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News about players such as awards, recognition or achievements

There is a feeling at Drexel that if just a few little things went the right way, the Dragons’ 2011 season could have worked out far better than their 8-6 overall record and 3-3 mark in the Colonial Athletic Association. There was that heartbreaking loss to CAA rival Delaware, in which the Dragons held a sizable lead, only to see it munched away. Then there was the terrific season-opening performance against Virginia, only to see the Dragons fizzle in the end.  Dragons’ coach Brian Voelker was counting on the defense to be the backbone of the team and the offense to play a supportive role. Instead, it was the other way around, with the ninth-rated offense in the country, producing 11.29 goals a game, and a defense that at times scrabbled in surrendering 9.29 goals per game.

1. 'Going to be a good year'

This is the season, Voelker hopes, that the pieces merge and the Dragons can produce on a consistent basis. It’s certainly a team that has the talent, as evident by its No. 17 ranking in the Face-Off Yearbook.

“I feel this is going to be a good year for us,” Voelker said. “I thought we had an OK year last year, but this year we’re going to need guys to step up and young guys who haven’t played last year to step up.”

The Dragons have a defense built around Mark Manos (9.09 GAA, 56%), a four-year starter and one of the top goalies in the league. Drexel has lost only one game in the past two years by more than four goals. The offense loses Scott Perri, but returns talent and now has a freshman class from top high school programs.

 

2. Filling the Perri void

Voelker’s biggest concern will be trying to make up for the 4.71 points a game by the graduated Perri. Perri solved a lot of problems last year and at times was a one-man crew, darting through defenses (ask any coach in the CAA) to create opportunities. It won’t come down to one player, but rather offense by committee this season, most likely with junior attacks Robert Church (27G, 22A) and Brendan Glynn (23,6) taking up most of Perri’s missing points.

Also, look for production from Nick Trizano (19,5), who Voelker will be moving from midfield to attack. Offensive coordinator Conor Ford designs schemes that emphasize sharing the ball, making good decisions and the Dragons will once again be a team that pushes transition. Voelker didn’t rule out the possibility of mixing in freshmen Corey Dobyns and Ryan Belka on attack.

3. Weird year on 'D'

The good news this season is everyone is back from the Dragons’ defense. The not-so-good-news is everyone is back on the Dragons’ defense, which did not play the way Voelker expected last year. The Dragons suffered communication breakdowns and lacked consistency. The inconsistency is what gnawed at Voelker the most. He’d see a near-perfect half, then a collapse in the third and fourth quarters (see last year’s Delaware game). The Dragons are counting on the return of senior middie Kevin Stockel, who missed all of 2011 with a knee injury, to change that and stabilize the defense.

Also, rangy senior Frank Tufano came out of nowhere two years ago, but was placed out of position last year as a close defender. He’ll be moving back out this season, better able to use his 6-foot-5 frame and athleticism as a harassing long-stick. Sophomore Matt Dusek (24GB, 13CT) will come down close and could see a lot of time. Voelker has some depth on defense, though it will be inexperienced in freshmen longsticks Pat Root, Donald Dalton and Paul Harrison.

4. Back from injury

Two key middies are expected from injury this spring in junior Aaron Prosser and senior Kevin Stockel. Prosser played a little last year, coming off a knee injury. Prosser was limited last spring, unable to turn and wheel like he was accustomed to doing before the injury. It appears as if he's near 100%, and Voelker was pleased with his fall.

Before he blew out his knee, Stockel was one of the best middies in the CAA, playing with the Dragons’ first team and on man-up. He’s regained the strength in his knee and Voelker likes how well he’s progressed over the fall.

Senior Kyle Bergman struggled with injuries in 2010, so this could be a key year for Drexel to have a complete, healthy midfield unit.

5. Right out the gates

Voelker will get a great idea what he has facing three of the first four opponents, which are top-10 teams Virginia, followed by two weeks later a trip to local Philadelphia rival Villanova (Feb. 28) then hosting Notre Dame five days later (March 3). Perhaps no team in the nation will start out as difficult as Drexel.

The only non-top-10 team in that stretch is Albany, which sits at No. 30.

Best bet: Mark Manos, senior, goalie

Please don’t let the numbers fool you. Not last year’s figures, that say goaltender Mark Manos surrendered 9.09 goals a game while saving 56-percent of the shots taken against him. No, at times Manos was a one-man squad, often times compensating for the defensive lapses in front of him. Manos trimmed down a little, entering this spring at 270, but don’t let his girth fool you, either. Manos is a dancing bear, with terrific footwork, anticipation and courage to step in front of any shot. He continues to improve and is an All-American level keeper. With a more solid defense before him, there is a strong chance Manos can produce some of the same numbers he did as a sophomore, when he yielded 8.30 GAA and carried a 58-percent save percentage.

Sleeper Pick: Ben McIntosh, midfield, sophomore

McIntosh is an all-around middie that could be Drexel’s most complete midfielder. The highly recruited Canadian was tentative last year, earning four goals and three assists. He can pick up groundballs and take face-offs (4-6, 67%) for the Dragons.

Game to watch: vs. Virginia, Feb. 18

It doesn’t get any more challenging than opening up with Virginia. The one advantage is that the Dragons begin 2012 against the defending national champions at home, on Saturday, Feb.. 18. The Dragons played Virginia well the previous two years, staying with the Cavaliers late into games.

Opening up with a victory over Virginia, which if there is any time to get the No. 1 team in the country, late-February is it, would be a huge boost for the Dragons.

