A total of 21 freshman players hope to make their mark on Georgetown lacrosse this season and some day become the next big thing for the Hoyas. Each of them has the potential to do just that.

Headlined by seven high school All-Americans, 15 talented freshmen will be joining the Georgetown men’s lacrosse program this season. The diverse group brings versatility and size to a team that made the NCAA quarterfinals last season and has been ranked sixth nationally in Lacrosse Magazine’s 2003 Preseason Poll.

A number of the freshmen have played for some of the top programs in the county during their high school careers. Defenseman Rob Lemos was a member of the No. 2 team in the nation (as ranked by LaxPower.com) with West Genesee (N.Y.) High School, while midfielder Brian Hehir won a New York (Nassau-Suffolk Catholic division) state title with Chaminade High School. Chaminade also finished the season ranked No. 23 nationally.

Attackman Derek Mills received All-America honors last year, as did midfielders Peter Cannon, Connor Hartley, Keith Schroeder and Brian Young. Defenseman Rob Smith, who was a member of the 12th-ranked team in the nation at Somers High School in New York, and goaltender Bobby Tremain were also named to All-America teams.

Other members of the class include attackman Sean Denihan, midfielders John Lasky and Wes Trice and defensemen Reyn Garnett, Nick Lukens and John Trapp.

When asked about the honors received by his recruits, Head Coach Dave Urick was pleased, but cautious with his praise. “It’s a great honor to receive and we expect to recruit players of that caliber. We’ve got a lot of talent [in this class],” Urick said. “[But] for any freshman, it’s a big jump. It’s a quantum leap – it’s difficult to contribute right away.”

He did, however, note the progress of several freshmen that may see playing time this season.

“Peter Cannon has shown us that he is versatile enough. He plays very good defense and is good of the wing on the face-off,” Urick explained. Cannon may be able to garner some playing time initially as a defensive midfielder. Urick also pointed out, “John Trapp is a bundle of energy. He’s got a great attitude. He’s a hell of an athlete, and it’s helped him make the switch [from his high school position at midfield] to a long stick.”

Urick added, “Sean Denihan has recently begun to play with a lot more confidence in practice” after starting out the season a little rocky. “He could provide us with some additional depth at the attack position.”

“This is a very strong defense,” Urick said of his five freshmen, each of whom also offer a good deal of size to the Hoyas, and will be crucial to maintaining the Hoyas’ identity as a strong defensive team. Nearly all five check in at six feet or taller and two hundred pounds or more.

In particular, Urick highlighted the 6-foot-4, 230-pound Garnett and the six-foot, 217-pound Smith, who has decided to redshirt this season. “Rob would probably play [this year], but we will definitely be looking to him next year to fill a void” on defense after the departure of seniors Pat Collins and Kyle Sweeney.

Additionally, Schroeder (6-foot-3, 210 pounds) offers a great deal of size at the midfield position, and junior newcomer Ken Osier (6-foot-3, 220 pounds) will be looking to earn some playing time at close defense.

Tremain will begin the season as the third-string goaltender behind junior Andrew Owen and sophomore Rich D’Andrea, competing to fill the spot left open with the graduation of Scott Schroeder from last year’s squad. “Bobby is very good stopping the ball,” Urick said, but remarked that he would like to see Tremain develop the other facets of his game, and could see Tremain contributing in the future.

Among the freshman midfielders, Young and Hartley each have experience at attack, but will be looking to develop as midfielders, and Urick is also looking forward to a return to health from Young.

“Sometimes, we look to fill position requirements, but recently we’ve been recruiting the best athletes,” Urick said when asked about the size and versatility offered by the newcomers. He added, “[College lacrosse] is a whole different level, but this is a good solid, group, and some will be able to play right away in a specialized role.”

The women’s lacrosse team will be bringing in a smaller number of freshmen, though Head Coach Kim Simons expects a number of them to contribute immediately, even on a team coming off an NCAA Championship game appearance last spring.

“[This class] is similar to our whole team: there’s no superstar, but they’re all very good, and most importantly they have great attitude,” Simons said. She also noted that this year’s freshman class was smaller than she had anticipated, though Assistant Coach Bowen Holden attributes that to the strides the program has made under Simons.

Like their counterparts on the men’s team, a number of the freshmen come from very accomplished high school careers. Two players, midfielder Paige Andrews and defender Stephanie Zodtner, were selected as All-Americans, while Zodtner and defender Kristin Smith were teammates on the Conestoga (Penn.) High School team that won the Class AAA State Championship and was ranked No. 5 nationally. Andrews, who also played attack in high school, comes from Archbishop Carroll, who finished the season ranked at No. 29 in the polls.

Defender Molly Ahearn joins the team after starting for the Georgetown Field Hockey team this past fall, while other members of the class include Lucy Poole at attack and goalie Dosha Straight. Ahearn joins sophomore defender Megan Leahy as members of both the field hockey and lacrosse programs.

Despite the freshmen’s long list of accomplishments, Simons is particularly pleased with the group’s work ethic. “They’re a really hard working, blue-collar bunch of players,” Simons said. “They’re hustlers and they’re do-whatever-you-ask-of-them type kids.”

Holden added that the program can be expected to attract a more skilled, though perhaps smaller, group of recruits. “We simply try to recruit the best athletes,” she said, adding that the large number of sisters and high school teammates to have joined the Hoyas in recent years is “wonderful. It says something about our program and what Coach Simons has done with it.”

Though the Hoyas are coming off a tremendously successful season, Simons expects at least one of her freshmen to be starting, while “probably three of them are going to be getting significant playing time from the beginning of the season. [This] is pretty significant on the kind of team we have right now.”

She added, “I wouldn’t be surprised if all of them are getting some kind of playing time throughout the season. They’re going to be a good addition and they’re going to provide us some depth.”

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