Getting caught up with men’s lacrosse

Now that both the basketball and hockey seasons have been completed, the men’s lacrosse team takes center stage. Coming off a season in which the lacrosse team returned to the conference playoffs for the first time since 2003 — despite having an overall record of 3-13 and 2-3 in conference play — the Catamounts were picked to finish fifth in a six-team America East Conference. Entering the season, much was expected from sophomore Drew Philie, who earned Conference Rookie of the Year and second team all-league last season. Philie was tied for third in total points within the America East last season with 56 — 30 goals, 26 assists. Staring high expectations in the face, thus far the Catamounts have not disappointed. Through their first eight games the Catamounts have already exceeded their 2010 win total, posting a record of 4-4. Despite facing No. 16 ranked Denver and No. 1 ranked Virginia — both of which were losses — the Catamounts have streaked out of the gate posting impressive wins over Colgate, St. John’s, Air Force and Bryant. Building on his impressive 2010 campaign, Philie has already amassed 24 points — 18 goals, 6 assists — in the eight games played thus far. Even with the fast start, the Catamounts suffered a disappointing loss to Fairfield, after which the team took time to reassess their offensive game plan according to head coach Ryan Curtis. “We really stressed that we felt like we got away from who we were offensively,” Curtis said. “A lot of guys standing around watching one guy; we weren’t really moving the ball and weren’t getting through any of our sets.” But in the following game against St. John’s, the offense came alive in a 14-9 win and the team clearly got the message from their head coach. Philie and fellow sophomore A.J. Masson combined for 11 points in the victory over the Red Storm, while senior Tom Frasca contributed to a dominant 17- 27 faceoff advantage, winning 13 of 16. Coming off the impressive victory over St. John’s, the Catamounts traveled to Providence, R.I., where they were defeated 12-10 by Brown University. Brown — which began the season ranked nationally — was able to overcome a 5-2 halftime deficit in large part due to a 3-0 run to end the game. Junior Geoff Worley, Philie and sophomore Luke Ryder each tallied two goals in the defeat and Masson added a goal and two assists. The Catamounts fall to 4-4 with the loss as they enter conference play at Binghamton on Saturday, April 2.