Feb. 21, 2007
Providence, RI - When first-year head coach Lars Tiffany `90 took over the Brown program in August, his initial goal was to rebuild and revamp the Brown lacrosse program. With the 2007 season about to begin, the hard work of the fall season needs to translate into success on the playing field. In addition, Tiffany wasted no time in putting together one of the toughest schedules in the country, with nine of Brown's 14 opponents having competed in the 2006 NCAA Tournament. Brown's 2007 squad will get its first test on Saturday against UMBC in Baltimore.
"Every day we need to prove ourselves, first and foremost to ourselves and teammates," said Tiffany. "Our focus is in developing the men individually and then placing these individuals into well-defined roles with the program."
Helping Tiffany guide the Brown program are a trio of team captains who have already demonstrated leadership, skill and focus. The emergence of senior midfielder Alex Buckley, senior attackman David Madeira and senior defenseman Bobby Shields as captains will go a long way in the ultimate success of the program.
Madeira will spearhead the Brown attack after scoring 61 career goals. Madeira, one of just four players to start all 13 games a year ago, has started every game (39) for the Bears since arriving on College Hill. He netted 21 goals to lead the Bears in 2006, including 11 goals in Ivy League play, while handing out three assists. He scored four goals twice, against Yale and Hartford. Madeira tossed in 17 goals as a freshman, 23 goals as a sophomore and 21 goals his junior year.
Also returning to the Brown attack is sophomore Jack Walsh, who started five games a year ago, and was Brown's top freshman scorer with six points (3 goals, 3 assists). Senior Tyler Gaffney earned six starts for the Bears' attack in 2006 and registered four goals. Sophomore Kyle Hollingsworth also saw time on the Brown attack as a first year player, earning three starts and registering five points (2 goals, 3 assists).
Alex Buckley, who boasts one of the hardest shots in college lacrosse, will headline the Brown midfield. He missed Brown's first three games of 2006 due to injury, but returned to rank fourth on the Brown team in scoring with 15 points (11 goals, 4 assists), after scoring 15 goals as a sophomore. Buckley netted a career high four goals against Quinnipiac in his sophomore year.
Coach Tiffany will welcome back several experienced players to the Bears' midfield, including senior Will Davis, sophomore Nic Bell, and junior Jeff Hall, who all saw significant playing time a year ago. Davis netted five goals and handed out three assists to rank fifth in scoring last season. Bell is an extremely athletic player, who scored two goals and dished out two assists in nine games. Hall saw action in 11 games, scoring two goals and registering two assists.
Sophomore Joel Tracey also adds some experience to the Brown midfield after playing in 10 games and winning 25 of 68 face-offs. In addition, senior Mike Bernard (2 goals), juniors Brian Asher, Mike Cummins and Nathan O'Dell, along with sophomore Phillip Thebault will also look to contribute. Coach Tiffany also has high hopes for several freshmen in the Brown midfield, including Harrison Avart, Zach Caldwell, Charlie Kenney, and Jason Pohanka.
Bobby Shields, a three-year starter for the Bears, will provide the backbone for the Bears' defense. Recognized as one of the top close defensemen in the Ivy League, Shields, a 2006 pre-season All-American, was a second team All-Ivy selection as a sophomore after earning honorable mention All-Ivy honors his freshman season. He ranked second on the Brown team with 26 ground balls a year ago.
Junior Reed Deluca also provided a strong presence for the Bears' defense, earning four starts a year ago. Hunior Brian Sharnick, an extremely strong and physical close defenseman who played 10 games for the Bears last season, had an impressive fall season and should start in 2007.
Senior Patrick Ryan started eight games for the Bears as a defensive midfielder and led the Brown field players with 29 ground balls. He also scored a goal and had two assists.
Sophomore Ryan Cassil saw limited action a year ago, but is expected to contribute. Four freshmen defensemen will also see some playing time, including Cole Erickson, Jake Hardy, Michael Miller and Jake Westermann.
In goal, sophomore Jordan Burke had a strong fall season after playing three games for last year's team. Senior Chandler Clarke didn't play a year ago, but is an exceptional athlete, scoring a goal on an end-to-end run in 2005. He played 120 minutes in 2005, allowing 21 goals and making 23 saves.