We’re less than a week away from the start of the 2023 season for Marquette men’s lacrosse!
Last week, we got started on our season previewing by talking about all the returning faces on the roster this spring. This time around, we’re going to take a look at the 17 new guys on the roster, which includes the addition of six transfers from all over the world of college lacrosse. Given that the transfers touch all portions of the lineup, we’re going to go about this in the same order that we did for the returning guys: Position by position, starting with attack and working our way backwards to goalkeeper.
Let’s get right to it!
If we’ve got a transfer in the group, that’s probably the best place to start. After all, there’s a reason why they wanted to pick Marquette as their new landing spot and there’s a reason why the coaching staff wanted to add an experienced hand to the position. That brings us to Jackson Rose (#66, 6’1”, 200 lbs.), who comes to MU after playing for four seasons at St. Bonaventure. He appeared in 42 games with the Bonnies and made 30 starts but didn’t turn into a major scoring threat for them until last season. As a senior, he put up 40 goals in 15 games, and added three assists, 22 ground balls, and two caused turnovers. That was good enough for Second Team All-MAAC honors. Two of MU’s attack starting spots are seemingly occupied with Bobby O’Grady and Devon Cowan, so it will be interesting to see how exactly Rose fits in for his COVID bonus season of eligibility.
There are three freshman attackers on the roster as well. With the glut of returning guys that showed promise of playing a notable role last season (albeit due to a cascading series of injuries), I don’t know how close any of these three are to seeing the field regularly. I’m leaning towards Connor Gorman (#17, 6’4”, 205 lbs) as the most likely candidate just because he’s got the most interesting statistics in his official Marquette bio. He set the Don Bosco HS single season record for goals with 57, presumably as a senior, and this was after he put up 59 goals and 31 assists in his first two years playing varsity lacrosse. Along the way he was a two-time US Lacrosse All-American, and that all sounds very fancy and important.
Andrew Bowman (#9, 6’1”, 175 lbs.) played for six years on his high school team, and if you’re doing the math on that, the fact that he’s from British Columbia in Canada might help make that make some more sense. He had 18 goals and 25 assists in his final season and spent some time with the BC provincial team for the Canadian national championships. Jacob Nottoli (#39, 5’7”, 160 lbs.) started every single game of his high school career…. But weirdly his official MU bio only mentions that and does not provide any kind of notification of what his scoring numbers were. Feels like they should be kind of interesting if he was a freshman starter, y’know? Nottoli also lettered for three years in track and field, although his bio doesn’t make it clear which events he was in. I’m going to guess sprints, just because his body type doesn’t quite led itself to what you’d normally think of as a very good shot put guy.
There are four midfield transfers this spring and three freshmen. Nate Surd (#6, 6’1”, 205 lbs.) might be the most intriguing of the transfers after spending two years at Harford Community College just outside Baltimore. In 22 games with the Fighting Owls, he put up 50 goals and 25 assists. Last season, Harford went 10-2 with their second loss coming in the NJCAA national championship tournament, and Surd had 29 goals and 20 assists in just 12 games. Does that translate immediately to Division 1 and the Big East?
Matthew Winegardner (#3, 6’0”, 195 lbs.) spent the last two years at Mercer, and he earned Second Team All-Southern Conference honors after putting up 16 goals and nine assists in 15 games. 2022 was the only season where he made a big impact on the team, so we’ll see what he has in store for MU in 2023. Blake Lori (#7, 5’11”, 175 lbs.) is the younger brother of MU assistant coach Bo Lori, and he comes over to the Golden Eagles after three seasons at Robert Morris. Lori had 31 appearances for the Colonials in that time, posting his most interesting year last season with a goal and an assist, but he also had six ground balls and eight caused turnovers. This sets up Lori as a potential short stick defensive midfielder more than anything else, but with potential to generate points in transition as well. Finally, there’s Jadyn Castillo (#34, 6’3”, 190 lbs.), who was at CCBC Essex in Maryland in the junior college ranks for the past two seasons. He didn’t have much in the way of statistical production, but he did play in 12 of 13 games as the Knights went 8-5, recording five goals, seven assists, and 10 ground balls. Does that mean he’s more of a SSDM with ability to score in transition? Does that mean he’s a good offensive player who just wasn’t asked to take shots?
