Muhlenberg College

Allentown, Pa.
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Monday, February 28, 2005
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The Muhlenberg men’s lacrosse team enters the 2005 season energized and excited to make another step in its continued development as a Division III lacrosse program in the always tough and nationally competitive Centennial Conference.

The Mules, who are scheduled to open up (weather permitting) with a game
Sean Toohill
Toohill led the Mule attackmen with 34 ground balls and tied for third on the team with 21 points last year.
at DeSales on Wednesday, are in their third season as a varsity sport, and the first two have gone similarly: early-season success in non-league games, but a struggle to make headway in the CC. Last season, the team finished with an overall record of 5-9 but did not win a conference game.

“We’re hoping to go at least .500 in the conference this year,” said Bradley Lutzer, the lone senior on the team. “The entire team has confidence that we can do that. We’ll need the freshmen to step up.”

One area in which the team boasts plenty of experience is the defense, with three returning starters. Leading the way is the 6-3 Lutzer, who led Muhlenberg with 49 ground balls last year and is anticipating a breakout season in 2005. He is a savvy stick-handler who may be in the best shape on the team.

Joining Lutzer will be sophomores Kyle Hart (43 ground balls) and Steven Toto (41 ground balls), who last year as freshmen were the only Mules to start all 14 games. Hart is another talented and physically gifted defenseman who may see some time as a long-stick midfielder. Sophomore Christian Messler (27 ground balls) will add toughness and athleticism at both LSM and close defense.

“The defense is the backbone of the team and is coming back with a lot of confidence,” said Lutzer. “If we play to our potential we should be able to shut other team’s offenses down.”

In the goal the squad is looking at three players, including last year’s starter, sophomore Gavin Crescenzo, and junior co-captain Jay Hoffman, a team leader with an outstanding work ethic.

Offensively, the Mules are an evolving group with potential at both midfield and attack. Sophomore Sean Toohill scored 17 goals last spring and will look to have a big season in 2005. Junior co-captain John Westendorf has enjoyed success in previous seasons, scoring a total of 33 goals, and is hoping to stay healthy and add scoring punch. Sophomores Cliff Burwell (15 goals in 2004) and junior James Robinson (team-leading 23 goals) are competing for time and will look to continue to develop into dangerous offensive threats.

Juniors Brian Schimaneck and Mike Tentindo are two hyper-athletic and dangerous players in the middle of the field who are expected to be key components to the team’s success. Junior Galen Marsh will add offensive ability to both the midfield and the attack. Junior Justin Hollander, the team leader with 12 assists last year, is battling it out with several freshmen for time at the defensive mid positions.

First-year Head Coach Chris Bissinger commented, “We’re very excited about the future of MC lacrosse – we’ve got lots of potential and our players are working hard towards being successful. The 2005 season is going to be another opportunity for us to gain some experience and some confidence against some tough competition.”

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Last updated February 28, 2005