Dragons to Face UMass in Battle of Bethpage II 

The Drexel men's lacrosse program announced that it will be facing the University of Massachusetts this season in The Battle of Bethpage II on Saturday, April 14. The Colonial Athletic Association game will be played at Bethpage High School at 2 p.m.The Bethpage Educational Foundation and the Town of Oyster Bay are proud and honored to announce, once again, their joint partnership in bringing the highest level of Men's Division I Lacrosse to Bethpage High School's state of the art athletic facility on Saturday, April 14, 2012 at 2:00PM.  This pivotal contest between No. 17 Drexel and No. 12 UMass promises plenty of drama as these teams vie for supremacy in the highly competitive CAA conference and battle for a potential spot in the NCAA Tournament.  The game will feature two of the nation's finest teams with coaches from two of the nation's strongest lacrosse regions: UMass Coach Greg Cannella from Long Island (Lynbrook) and Coach Brian Voelker from Baltimore.  In addition, both coaches and players from each team will take part in a youth lacrosse clinic at Bethpage High School on Friday, April 13th at 4:00pm. "We're really excited to be a part of the whole event,” said Coach Voelker.  “This will give our team an opportunity to interact with some young lacrosse players at the youth clinic on Friday and maybe pick up a few fans along the way!  We're looking forward to playing in front of a big crowd on Saturday.  It should be a great environment to play in."  Coach Cannella added, “The UMass Men's Lacrosse program graciously thanks the Bethpage Educational Foundation, the Town of Oyster Bay, and the Bethpage Administration for the opportunity to be part of the Battle at Bethpage II.  It is a privilege for many of us to come home to Long Island and play in front of so many fans, family and friends against such a great program as Drexel University.  We are so excited to play at the new Bethpage High School Athletic Complex, be part of this great weekend of lacrosse and work with some of the up and coming young lacrosse enthusiasts during Friday's youth clinic.” “The Bethpage Educational Foundation is very excited to host this wonderful sporting event at Bethpage High School.  Along with Supervisor John Venditto and our friends in the Town of Oyster Bay, all of us are extremely grateful to our corporate sponsors for generously supporting this fundraiser with all proceeds going directly to our students and educational programs,” said Marc Sieben, the President of the Bethpage Educational Foundation.  “Of course, special thanks to Brian Voelker and Greg Cannella for not only wanting to play this game in Bethpage, but for their incredible desire to give back to the community.  We also greatly appreciate the Drexel University Athletic Department's willingness to give up one of their home games to play in our community.”  Supervisor Venditto added, “Long Island is a stronghold for lacrosse, so I expect many residents will appreciate the opportunity to see these outstanding college teams compete locally. It also is a tremendous source of pride for me and my Town Board colleagues that these great collegiate powerhouses will be competing at our sports facilities, which are among the finest in the nation. Drexel and UMass are outstanding academic institutions that feature some the nation's finest athletes. This game will serve as a fine example for the Town's young lacrosse players, who can one day aspire to further their education through athletics. The Town of Oyster Bay is very pleased to partner with the Bethpage Educational Foundation in bringing the highest level of men's collegiate lacrosse to the great community of Bethpage.” Tickets will be sold on two consecutive Saturdays, March 24th and March 31st, at Bethpage High School from 10:00am to 1:00pm.  Also, starting on March 24th, tickets will be available for purchase at your local Modell's Sporting Goods store.  Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for kids 12 and under.  Tickets will not be sold the day of the event.  For more information, please call (516) 644-4005. About the Bethpage UFSD and the Bethpage Educational Foundation:The game will be sponsored by the Bethpage Educational Foundation, a non-profit organization whose mission is to enrich the educational program of the Bethpage Public Schools.  The proceeds from this game will go to the Foundation to be used solely for educational purposes and to benefit the students of the Bethpage UFSD.  The Bethpage School District offers a superb academic program boasting a 100% graduation rate with 97% of the student-body enrolled in 2 and 4 year colleges.  The Bethpage athletic program is also very successful and well known throughout Long Island and New York State. The new athletic complex is one of the finest on Long Island and was built as a partnership between the Bethpage School District and the Town of Oyster Bay. About the Town of Oyster Bay:The Town is one of the finest communities in the nation. Stretching from the Atlantic Ocean on its southern border to the Long Island Sound on the North Shore, each of the Town's communities has a distinctly unique flavor. Collectively, they boast pristine beaches, beautiful waterfronts, picturesque parks, nature preserves, wildlife sanctuaries, historic sites, fine shopping, and more.  There are 18 villages and 18 hamlets with a population of over 294,000 in the Town of Oyster Bay. About the event Sponsors:The Battle at Bethpage II has attracted an incredibly diverse group of nationally recognized corporate sponsors.  The “Golden Eagle” presenting sponsors are Modell's Sporting Goods, Warrior Lacrosse, the Bethpage Federal Credit Union, Met Life and Verizon. 

Mark Manos Drafted by MLL's Charlotte Hounds 

Philadelphia - Drexel senior Mark Manos (West Chester, Pa./Salesianum) was selected in the 2012 Major League Lacrosse Collegiate Draft. Manos was selected in the third round by the Charlotte Hounds. He was the 20th selection overall. The draft took place on Friday night at the Marriott Liberty Ballroom in Philadelphia. It was the 12th collegiate draft in MLL history and took place during the 2012 U.S. Lacrosse National Convention.Manos, Drexel's goalkeeper for the last three seasons was named an Honorable Mention All-America a year ago, marking the second straight year that he was named to the team. In 2010, when he was the CAA's Defensive Player of the Year, Manos was a Third Team selection. He has a chance to be the first Drexel player to ever be named to three All-American teams in his career. Manos was the second goalkeeper selected in the draft and will be playing for a team in its innaugural season in the MLL.