BEREA, Ohio – The Baldwin Wallace University men's lacrosse team begins first year head coach Trey Keeley's tenure as it works toward the program's first OAC Championship in 2018.
Keeley assumes a roster with 33 letterwinners and eight All-OAC performers from last year's team that finished with a 12-3 overall record and a 7-1 mark in the OAC. Keeley also welcomes 15 newcomers to the team, adding the depth that is needed to chase a conference championship.
BW returns a high powered attack in All-OAC players senior Brock Riemenschneider (Rocky River), junior Chad Steinwachs (Buffalo, N.Y./Williamsville North) and junior Mike Nanosky (Medina). Nanosky and Steinwachs both tied for the team lead in goals (28), assists (12) and points (40) while Riemenschneider is fresh off a junior campaign that saw him become just the second Yellow Jacket men's lacrosse player to record 100 career points. Senior Alex Binner (East Amherst, N.Y./Williamsville North) also looks to be a key contributor offensively in his final season after scoring 12 goals and adding five assists last year.
After junior Ethan Napieralski (Lancaster, N.Y.) and sophomore Justin Presutti (Williamsville, N.Y./Williamsville South) saw limited action a season ago, they and freshman James Brown (Canfield/Cardinal Mooney) will all look to add to the BW offense in 2018.
In the midfield, the Yellow Jackets return All-OAC performers with senior Derek Andrews (Alden, N.Y./Iroquios), senior Matt McDowell (East Amherst, N.Y./Williamsville North) and junior Cole McClary (Perrysburg). Andrews and McDowell provided a lot of offense, scoring 11 and 20 goals, respectively, while McClary took care of the defensive aspect of the position, tying for second on the team in ground balls with 42. Senior Jack Gerlack (Rocky River) also adds to the offense as he netted 10 goals and one assist for 11 points in just nine games last year.
After a season away from the team, senior Tanner Roberts (Murrysville, Pa./Franklin Regional) returns to a deep midfield, joining senior Alex Juhasz (Lancaster, N.Y./Lancaster Central), junior Thomas Moesch (Ithaca, N.Y.) and sophomores Riley Mahon (Palatine, Ill./William Fremd) and Ben Kubiak (Wooster) who appeared in all 15 games last year and made significant contributions both offensively and defensively.
Seniors Brady King (West Seneca, N.Y./Bishop Timon-St. Jude) and Clay Sparks (Delaware/Hayes); junior Jake Mostyn (Columbus/Westerville Central); and sophomores Matt Lowe (Penfield, N.Y.), Austin Routzong (Hilliard/Hilliard Bradley) and Hunter Lute (North Canton) all saw limited action last season and will add even more depth at the position this year. Meanwhile, freshman Nicholas Nanosky (Medina) joins older brother Mike Nanosky on the field this year and freshmen Trent Thomas (Massillon/Jackson), Gage Schneider (Hamburg, N.Y.), Carson Howatt (Dexter, Mich.), Thomas Lundin (North Canton/GlenOak), Quinn Colwell (Glenshaw, Pa./Shaler Area) and Andrew Hodgens (Syracuse, N.Y./Westhill) will all look to crack into the rotation.
With the graduation of senior All-OAC face-off specialist Alex Fioritto, BW will look to some freshmen to follow in his footsteps. Keller Fisher (Rocky River) and Alexander Bishop (Avon Lake) will use Fioritto's guidance as a member of the coaching staff to make an impact in the face-off specialty.
The BW defense will have a new look this year after graduating the OAC's first All-American and two additional seniors that have historically led NCAA Division III in scoring defense. Junior All-OAC defender Brian Jandzinski (Lancaster, N.Y./Lancaster Central) is the only returning defender who appeared in all 15 games last season, picking up 23 ground balls. Senior Jakob Jackson (Louisville) and juniors Jacob Swank (Hilliard/Woodgrove), junior Liam Oberst (Rochester, N.Y./Brighton) and Zak DiPerna (Medina) will have to step up and help the defense return to its stout ways.
Freshmen Matthew Rodenhouse (Pittsford, N.Y./Mendon), David Arlington (Lockport, N.Y.) and Bryce Moran (Medina) will all look to help tighten up the defense in their first seasons in the Brown and Gold.
Senior goalkeeper Mike DiZonno (Buffalo Grove, Ill./Adlai E. Stevenson) returns for his final season between the pipes. In 11 games last season, DiZonno led the team with 55 saves and recorded a 9-2 record. Junior Nate Karatas (Penfield, N.Y.), sophomore Connor Lalime and freshman Trent Davis (Ottawa Hills) will all vie for time as the backup.
BW opens the 2018 season with a trip to Washington, Pennsylvania, to play Washington & Jefferson (Pa.) College on Wednesday, February 21, at 6 p.m.