Players are excited by Carmean’s coaching ability and the new mentality he brings to the game. “He has unbelievable experience and knowledge in the game of lacrosse, which has already helped the team tremendously,” said midfielder Gene Nogi ’02. Milton Gooding, a four-year coaching veteran, will assist Carmean.
The Jeffs are led by Co-captains Corey Simonson ’01 and Eric Edelson ’01. Simonson, an experienced goalie, controls a powerful Amherst defense. Simonson begins his fourth year as a starter and hopes to use his experience to help guide a young team.
Edelson described Simonson as “the most valuable player on the team, both athletically and inspirationally.” Simonson will be backed up by Jay Garvey ’02 in the net.
Returning defensive players include David Greig ’02, Rob Scaramella ’02 and Colin Renz ’02. Last season Renz and Scaramella were important parts of a defense that gave up less than 10 goals a game. Also looking to play important minutes for the Jeffs on defense are Stephan Hein ’03 and Edmund Capodilupo ’03. Newcomer Alexei Kudla ’04 should play well for the Jeffs, having impressed players and coaches alike with his work ethic.
Amherst boasts a very strong midfield unit. Nogi and Phil Cameron ’02 will be in charge of midfield play. Nogi is an offensive middy who is a strong dodger and has a hard shot, while Cameron is a defensive middy and is quick to protect the goal. Matt Margolis ’03, Tucker Sowers ’03 and Chris Kane ’03 should also see time in the midfield. Sowers tallied 13 goals and three assists last year, tying for third on the team in points, while Margolis had five goals and three assists. The three combined to give Amherst 34 points last season.
On offense, Edelson led the team last year in scoring with 38 points. He is a strong ball carrier as well as a good playmaker. Other players looking for time on offense include J.P. Bruneau ’01, Harlow Voorhees ’02 and Chris Condlin ’03. Condlin led the trio with 11 points last year, while Bruneau and Voorhees each added seven.
Along with the returning players, the Jeffs look to a talented incoming freshman class to help the team. “This year’s freshman class is one of the best I have seen,” said Edelson. “They have brought a new level of intensity to the team and have helped returning players raise the level of their games.”
New players include freshmen Mike Allison, Kudla, Michael Langer, Craig McBeth, Andrew Meeks, Sean Morgan, Matt Murumba and Ed Sylvester.
Although the Jeffs are returning many key players, they will be without last year’s leading scorer and Co-captain Sam Altman ’00. Altman led the Jeffs with 18 goals, and was tied for top scorer on the squad with Edelson. Each had 38 points on the year.
Last season, Amherst started the season off strong with victories over Stevens Institute of Technology., the University of Texas and Wheaton College. However, after a solid start they suffered a seven-game losing streak, with most of the losses coming at the hands of NESCAC opponents. The Jeffs capped off the season with huge wins over Colby College and then eleventh-ranked Williams College.
This season Amherst hopes to take charge of the NESCAC, which is traditionally the strongest Division III conference in the country. According to Edelson, the Jeffs hope to surprise teams such as national champions Middlebury College with their quickness and skill. Amherst is also looking to repeat last year’s victory against Williams and to run all over Bowdoin College.
The Jeffs will go to Whittier College in California during spring break. Then they will play in the Alfred University Tournament.
Characterized by their intense play and dedication to the game, the Jeffs are ready to get back over .500 this year, and the early games will be good indications of where they stand.