LANCASTER, Pa. — Franklin & Marshall kicks off the 2017 men's lacrosse season on Saturday when the Diplomats host Lynchburg at 1:00 p.m. The Diplomats return 32 players, including 16 that either started or saw significant time last season, and look to make another run at the Centennial Conference (CC) Tournament this season.
Click here to meet the 2017 men's lacrosse team.
F&M advanced to it's seventh CC Tournament last season, but came up just short in the opening round. The Diplomats ended the year with a 12-5 mark including a 6-2 record in conference action. F&M brought in an extremely talented freshman class and combined with a wealth of upperclassmen, the Diplomats have the pieces in place to make its fourth playoff appearance in the last five years.
Preseason All-American Sean Rogers will start for the third consecutive year and run the offense for the Diplomats. The junior attacker was one of the CC's most dynamic scorers a year ago, landing United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) All-America Third Team honors after leading the Conference in points (70) and goals (35) while ranking second in assists (35).
His 70 points on the season were the most by a Diplomat since 1995 as he tallied multiple points in 15 out of 17 contests. On three occasions he recorded a season-high eight points and picked up 32 ground balls to go along with nine caused turnovers on the year. Rogers collected 109 points during his first two seasons in Lancaster, making him one of the fastest to reach the 100-point plateau.
Senior Mike Rama also returns at attack after he received all-conference honors for the first time in his career last season. He registered 27 points and scored 24 goals last year. He ended the year with back-to-back three-goal games against Dickinson and Ursinus and reached four points on two occasions.
F&M has a strong core of players at the midfield spot, led by juniors Harry Rice and George Briggs. Briggs has seven goals with 10 helpers a year ago and Rice finished with 14 points on 10 goals and four assists. Juniors Teddy Bossidy and Riley Aviles will join sophomore Tucker McBride and Shane McBride on the first two lines. A strong core of freshman midfielders will also see significant as the season progresses.
Junior Read Ziegler gets the nod at defensive midfield after starting in 15 games last season with 33 ground balls and eight caused turnovers. Sophomore John Sommi will see a lot of time as well after collecting 17 ground balls with five turnovers last season. Freshmen Jarrett Donaghy and Kip Wyrough will rotate in as well.
The strength of the Diplomats this season is their defensive unit. Seniors Anthony Dougherty, Nick Zenobio and Nick Wells, along with sophomore Tommy O'Connor, return to anchor the defensive again this year. Dougherty had a team-high 32 caused turnovers to go along with 47 ground balls last season. Zenobio picked up 38 ground balls with 20 caused turnovers and Wells had 11 ground balls with 11 turnovers in 2016.
Freshman Andrew Fine will also play a major role in the defense this year.
Long Stick Midfield
The faceoff position is still to be determined with four players battling for the starting spot. Junior Andrew Rose, sophomore Daniel Zlevor and freshmen Timmy Hoarty and Kip Wyrough should all see time at the X.
An intense battle is underway between junior Thomas Moore and sophomore Scott Hatch for the starting goalie position. Moore started the majority of last season with a 9.21 goals against average with 90 saves. He went 9-3 in 12 contests. Hatch went 3-2 in five starts with 54 saves and a 9.78 GAA after starting the last five games of the year. Freshmen Jack O'Neill and John Whiteford may also see time in net this year.
F&M was ranked third in the Centennial Conference Preseason Poll. Gettysburg was ranked first, followed by Ursinus, in the poll conducted by the head coaches of the conference and athletic communication directors.
Men's lacrosse begins 2017 at home against Lynchburg on Saturday, Feb. 18 at 1:00 p.m. to open a string of three consecutive non-conference contests at Tylus. CC action starts on the road against Swarthmore on Saturday, March 25 at 12:00 p.m.
The Conference Semifinals are slated for Wednesday, May 3 while the CC Championship will take place that following Saturday with the tournament set to begin with the Semifinals on Wednesday, May 3 and conclude with the Championship on Saturday, May 6.
Look for the icon below, which can be accessed at the top-right of the 2017 men's lacrosse schedule when viewed on your computer, or bottom-left of all schedules on your mobile device.
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