Despite the continuing harsh winter conditions in the North Country, the St. Lawrence University men's lacrosse team is prepared to open its 2014 campaign on Saturday, March 1 as the Saints will take on Babson at Yale University.
St. Lawrence, which was 10-5 overall and second in the Liberty League last season at 5-1, returns a solid group of veterans that will have the team competing for a conference title again in 2014.
"This team has a great deal of potential, and I'm excited to get the season started," said St. Lawrence head coach Mike Mahoney, who enters the year with a career record of 166-77. "Our upperclassmen have done a nice job setting the tone and we'll need major contributions from them all over the field."
The Saints' attack will center around sophomore standout Jeremy Vautour, senior captain Marc Perroni and juniors Garrett Gagne and Tommy Hovey. Vautour, a four-time Rookie of the Week selection, earned All-Conference honors last spring with 25 goals including game-winners against Clarkson and Skidmore.
St. Lawrence has more experience in the midfield, where senior captain Pierson Fowler returns after back-to-back All-Conference seasons. The Grosse Pointe Farms, MI native was a first team selection in 2013 after scoring 16 goals. Malcolm Lynch, Alden Frelinghuysen and Jake Davis also return to help in the transition game.
Defensively, St. Lawrence welcomes back junior Jack Roberts, who emerged as a premier defender last season. The Sewickley, PA native had 24 ground balls and 14 caused turnovers, earning second team All-Conference honors. Senior captain Sam Marvin, Bret Newman and Robbie Dowers will also help solidify the defensive unit.
The one position that St. Lawrence does not have experience at is between the pipes. The Saints return three goaltenders, including Nick Ford, Ryan Fisher and Patrick Sullivan, and have added junior transfer Andrew Butturini who will all compete for playing time early in the season.
Though St. Lawrence's opener was originally scheduled to be played in Greenwich, CT, conditions have forced the game to move to New Haven. The Saints will square off with the Beavers of Babson, who come into the game 1-0 after defeating Skidmore 12-5.