Canadians In The NCAA 2011 – Week 1

submitted by Jason Donville

Its Lacrosse Season!

Ah yes, It’s that time of year again – lacrosse season! Indeed, the NCAA season has already begun with Delaware renewing its tradition of playing the opening game of the NCAA lacrosse season last Saturday (they beat Detroit Mercy 13-5). For Canadian lacrosse fans, box and field lacrosse seasons are still a few months away but in the meantime we have the NLL and of course the reports of our players who have headed “south of the border” for a chance to pursue an education and their dreams of playing “big-time college lacrosse”. Notwithstanding the Delaware game, the NCAA lacrosse season starts this weekend and revs up into high gear as the month of February progresses.

So how do the numbers look?

For those who have followed this column over the years, you will note that I have kept an unofficial tab on how many Canadians are playing in the NCAA. A decade ago, this number stood at less than 40 and for 2011 this number is now expected to exceed 225, a number that I will firm up when rosters are finalized in the coming weeks. That’s up from the 194 players in 2010 or roughly a 16% improvement. At the Division level, the biggest jump has come in Division II where the number of Canadian’s has leapt from 48 to 62, a 29% improvement. As far as provincial representation is concerned Ontario continues to provide the largest contingent of Canadian laxers playing in the US (roughly 60%). Interestingly, Alberta shows the fastest growth rate (up almost 200% over the past three years) and is rapidly catching up on British Columbia as the second best province to find field lacrosse players in Canada.

Key themes for 2011 in Division I

In this week’s edition of Canadians in the NCAA I will focus my commentary strictly on Division I and to the three story-lines that I believe are of particular interest to fans of Canadian lacrosse. First, how will teams that play with a decidedly Canadian style perform in 2011? Second, which players (mainly sophomores) are likely to emerge as the new marquee players amongst the Canadians playing in the NCAA? Finally, out of the current group of Canadian rookies, which players could have the biggest impact in 2011?

Five Division I Teams with a Canadian Pedigree Are Worth Keeping an Eye On  

There are 34 Division I teams with at least one Canadian on their roster but there are five teams where the Canadian contingent is large enough to influence the style of play of their respective team. These five teams are Stony Brook, Hofstra, Drexel, Denver and Robert Morris. None are expected to win the NCAA Championship but all possess the offensive fire power to generate more than a few upsets and if nothing else provide some extremely exciting highlight reel material.  

Stony Brook Seawolves – Stony Brook is led by two Canadians, Kevin Crowley (New Westminster) and Jordan McBride (New Westminster) who combined for 99 goals in 2010 and made it to the NCAA final eight and an overtime loss to Virginia. Crowley and McBride are supported by Robbie Campbell (Delta), Kyle Belton (Langley), Greg Miceli (King City) and JJ Laforet (Georgetown) and this group is more than capable of playing the pick and roll, quick stick game that Canucks are renowned for. Given last year’s tough loss to Virginia and the fact that Crowley and McBride are both seniors, expect to see this group play like there is no tomorrow.

Hofstra Pride – The story at Hofstra is similar to Stony Brook in that the team is loaded with Canadian talent and its two star players are seniors. These of course are Jay Card (Caledon) and Jaime Lincoln (St Catherines) who combined for 64 goals, 42 assists, 54 ground balls and 40 caused turnovers in 2010. Card and Lincoln will be supported by Adrian Sorchetti (Whitby) and Michael Burke (Caledon). Most preseason polls have Hofstra pegged to finish in the top ten in the NCAA in 2011 and if Card and Lincoln get on a hot streak, the Pride could sneak into the final four.

Drexel Dragons – Wins over Notre Dame, UMASS and Hofstra in 2010 are ample proof that Drexel can play and win over the NCAA’s elite. Among last year’s pleasant surprises was a rookie from Canada’s west coast named Robert Church (Coquitlam) who managed to score 32 goals in his rookie season. With the arrival of freshman Ben McIntosh (Coquitlam) and a supporting cast that includes Garrett McIntosh (Coquitlam), Kyle Bergman (Toronto), Mitch De Snoo (Oshawa) and Greg Howren (Coquitlam), the Dragons now have enough players to run a box lacrosse offence! Drexel also boasts one of the best goalies in the NCAA (Mark Manos) so a combination of offensive fire power and goaltending means Drexel could really surprise this year. Some have also speculated that Church and Ben McIntosh could become the next great Canadian tandem along the lines of Crowley and McBride. The Canucks on this team are young so Drexel should get progressively better over the next three years.

