WESTMINSTER, Md. – When a team plays in arguably the best Division III lacrosse conference in the country, making the four-team tournament is an accomplishment in and of itself.
That's where McDaniel has been the last two season – in the four-team postseason field. In 2011, the goal is loftier for the Green Terror – a Centennial Conference (CC) championship appearance.
McDaniel returns its top scorer from a season ago in preseason All-American DJ Rickels (Forest Hill, Md./Boys Latin School of Maryland), who finished second in the conference in 2010 with 52 points on a CC-best 42 goals and 10 assists.
The question for the attack will be replacing Gibbs Preston, who finished in the all-time top 10 with 206 career points. Finding a second and third option to run with Rickels and getting production from the offensive midfield will be necessary to keep up an attack that finished fourth in the league last year, averaging 9.40 goals per game.
Nicholas DiBernardo (Towson, Md./Calvert Hall), TJ Willoughby (Sykesville, Md./Century) and Skippy Clary (Baltimore, Md./Catonsville) all netted double-figures in the goals column last year and will be called upon to be consistent threats.
Last year, the biggest inconsistency for the Green Terror came between the pipes with Brad Motley (Fallston, Md./Fallston) and Ty Wittlesberger (Parkton, Md./Hereford) virtually splitting time in goal last year.
If McDaniel can get solid play from either of those juniors or a pair of rookies in Nick Gallina (Catonsville, Md./Catonsville) and Christian Dallmus (Acton, Mass./Rivers School), the defense will be able to shore up a defense that finished seventh in the CC in goals-against average (9.13).
Click play below to watch and listen to Coach Hatton preview the upcoming season.