Hello and welcome back to our discussion of the forthcoming 2022 Marquette men’s lacrosse season!
We’ve already dove into the preview by talking about the guys that are returning to Andrew Stimmel’s roster from the 2021 season, and if you haven’t gone through that, you should do that now. All of that provides context for what we’re going to talk about here: The 16 newcomers to the roster in the form of seven transfers and nine freshmen.
The fun part about this is that I wrote about the returning guys before the official Marquette athletics previews of the team’s offense and defense units were published. That’s fine, because generally speaking, guys fit into the same roles they had last year. New guys, though, are a mystery to us right now. But an official team preview? Well, that has actual information direct from the team as to which new guys might be poking their heads above the surface sooner than others.
Let’s get into it, starting with attack and working our way backwards down the field.
Never has the official MU preview been more helpful than figuring out how to lead this section off. We go straight to freshman Bobby O’Grady (#13, 5’10”, 180 lb., Milton, MA) because he is identified as the third starting attackman alongside returning guys Devon Cowan and Russell Melendez. This is a particularly helpful note because had this not been pointed out, I wouldn’t have guessed it. Sure, setting his high school team’s single season goals record as a sophomore is neat, as is playing with the US national development U-17 team.... but I always get an eye twitch when I see freshman attackers coming in without noting how much scoring they did in high school in their bio.
The official preview also notes the early work being put in by Nolan Rappis (#16, 5’10”, 180 lb. Delafield, WI) and Will Foster (#22, 6’1”, 190 lb., Eden Prairie, MN) so I’d have to imagine that they’ll get a little bit of time out on the field here and there this year. Rappis was a two time US Lacrosse All-American while at Kettle Moraine High School, which is kind of neat because Wisconsin it not quite a lacrosse stronghold at this point. Along the way to winning a state title in 2019, Rappis ended up with 139 goals and 140 assists in his prep career, and yeah, those are numbers that jump out at you. Foster doesn’t have those stats in his bio, but do you know what he does have? The 2021 Mr. Lacrosse award from the state of Minnesota. That’s pretty damn great, as are his two all-state honors in his prep career. He also might have the best “oh and also” note in his bio: two letters in choir. Please give us Instagram stories of Will Foster singing, please and thank you.
Conor McCabe (#18, 6’2”, 210 lb., Rockville Center, NY) rounds out our list of freshmen in this department. Nothing super exciting in his bio as far as his accolades as an attackman go, but when you’re one of the 50 best players on Long Island according to Newsday, you’re pretty damn good. McCabe loses the Fun Fact Fight to Foster’s choir talents, but being born in London is still pretty neat. Luke Blanc (#6, 5’10”, 185 lb., Chester, NJ) is a redshirt freshman this year after not playing at all at UMass last season while the Minutemen went 4-6 overall and 4-4 in the CAA. He was a top 50 prospect coming out of high school according to Inside Lacrosse after putting up 55 goals and 25 assists as a junior to finish his career with 106 goals and 39 assists after COVID ended his senior season early. His Seton Hall Prep team won three straight conference titles and Blanc was an all-state first team honoree off that 55/25 campaign in 2019. Feels like he might be able to contribute.
The only freshman that gets a mention in the offensive preview for the midfield is Hayden Miller (#35, 5’7”, 165 lb., Annapolis, MD) and once again, that’s incredibly useful information to us. There’s literally nothing in his official team bio, so if he’s the only freshman worth mentioning against the group of seven guys expecting to get regular time in MU’s six-on-six attack, that’s good to know.
Two more new guys get brought up when talking about who will provide depth to Anthony Courcelle and Jacob Hallam as short stick defensive midfielders. Mitch Salanty (#34, 6’0”, 195 lb., Lake Bluff, IL) is a graduate transfer from Messiah University, which is a Division 3 school in Pennsylvania. He averaged 2.5 ground balls per game in his four years there and tallied 12 points in his final 19 games which is pretty good for a SSDM. Tommy Casey (#24, 5’9”, 165 lb., Garden City, NY) played four years of lacrosse and hockey at Chaminade High School, including serving as the team captain for the hockey team. He comes from a family of Division 1 athletes, including two sisters playing lacrosse, one of whom just won an NCAA title with Boston College last year.
Freshman Nolan Garcia (#81, 5’10”, 185 lb., Manhasset, NY) might be more of a SSDM option in the midfield based on the lack of scoring numbers in his bio. However, when your big sister is Shea Garcia, #12 on the MU women’s lacrosse all-time points chart, maybe you have a scoring touch just like she does. Noah Lindner (#72, 5’9”, 165 lb., Apple Valley, MN) started his D3 college journey at Limestone College before moving on to Carthage College in Kenosha, WI, for the last three seasons. He is Carthage’s all-time scoring average leader at 3.09 goals per game, and across his 54 career games in four seasons, he racked up 125 goals and 69 assists. At some point, if you’re averaging 3.6 points per game at Division 3, you’re a really good lacrosse player and that translates to the Division 1 level. Gabe Souza (#48, 6’1”, 185 lb., Annapolis, MD) spent the 2021 campaign at Jacksonville, but did not see the field. He was a two time Under Armour Underclassman All-American back in high school and his dad played lacrosse at Lehigh back in the 1990s. Thank goodness for his JU bio, because his Marquette one remains blank.
LONG STICK MIDFIELDER
Just one name to know here, and that’s Kayden Rogers (#36, 5’11”, 180 pounds, Las Vegas, NV).... but that’s all we’ve got to go on. There’s nothing in his bio, and there’s nothing in the defensive unit official preview on him. However......
.... the official preview does mention that freshman Brenden Boyle (#91, 6’1”, 195 lb., Burlington, Ontario) might be able to finagle some minutes at LSM this season. He attended and played at The Hill Academy, just a little bit northwest of Toronto. Boyle was only able to play as a freshman and a sophomore due to COVID, but he displayed a scoring touch with 36 goals in those two years. How that applies to his defensive abilities, specifically at LSM? Well, that’s for the coaching staff to figure out.
The only other new defender on the roster is redshirt sophomore Kelan Duff (#26, 5’11”, 200 lb., Chicago, IL), who is at Marquette after spending his first two years of college at Maryland. He was a top 100 prospect coming out of Culver Academies in northwest Indiana after starting his prep career at Lake Forest High. Duff only played in two games in two seasons at Maryland, so we’ll have to see if being a bit closer to home invigorates his collegiate career.
MU adds just one new face-off guy to the roster for this season, and they did it by way of transfer. Cole Emmanuel (#20, 6’1”, 185 lb., Denver, CO) spent two years at Division 2 Colorado-Mesa and was an all-conference selection in both seasons. He ranked sixth in the country in face-off win percentage as a freshman and fourth as a sophomore and ended up with a win rate just short of 74% on 237 draws. SEEMS GOOD, and probably has a lot do with the team going 16-2 over the past two seasons. I don’t know if that’s replicable at the D1 level, but Marquette definitely needs someone to win draws this season after only coming up with it 38% of the time last year.
There’s a real chance that Max Christides (#44, 6’1”, 210 lb., Bloomfield Hills, MI) could be MU’s Day 1 starter this season. He made 10 appearances in two seasons for UMass Lowell and seven of those were starts last season for Elvis Presley’s alma mater. Christides stopped 48% of shots last season, which isn’t great.... but neither were the River Hawks at 1-8 overall. He was the first ever four year starting goalie at Cranbrook in Michigan and earned all-state honors as a freshman as his team went to the state semifinals that season and the next. The fact of the matter is that Christides is the only goalie on the roster with Division 1 experience and that might make the difference for who gets the net against Bellarmine.