Denver Pioneers – Denver only has four Canadians on their roster but they are all good. The two incumbents, Mark Matthews and Cameron Flint, combined for 59 goals while the two incoming rookies, Kurtis Green (Saanich) and Jeremy Noble (Orangeville) are both blue-chips and could crack the starting line-up as freshman.  This group of players should put up really big numbers in 2011.

Robert Morris Colonials – Ok, so nobody expects Robert Morris to win the NCAA championship this year. That said, if you play a game of lacrosse against a team that boasts a line-up that includes Corbyn Tao-Brambleby (Coquitlam), Trevor Moore (Port Coquitlam), Kiel Matisz (Stony Creek), Dave Morton (Orangeville), Kyle Buchanan (Nepean) and Kevin Brownell (Burlington), and you take that group of players lightly, you are likely to regret it. Robert Morris needs to get better on defense but on the offensive side of center this team can play with any team in the NCAA.

Emerging Marquee Players in the NCAA in 2011

Ok, so everyone already knows about guys like Kevin Crowley, Jordan McBride, Adam Jones (Owen Sound), Stephen Keogh (Toronto) , Trevor Moore and Jay Card.  All are household names in lacrosse circles. These guys get lots of ink already so my focus here is to identify players that could be the Kevin Crowley’s of their class when they reach their senior year. Here’s my list of six players that are emerging from their freshman year and whom I expect will be viewed as the stars of the class of 2013.

Logan Schuss – Attack – (Ohio State/Ladner) – Schuss scored 31 goals and 25 assists as a rookie and was voted the team’s offensive MVP.  While Schuss may not yet be a household name it is worth noting that his rookie numbers are well ahead of the rookie numbers of most of the top Canadian scorers of the past decade.  Schuss is emerging as the scoring star of the Canadian Sophomore class.  

Zach Palmer – Attack – (Johns Hopkins/Oshawa) – Cracking the starting line-up of JHU as a rookie is no easy feat and Palmer followed up his field season with another strong summer of box lacrosse. In 2011, JHU has a lot to prove to the lacrosse world and Palmer, who scored 10 goals as a rookie will be an important part of that bounce-back year. Palmer has wonderful creativity around the net and a stick for the ages. Palmer should score at least 30 goals in 2011.

Cameron Mann – Midfield – (Jacksonville/Hamilton) – A gritty two way midfielder, Mann scored 17 goals and 12 assists as a freshman while also grabbing 53 ground balls and 8 caused turnovers.  With Ryan Serville moving on to Delaware, Mann will really need to shine if the Dolphins are to keep moving forward in 2011 and anyone who has ever played or coached the kid thinks that Mann will do more than his part to ensure that this happens. 

Jordan Houtby – LSM – (Detroit Mercy/St Catherines) – Holy Cross High School has probably produced more NCAA All-Americans than any other high school in Canada over the past 20 years so a player with Houtby’s skills should not be a complete surprise. Houtby was voted defensive player of the year in 2010 at Detroit Mercy and lead all NCAA freshmen in ground balls (53) and caused turnovers (32). Indeed, in the later category he finished in 6th place in the entire NCAA in 2010. Houtby is good and will get better with age. 

Jason Noble – Defense – (Cornell/Orangeville) – Noble won a starting position on the Cornell defense as a freshman and backed that performance up with strong stats that included 38 ground balls and 23 caused turnovers. While Noble is not big in stature, his footwork is superb and he has outstanding anticipation. Noble is a future Team Canada stalwart. 

AJ Masson – Midfield – (Vermont/Newmarket) – Masson quietly worked his way into the Vermont line-up over the course of 2010 and by the end of the season he had scored 6 goals, 2 assists and picked up 49 ground balls. In 2011, Masson will see expanded playing time and will likely emerge as one of the top two way midfielders amongst the Canadians in the NCAA.

Rookie Watch – These Six Guys Can Play Lacrosse

Becoming a high impact rookie is subject to a number of variables with playing time being the key one. Rookies tend to struggle for playing time at ranked programs whereas a top Canadian prospect can often become a starter as a rookie at a nascent or rebuilding program. That said, talent is talent and we expect the following six rookies to have big years for their respective teams in 2011.  

