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Kurpis '06, 1st Team AA

Posted Saturday, February 20, 2010 by Inside Lacrosse
 Gettysburg finally got over the semi-final hump last season, advancing into the Division III National Title Game, only to fall to Cortland, 7-9. It was a bitter sweet-moment for the players, they were able to get through the difficult southern bracket for the first time since 2002, but the program fell short in earning its first national title. 
The 2009 season was characterized by early season woes, when the Bullets dropped three out of their first five games and were written off as a team in decline. A midseason upset against No. 1 Salisbury boosted moral and restored confidence, an emotional wave that would carry the team to another Centennial Conference Championship over Haverford and past No. 1 Stevenson in the NCAA semi-finals, avenging early season losses in both instances. They'll have to replace a slew of important role players as well as Centennial Conference Player of the Year Tom O'Donnell and National Player of the Year Tommy Kehoe (myself). I am not a vital loss, but losing O'Donnell presents a lot of questions. Also, offensive coordinator Tommy Pearce departed for Frostburg State; he was an outstanding assistant. 
The Bullets' roster is loaded with experience, their returning players have made a final-four and captured a conference championship in each of their previous three seasons. Many of these players have been contributing on championship caliber teams since their freshman year and they are anxious to put their own mark on a storied program. 
2010 won't be easy and the weather is already giving the team a hard time. To date, they've only had three outdoor practices and looked poor in a scrimmage against Stevens Tech. Coach Hank Janczyk believes most of the problems can be alleviated with full practices and is focused on making the most out of the remaining pre-season. 


Senior captain Joe Brody (20,33) returns to quarterback the attack. He's a tenacious dodger that can shoot with either hand. He's added range to his shot and is difficult to control 1v1. He led the team in points and is the unit's best ball handler. Classmate Josh Reichert has a strong left handed shot. He can score from the wing or in-tight off the post. He's good at slipping under his defenseman and getting looks in-tight; he's also a prime target in transition. 
Sophomore Pat Sartory is staking his claim as the third attackman, but freshman Evan Thomas and sophomore Tyler Feeley will be pushing him throughout the preseason. Sartory is a dangerous inside shooter.


The Gettysburg midfield will be most reflective of their balanced offense and could feature four or five twenty point scorers. The biggest loss is do-it-all middie Tom O'Donnell; O'Donnell was the offensive quarterback and could score and feed as the defense dictated. He was also the primary clearer, man-down short stick and wing player. The midfielders will have to replace him by committee in a variety of positions. 
Senior Kyle McGrath (31,10) is the units go to scorer, he's an athletic and versatile dodger that can shoot from up top or score off the invert. He's a preseason 1st Team All American and he's poised for a big year; he's always been killer in prime time (16 goals in '09 post-season, 10 goals in '08 post-season), but look for him to put together a complete season. 
Junior Chris Cahill (13,10) has a lot of upside, he's a converted attackman that is as quick as anyone on the team. He has a great outside shot and has been developing the midfielder instinct; this could be the year it all comes together. Junior Danno Lynch (19,4) is a proven goal scorer that is looking to improve his all around game. If Lynch can limit his turnovers and improve his impact between the lines, he could have an All American year, 
Senior Pat Koehl (8,3), junior Andrew Ryan (18,0) and freshman Graham Franke will all add depth. Koehl is a proven gamer that can help run the offense. Ryan has a great outside shot and is good down the lanes or sweeping up top. He gained solid experience down the stretch and should give the Bullets a big dodger out of the midfield. Franke was the arguably the Bullets' best freshman a year ago, but he was sidelined with a collarbone break; he could be the biggest surprise on the scoring sheet.
Junior Matt Griffo returns to face-off for the Bullets after posting 46% at the X a year ago.He is being pushed by freshman Nick Avedisian, who's looked good thus far. The Bullets will want to improve their  play on the face-offs.


The staple of Gettysburg play has always been great 1v1 defense. The key to winning games, especially at the DIII level, is to win the individual defensive match ups. 
Pre-Season 1st Team All American Tim Kurpis is the team's best shut-down defender and a team captain. He'll have to stand on his own feet now that his mentor and fellow All American Yanni Peary has graduated. Peary molded Kurpis on and off the field and fans should expect a better player for the 2009 season. He's an intelligent leader and will be the main communicator on defense, ensuring everyone is on the same page. 
Junior John Odierna had a great sophomore year and will look to round out his game. He's a position first defenseman but has the ability to put the ball on the ground. The third defensive spot is still in question; junior Tommy Barnett was expected to start at long stick midfield, but he may find himself at close. He can be coy with his stick and has a knack for timing checks, he will be an effective player whether he is at close or playing up top.
Classmate Chris Fumai has recently picked up a pole for the first time and the staff is impressed with what he brings to the position. Fumai's comfort in the LSM position may dictate where Barnett plays.  Senior Scott Manniello started the first half of '09 but was hampered with a hamstring problem. He's a good option as a third or fourth defenseman. Junior Alex Cole and freshman matt Canter are versatile enough to play close or LSM. 
Seniors Ben Engleman and Alex White are the teams outstanding short stick defensive midfielders. Both are good in transition and are tough to shake 1v1. 
Sophomore John LeClerc is the new goalie. He's a great stopper, but has to work on his clearing game. There is a long tradition of All American goalie play at Gettysburg, going on a decade or so straight of All American selections, so he knows what's expected of him. 

Games to Watch

Gettysburg will head to Long Island to face the Cortland Dragons on 3/6/10. In a repeat of last year's title game, both teams will be looking to establish themselves early.
Gettysburg hosts southern rival Salisbury on 3/27/10. This game is always great and the last three meetings have been unbelievable.   

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