That moves us along to the freshmen. Charlie Reynolds (#37, 5’11”, 175 lbs.) is the guy that jumps off the page here, putting up 66 goals, 37 assists, and 28 ground balls in 20 games as a senior in high school in Virginia. He earned US Lacrosse All-American Honors and Washington Post Second Team All-Met honors, too, and that seems pretty neat. If he’s a more offensive minded middie, that does raise questions of if there’s a spot in the lineup for him relative to the depth of attackers that MU developed last year. Peter Detwiler (#32, 6’0”, 195 lbs.) has “An Under Armour Command and Highlight All-American” in his official MU bio, and that sounds pretty good even if I don’t know exactly what that means. He was also an all area wide receiver/cornerback for his high school’s football team just down the road from Villanova’s campus. The guy that might be the best of the freshmen is Jake Bair (#99, 6’2”, 200 lbs.) even though his official team bio is maybe the least interesting. He was the best midfielder on his high school team in Maryland for two years straight.... but that probably should be the case if you’re going to play Division 1 lacrosse, honestly. The reason why Bair might be the best of the trio is because he’s one of just two four-star prospects coming in this year according to Inside Lacrosse.
Marquette brings in three freshmen to the defensive corps this season. Given MU’s options on that end of the field, I’ll be surprised to see any of them get a lot of playing time this season, but the flip side of that is that these guys are going to need to absorb a lot of information now and step in and play big minutes in the not distant future.
As can sometimes happen with defensive players, their official MU bios are not particularly helpful in letting us know who might be leaning more towards an immediate impact player. I’m going to guess that Mike Piraino (#8, 5’9”, 170 lbs.) is the leader in that department, but I’m just throwing that out there because his bio says he led his team in ground balls and caused turnovers as a senior while earning all-county honors out on Long Island. I’d say there’s questions about his size on the defensive end, but hey, BJ Grill is one of the best defensive players in MU history and he’s not a giant.
PJ McColgan (#19, 5’11”, 180 lbs.) and Calvin Hicks (#48, 6’3”, 200 lbs.) are the other two freshmen in this department. I don’t have anything particularly notable to point out about McColgan, but I do like knowing that Hicks was a four year varsity letterman in ice hockey in the Albany area. 1) A 6’3”, 200 pound high school hockey player sounds terrifying to play against and 2) it indicates that Hicks might have really great footwork and balance for a college lacrosse player.
The Golden Eagles have two new guys who could push Luke Williams and Cole Emmanuel in the faceoff department this season. Worst case scenario, it’s good to have lots of options just in case one particular guy just can’t get it going in any particular game. Grant Evans (#50, 5’10”, 205 lbs.) comes to Marquette after four years at Division 3 Grove City College in western Pennsylvania. He led D3 in faceoff winning percentage as a freshman, finished with a career mark of .762, and won between 66% and 80% of his faceoffs in all of his four years. In 54 appearances for GCC, Evans posted 38 goals and 32 assists in his career there. If he’s a “win it to yourself and throw it in” kind of faceoff guy and that translates to Division 1, that’s a dangerous kind of weapon to have at your disposal.
Adam Slager (#31, 5’8”, 165 lbs.) is a freshman from Stoughton out in the Madison area. He was a First Team all-state honoree as a senior and his career stats at Stoughton High go like this: 80 goals, 81 assists, two-time US Lacrosse All-American. That’s neat. He won 78% of his draws as a freshman and 91% as a junior according to his MU bio, and uh, I think that’s a lot. If he can handle the jump up to Division 1 and even just win 55% of his draws, he could find himself getting more than few attempts per game. With that said, between Williams and Emmanuel returning and Evans in Milwaukee for just one season, it feels like this might be a “hey, get some reps in the weight room” kind of year for Slager.
There’s just one new netminder on the roster this season, but Lucas Lawas (#45, 5’8”, 165 lbs.) is still pretty notable. He is the aforementioned second four-star Inside Lacrosse prospect in the group of freshmen this season, so we can’t rule out Lawas getting into a position battle with Michael Allieri. Lawas was also originally committed to play at Johns Hopkins, but IL notes that as confirmed in late 2020. IL also points out that Lawas reclassified from Class of 2023 (aka next year) to Class of 2022, so it seems possible that information is somehow related to his decoupling from JHU. The western New Yorker attended a Canadian prep school just outside of Toronto, so put it all together and you have one heck of an interesting ride over the past two-plus years for Lawas.