Mark Cockerton – Attack – (Virginia/Oshawa) – The only question mark surrounding Mark is when he will be ready to play as his shoulder is evidently still healing. Cockerton was the 2010 MVP of the Under Armour All Star game, and he was also the youngest player at the U19 World Games in 2008 where he managed to score 18 goals. Cockerton has a complete game and when he is healthy he should the highest impact Canadian to play at Virginia since Garrett Billings.

Cody Bremner – Attack – (Cornell/Victoria) – The latest star to emerge from the Claremont lacrosse program in Victoria, Bremner scored 77 points in 19 games for New Westminster last year and was one of the leading scorers in the Minto Cup. Bremner shoots left and has great finish around the net and is already being compared to former Cornell star Sean Greenhalgh.

Jeremy Noble – Attack – (Denver/Orangeville) – If you want to know how good Noble could be you simply have to look at his brother Jason who cracked the starting line-up at Cornell as a freshman. Noble has been refining his craft at the Hill Academy so you know he has been polished, a point that his backed up by his Junior A numbers which saw him score 21 goals and 66 assists in 22 games for Orangeville in 2010.  As impressive was his loose ball numbers (43) which placed him #4 in the league and suggests a superb two-way game.  Statistically, Noble looks like another Kevin Crowley.

Dan Keane – Midfield – (Delaware/Elora) – Elora is a tiny little town in Southern Ontario that consistently produces some of the best lacrosse players in Canada – and Dan Keane is its latest progeny. While Keane is not big in stature, his scoring numbers are huge. In 2010, Keane scored 27 goals and 60 assists in 22 games for the Kitchener-Waterloo Kodiaks, which placed him in a seventh place tie with Jeremy Noble.  Delaware has had a couple of Canadians in the past who have been known to score a few goals (John Grant Jr and Curtis Dickson come to mind) so Keane should be a good fit with the Blue Hens.

Ben McIntosh – Midfield – (Drexel/Coquitlam) – In case you haven’t noticed, Drexel is quietly assembling a nice contingent of Canadian laxers that includes Robert Church, Kyle Bergman, Garrett McIntosh, Greg Howren and Mitch de Snoo (Oshawa). Well, you can add Ben McIntosh’s name to that list as well. McIntosh has superb offensive talents and plays his best lacrosse when the stakes are highest, a point that is evident to anyone who watched the last two Minto Cups. 

Shayne Adams – Attack – (Detroit/St Catherines) – Shayne Adams is a superb goal scorer who will likely see ample playing time as a rookie at Detroit Mercy. In 2010, Adam’s scored 32 goals and 43 assist for the St Catherines Athletics and was a key member of the Niagara Raiders Field Lacrosse Team that won the Ontario U19 Club Championship in 2009 and 2010. Adams is arguably the best pure scorer amongst 2011 rookies.

Games upcoming

As mentioned at the outset, the NCAA season starts to gear up this weekend with eight games on the slate on Saturday. For Canadians who want to watch live action, the only game that is even reasonably close to Canada is Mercer at Ohio State. Better to wait a week and go see the Denver versus Syracuse game on the 20th at the Carrier Dome. It’s a double header and will be immediately followed by Air Force at Siena.

Saying Good-Bye to Coach McGetrick

The lacrosse world said good-bye this past year to Bellarmine Coach Jack McGetrick who passed away in October after a long and courageous battle with cancer. McGetrick’s coaching career at Hartford and Bellarmine speak for themselves – he never coached at an NCAA powerhouse yet won more games than he lost over a long career coaching at the NCAA Division I level. Of course, wins and losses aside his former players talk in almost reverential terms of how he recruited them as boys and taught them how to become men. Jack’s fan base spans the world and given his penchant for recruiting Canadians it should not surprise anyone that he has so many friends north of the border. The fact that so many of his players have since become coaches themselves probably says it all – Thanks Jack!  

Final Comments – Live Your Dreams Large!

