawling) both saw time off the bench last season and will both play larger roles this season. Also joining the fold is Peter Callahan (Fairfield, Conn., Salisbury School) who comes to Manhattanville after spending the past two seasons at Lynchburg College in Virginia and was a starter in all 16 games as a freshman for the Hornets, he also played in 15 games last season as well.
The lone freshman joining the defensive line is Nick Alfano (Morganville, N.J., Marlboro) who comes to Purchase after playing three seasons at Marlboro High School in New Jersey and was named his team's defensive MVP for his efforts during his senior season.
After playing every minute in goal last season for Manhattanville, junior Dom Poletto (Engelwood, Colo., Regis Jesuit) returns for his third season after posting a 3-13 record in 2011. Poletto had a .562 save percentage while allowing an 11.36 goals against average in his first full season as a starter.
Poletto will have some competition this season in goal as he will be challenged by three freshmen who will look to take away the starting gig. Jeff Melnik (Yonkers, N.Y., Archbishop Stepinac), Paddy McClernon (Kingwood, Texas, Kingwood) and Ray Zimlin (Graniteville, N.Y., Wyoming Seminary) will all vie for the starting goalkeeper position after successful high school careers.
This season Manhattanville will have more room for non-conference games than in previous season due to the separation of the MAC Conference into the Freedom and Commonwealth Conferences. The Valiants will open up the season with non-conference Mount Saint Vincent on February 25 on GoValiants.com Field at 1:00 p.m. They follow that up with a trip to Troy, New York for a game against RPI on February 29.
The Valiants will also play three games over spring break which begins and ends on Long Island. First they will take on Plattsburgh State at Division Avenue High School in Levittown, N.Y. before traveling to the University of Delaware for a neutral site game against Wheaton. They round out the three game trip with a trip to Walt Whitman High School in Huntington, New York for a matchup against Montclair State on March 17.
Manhattanville returns home to take on New England College on March 22 before a three-game road trip that takes them to Merchant Marine, SUNY Maritime and Babson. The first of the five-game conference schedule begins at home against Misericordia on April 14. The season will come to an end at home as well when they host the Monarchs of King's College.
The playoff scenario is also different than previous seasons as three of the top six teams in the Freedom Conference will make the Conference Championship. The No. 3 seed will travel to the No. 2 seed on May 1 before the winner takes on the top seed on May 3. The winner of the Freedom Championship will take on the Commonwealth Champion for the automatic qualifier from the MAC Conference on May 5.