Athens Drive enters 2020 looking to fill a lot of big shoes. None bigger than attackman Reid Koonce (79g, 19a, Mercer). Along with Koonce the Jaguars will also be without Aaron Morgan (46g, 18a, 92gb, Mt. Olive), Bradley Gelsinger (4g, 5a, 76gb, 26ct, Mt. Olive), Daniel Kuhner (13g, 31a), and Jack Gelsinger (101svs, 53%) are also gone.
The Jags will look to Senior defensmen Jared Gursslin (30gb, 18ct) and Gerardo Vasquez (25gb, 11ct) along with Junior keeper Zack Tucker (67sv, 53%) to step up and lead the defense in 2020.
Duke Carroll (104/158 fo, 67%) returns as the team\'s primary FOS.
Offensively Seniors Nick Waller (11pts) and Carter Toran (12pt) will have to play much larger roles. Juniors Sam Kasper, Jacob Ratashak, and Charlie Beam will also be asked to step up in 2020.
The Jaguars have big non-conference matchups against Heritage, Broughton, Apex, and Jefferson Forest (VA)
After a 4-10 2019 campaign, the Imps look to push forward and continue to improve as a program. They will have to do with without a big chunk of their defense after graduating Houston Bumgarner, Jacob Lipshitz, and goalie Zach Jobe.
The bright side for Cary is they return both of their most productive players from 2019. Junior attackman Thatcher Fettig (42g, 6a) and do-it-all player Chris Fails (27g, 14a, Barton College). Sophomore midfielder Jacob Dunn (4g, 4a) will look to add more fire power to the offense in 2020.
Cary has non-conference games against Millbrook, JH Rose, Rolesville, Sanderson, and Terry Sanford.
Green Hope comes into 2020 under new leadership in Dan Nolan. Nolan was previously the head coach at Panther Creek, sure to add a little fire to a rivalry that doesn\'t need help in that department.
The Falcons enter 2020 without leading scorer Isaias Delgado and defender Patrick Dunn. They will rely on returners Ryan Cammarata and Clayton Lawrence to anchor the defense along with sophomore Shane Phelps. Pierson White, Brooks Almond, Sam Larkin, and Jett Eller will spearhead the offense.
Green Hope will test themselves outside of conference play against: Wakefield, Broughton, Holly Springs, and Apex
The first of two NKOTB*! The Gators are entering the fray for the first time in 2020 under coach Kyle Sopko. Sopko comes to the Triangle from NY with 8 years of coaching experience.
The Gators will have some varsity experience in LSM Zachary Mansfield who played in seven games and scooped up 33 ground balls for Panther Creek as a Freshman. They enter a varsity schedule with a very young and experienced roster.
The Gators will be battle tested by the end of the season with non-conference games against, Friendship and Corinth Holders.
Jordan enters the 2020 season after winning the inaugural Tri-7 lacrosse championship, and finishing with an impressive 15-2 record. The team loses some big names on both sides of the ball. Offensively they will be without Yassir Stroud (89pts, Catawba) and the Perry twins who combined for 70pts in 2019. On defense, the Falcons will be without standout goalie Robert Eigenruach (148sv, 58%, Washington College) and defender Ben Feiler (32gb, 22ct).
A trio of juniors: Jordan Dash, Sam Ferrel, and Noah Wilson (181pts) return to lead an offense that returns 8/11 of their top scorers. Captain Conner Taff (Averett) will lead the first midfield.
Sophomores Riley Frankel and Ayden Tise at the X, providing a two-headed threat on face-offs.
Defensively, the Falcons return everyone except Eigenruach and Feiler including their three-year starters and captains Marcus Green (Hampton) and Jalen Peoples. Transfer goalie Jake Dale is a big addition to fill in for the standout Eigenruach. Freshman Riley Taff had a great fall and could see some time behind returning LSM Zach Thorson.
Jordan bolsters a tough conference schedule with games against: East Chapel Hill (Battle for I-40 Trophy), St, Marks (TX), Chapel Hill, Middle Creek, and Apex Friendship.
The Catamounts enter 2020 under new head coach Jeff Berger, but without the offensive stylings of the Alverez Brothers (68pts). Defensively Panther Creek graduated close defenders Mark Cassella and David Almodovar and Zachary Mansfield now plays at Green Level.
Returning for Panther Creek in 2020 is Utah commit Ryan Stines. The shifty attackman will look to put up big numbers in 2020 after a solid sophomore campaign (24pts). Seniors Andrew Burch (Guilford), Alan Burns, and Jackson Shulmistra will look to add balance to that Catamount offense.
Defensively, Panther Creek will start with senior goaltender Zach Lombardi (87sv, 60%,St. Andrew\'s) and LSM Alex McKinley. Several other players will have to step up to shore up the defensive side of the ball.
Panther Creek plays non-conference games against: Friendship, East Chapel Hill, and Millbrook.
The Pirates enter 2020 under new command as former assistant Conner Bolen looks to right the ship. Riverside lost leading scorer Cole Hinson (30pts), defender Leo Finazzo (34gb), and middies DJ Richards (19g, 4a, 111gb, 46%) and Key Void (9g, 1a, 44gb).
Sophomore attackman Ryan Sher(9g,9a) will be asked to play a bigger role in 2020. He will be supported by Seniors Andrew Mccullen and Liam Fellman as the team\'s second and third returning scorers.
On defense, Riverside will look to second year goalie Nic Jimenez to build on last year\'s 98 save effort. Rossember Merlos-Campos(16gb) and Isaac Daffron(43gb) will anchor the defense in front of Jimenez.
Riverside play non-conference games against: Chapel Hill, Northern Durham, and Broughton.
Pre-Season Conference Ranking:
- Green Hope
- Athens Drive
- Panther Creek
- Green Level
* High-five to those that get the 90\'s boy-band reference, New Kids on the Block!
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