The lacrosse community in Canada is a small, tight knit community with a fierce loyalty to our players and the way we play the game. If this comes across to some as arrogance then our enthusiasm for the game has simply been misinterpreted. All of the players that you will read about in this column over the coming season are for us Canadians very real and tangible.  The Canadian club system produces some fantastic rivalries but when our players cross the border, they all become “our players” and we collectively take pride in their accomplishments. Indeed, a significant number of the people who read this column have been for many years watching and in many cases coaching the players I write about each week. As such, when a player like Robert Church scores seven goals in game or a player like Jordan Houtby picks up 7 ground balls and 4 caused turnovers in a game, it validates everything that our lacrosse community back home stands for. To the roughly 225 Canadian lacrosse players who will embark upon a season that they will never forget.  Good luck, live your dreams large and make us all proud. JP.Donville – Toronto

NCAA Div I – Canadian and Iroquois Players – 2011 – Preliminary


Rank School Player Hometown Year Position
1 Albany Matt Mackenzie Spruce Grove Sophomore Midfield
2 Albany Mike Woods Newmarket Sophomore Midfield
3 Albany Mike Miller Ohsweken Freshman Midfield
4 Albany Jon Newhouse Oakville Freshman Defence
5 Bellarmine Chad Mitchell Calgary Sophomore Midfield
6 Bellarmine Cameron Gardner Calgary Freshman Midfield
7 Bellarmine Karsen Leung Victoria Junior Midfield
8 Bellarmine Colton Clark Nanaimo Junior Midfield
9 Bellarmine Mitchell Mclaren Victoria Sophomore Midfield
10 Bellarmine Jordan Wong Victoria Junior Attack
11 Bellarmine Liam Kelly Victoria Junior Attack
12 Bellarmine Dillon Ward Orangeville Sophomore Goalie
13 Bellarmine Luke Acton Saskatoon Attack Attack
14 Bellarmine Brick Wipf Saskatoon Junior Defence
15 Bellarmine Myles Jeffers Saskatoon Senior Midfield
16 Binghampton Jordan Tripp Aurora Freshman Midfield
17 Bryant Nils Thompson Ponoka Sophomore Midfield
18 Bryant Matt MacGrotty New
Freshman Defence
19 Bucknell Owen Bennett Sudbury Sophomore Attack
20 Canisius Simon
Edmonton Junior Attack
21 Canisius DJ Giacobbo Athabasca Sophomore Midfield
22 Canisius Brandon Bortignon Coquitlam Junior Attack
23 Canisius Adam Jones Owen Sound Senior Midfield
24 Canisius Dan Coates St Catherines Post Grad Defence
25 Canisius Travis Gibbons Owen Sound Junior Attack
26 Canisius Graham Begsma Toronto Post Grad Midfield
27 Canisius Hugh Weir Saskatoon Sophomore Midfield
28 Colgate Michael Thomas Peterborough Sophomore Attack
29 Cornell Cody Bremner Victoria Freshman Attack
30 Cornell Myan Adams Akwesasne Sophomore Midfield
31 Cornell Jason Noble Orangeville Sophomore Defence
32 Cornell Mitch McMichael Port Perry Junior Midfield
33 Cornell Jonathan Thomson Orangeville Senior Midfield
34 Cornell Jake Thompson Orangeville Sophomore Attack
35 Cornell Jesse Gamble Rockwood Senior Attack
36 Cornell Dan Linter Courtice Freshman Midfield
37 Delaware Ryan Serville Pickering Sophomore Attack
38 Delaware Nick Diachenko Courtice Sophomore Midfield
39 Delaware Dan Keane Elora Freshman Midfield
40 Denver Kurtis Green Victoria Freshman Midfield
41 Denver Mark Matthews Oshawa Junior Attack
42 Denver Cam Flint Georgetown Sophomore Midfield
43 Denver Jeremy Noble Orangeville Freshman Attack
44 Detroit Jordan Houtby St Catharines Sophomore LSM
45 Detroit Joel Matthews St Catharines Sophomore Midfield
46 Detroit Shayne Adams St Catharines Freshman Attack
47 Detroit Tom Masterson London Freshman Attack
48 Drexel Robert Church Coquitlam Sophomore Attack
