Posted: Mar 02, 2018
WATERVILLE, Maine -- The Colby College men's lacrosse team has one of the top goalies in Division III and a strong defense heading into Saturday's season opener at Amherst College at 1 p.m.
Colby plays its first home game on Saturday, March 10, at 1 p.m. against Hamilton College.
Mule goaltender C.J. Layton (Wakefield, Mass.) earned New England Small College Athletic Conference Second Team honors after finishing among the top keepers in the league in save percentage (55.8) and goals against average.
"No question the anchor of our team is C.J. Layton and I believe he is one of the best goaltenders in the country," said Colby head coach Guy Van Arsdale, back for his second season with the Mules.
Colby's defense will once again be led by senior Graham Lian (Alexandria, Va.), junior Michael McHale (Summit, N.J.), and senior John Pappas (West Simsbury, Conn.). Lian finished with 28 ground balls and 11 caused turnovers, McHale had a team-best 15 caused turnovers and 17 ground balls, and Pappas had 17 ground balls.
Lian will be one of three captains along with seniors Brad McCarthy (Darien, Conn.) and Myles Smith (Springfield, Mass.). McCarthy, a long stick midfielder, had a team-best 36 ground balls and eight caused turnovers, while Smith had three goals and one assist from his midfield spot.
"We have had a very good start to our preseason and I have been encouraged by the work ethic of our team," Van Arsdale said. "Our captains have been tremendous in leading this group, especially with so many young guys on the team. We are very excited by our first-year class and believe many of them will play important roles from the start."
Senior midfielder Tucker Dietrick (pictured, Wellesley, Mass.) is the top returning scorer after scoring 13 goals and dishing 11 assists. Junior midfielder Don Vivian (Slingerlands, N.Y.) was fifth in scoring with nine goals and 10 assists. The Mules also will expect scoring from midfielders C.J. Hassan (Miami, Fla.), Cillian Connor (Glen Ridge, N.J.), and Rocky Tonkel (Washington, D.C.). Those three players combined for 13 goals and nine assists last year.
The Mules also return veteran midfielders Will Erwin (19 ground balls, New York, N.Y.), Yuta Murata (Newport Beach, Calif.), Gerry Nvule (Woburn, Mass.), Brendan Seiler (Darien, Conn.), and Sam Friedman (Abington, Mass.). First-years Aidan McCleary (Olney, Md.), Mike Cliff (Kathonah, N.Y.), Jake Kirby (Darien, Conn.), Chase McKee (Dedham, Mass.), Carter Vickers (Manchester Center, Vt.), Billy Jacobs (Yarmouth, Maine), and Derek Muse (Kennebunkport, Maine) will look to make an immediate impact.
Sophomores Justin Huber (Las Vegas, Nev.) and first-years Tom Ginolfi (Ipswich, Mass.) and Nick Percarpio (Darien, Conn.) join McCarthy as long stick midfielders. Face-offs were a problem last year and the Mules hope first-years Jung Shin (Springfield, Va.) and Joe Paolatto (Sherborn, Mass.) will be difference makers.
While Lian and McHale lead the defense, the Mules have depth with Jack Marschke (Chappaqua, N.Y.), Chris Battaglia (Manhasset, N.Y.), Jamie Meade (Rye, N.H.), Taylor Haberstock (Skaneateles, N.Y.), and Finn McNamara (Ridgefield, Conn.). First-year Christian Jibilian (Madison, Conn.) also will play in back. Payton Fales (San Clemente, Calif.) played two games in goal last year and first-year Billy Chizmar (Abingdon, Md.) will look for time in net.
With the loss of the top three scorers from a year ago, Colby will need to find offense from new sources. Mason Brady (Menlo Park, Calif.), Max Cushman (Marblehead, Mass.), Scott Miller (New Castle, N.H.), Harrison Alpaugh (Wellesley, Mass.), Andrew Ward (Wellesley, Mass.), Kevin Beil (Manhasset, N.Y.), and Teddy Fenton (Cumberland, R.I.) are returning attackers. First-years Riley Bergstrom (Duxbury, Mass.), Matt Bass (Jacksonville, Fla.), and Charlie Lynch (Bethesda, Md.) will get a chance to score goals.