49 Drexel Garett McIntosh Coquitlam Sophomore Midfield
50 Drexel Ben McIntosh Coquitlam Freshman Midfield
51 Drexel Greg Howren Coquitlam Freshman Midfield
52 Drexel Kyle Bergman Toronto Junior Midfield
53 Drexel Mitch de Snoo Oshawa Freshman Attack
54 Georgetown Travis Comeau Red Deer Sophomore Attack
55 Georgetown Robert Koger Toronto Junior Defence
56 Hartford Michael Cudmore Ashburn Senior Midfield
57 Hartford Aidan Genik Toronto Junior Attack
58 Hartford Carter Bender Caledon Junior Attack
59 Hartford Kyle Goodchild Toronto Junior Midfield
60 Hobart Ethan O’Connor Milton Sophomore Defence
61 Hobart Evan Kirk Orangeville Senior Goalie
62 Hobart Conor Eustace Newmarket Freshman Defence
63 Hobart Kyle Lusted Courtice Freshman Attack
64 Hobart Jesse Rabishaw Sharon Freshman Midfield
65 Hofstra Jay Card Caledon Senior Attack
66 Hofstra Jaime Lincoln St. Catharines Senior Attack
67 Hofstra Adrian Sorichetti Whitby Sophomore LSM
68 Hofstra Michael Burke Caledon East Sophomore Midfield
69 Jacksonville Cameron Mann Hamilton Sophomore Midfield
70 Jacksonville Clark De Geer Caledon Sophomore Midfield
71 Jacksonville Jesse Noll Caledon Freshman Midfield
72 Johns Hopkins Zach Palmer Oshawa Sophomore Attack
73 Johns Hopkins Brandon Benn Brampton Freshman Attack
74 Loyola Reid Acton Toronto Sophomore Defence
75 Manhattan Levi Radbourne Guelph Freshman Attack
76 Ohio State Logan Schuss Delta Sophomore Attack
77 Ohio State Mike Pires Saanichton Senior Midfield
78 Ohio State Brock Sorenson Peterborough Senior Defence
79 Penn State Ryne Sternberg Toronto Freshman Defence
80 Presbyterian Tyler Melnyk Calgary Sophomore Attack
81 Presbyterian Matt Melnyk Calgary Sophomore Attack
82 Presbyterian Andrew Smistad Calgary Freshman Midfield
83 Presbyterian Bryden Pelletier Nanaimo Freshman Attack
84 Providence Andrew Bromley Surrey Junior Midfield
85 Quinnipiac Jake Emms Victoria Sophomore Attack
86 Quinnipiac Dylan Webster Brampton Freshman Midfield
87 Robert Morris Kyle Buchanan Nepean Junior Midfield
88 Robert Morris Trevor Moore Port Coquitlam Senior Attack
89 Robert Morris Corbyn Tao-Brambleby Coquitlam Senior Attack
90 Robert Morris Kiel Matisz Stoney Creek Junior Midfield
91 Robert Morris Kevin Brownell Burlington Junior Midfield
92 Robert Morris Kevin Neufeld Coquitlam Sophomore Defence
93 Robert Morris Richard Cambrey Port Coquitlam Senior Defence
94 Robert Morris Tyler Digby New
Sophomore Attack
95 Robert Morris Jake Hayes Calgary Sophomore Attack
96 Robert Morris Mitchell Wilde Brooklin Sophomore Midfield
97 Robert Morris Dave Morton Orangeville Junior Attack
98 Sacred Heart Nick Soubry Oakville Sophomore Defence
99 Sacred Heart Eric Crepinsek Oakville Sophomore Midfield
100 Sacred Heart Mike Mawdsley Innisfil Freshman Attack
101 Siena Bryan Neufeld Virgil/Niagra Junior Attack
102 Siena Rob Hunter Toronto Freshman Midfield
103 Stony Brook Kevin Crowley New
Senior Midfield
104 Stony Brook Jordan McBride New
Senior Attack
105 Stony Brook Robbie
Delta Junior Midfield
106 Stony Brook Kyle Belton Langley Junior Attack
107 Stony Brook Greg Miceli King City Junior Defence
108 Stony Brook JJ Laforet Georgetown Junior Midfield
109 Syracuse Ryan Burnham Ohsweken Freshman Defence
110 Syracuse Stephen Keogh Toronto Junior Attack
111 UMBC Scott Jones Port Moody Sophomore Attack
112 UMBC Nathan Klein Coquitlam Freshman LSM
113 Vermont AJ Masson Newmarket Sophomore Attack
114 Virginia Garett Ince Oakville Senior Midfield
115 Virginia Matt Cockerton Oshawa Sophomore Attack
116 Virginia Mark Cockerton Oshawa Freshman Attack
117 Yale Kirby Zdrill Edmonton Sophomore Attack
118 Yale Deron Dempster Orangeville Sophomore Attack
Source: Team Websites      


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