Men's Lacrosse Season Recap
- Release Date:
- June 6, 2012
- The Office of Sports Information
- (716) 649-7900 ext. 333
2012 Season Review: As a first-year member in the North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC), the 2012 Hilbert College men’s lacrosse team proved they were worthy of their inclusion in the league. The Hawks battled for a play-off spot through the last week of the regular season even after they lost several key players to injuries over the course of the season. Their 4-4 NEAC record placed them in fifth place, one slot out of the four-team run for an automatic bid.
Hilbert opened their season with three home games in a row in early March. With poor field conditions on campus, Orchard Park High School became the Hawks home field when they hosted Penn State Abington on March 10 then Mount Saint Vincent on March 11. Hilbert earned their first shut-out of the season with their lop-sided 22-0 victory over NEAC foe, Abington. In a hard-fought game the next day, Hilbert came up on the short end of the stick losing 10-9 to Mount Saint Vincent. Hilbert squared off against Alfred University ten days later and suffered a 22-3 loss before they returned to Hamburg and grabbed a 10-8 victory over NEAC Cobleskill March 28.
The second month of the season was a little tougher for the Hawks as injuries began to take their toll on the team. April started with a non-conference loss at La Roche but a league win at home against Wells. At half time of the 16-5 victory over Thiel College, the team and coaches honored Hilbert’s two graduating seniors, Eric Russell and Justin Peterson for their contribution to the program since it gained varsity status last season. The Hawks finished their season with four straight road games pulling out one victory over SUNYIT April 22. League-leaders Keuka, Medaille and Morrisville State all retained their lofty status with their home wins against Hilbert at the end of the season dropping the Hawks to 4-4 and 5-7 overall.
Sophomore Sean Purtill led the Hawks offense with 43 points (25 g) off 60 shots on goal. The attacker was named as a NEAC Third Team All-Conference member by the opposing league coaches at the completion of the season. Also joining Purtill with perfect attendance and starts (12/12) for the Hawks were freshman attackman Elliot Russillio and defender Sean Manning. Russillio used his speed on top and finished third on the team with 26 points (18 goals), .367 shooting percentage, 24 ground balls and caused seven turnovers. Manning led the Hawks with 10 caused turnovers, and finished with 18 ground balls while protecting the net. Nick Cavalieri also scored 21 goals and assisted on 10 other scores for the Hawks while Nick Kieffer earned 16 assists getting credit for 23 points. Kieffer led the team with 55 ground balls many of which were earned off his 90 face-off wins.
Freshman William Wagner carried the team in net most of the season playing 583 minutes in goal making 117 saves. Statistically, when comparing the 2012 season to the 2011 season, Hilbert’s defense held their opponents to ten fewer goals (146 vs. 156), but the loss of big time punch from the Hawks midfield position which they had one season ago also showed in the Hawks scoring results in 2012.
Doug Takac missed the last five games of the season after suffering a wrist injury (11 goals, 6 assists); John Pingitore played only four games for the Hawks and scored 8 goals (5 assists) to prove he was a strong offensive threat for opponents to worry about. And Ryan Wagner, the team’s leading scorer and nationally ranked player from the team’s inaugural season, was able to play in only two games this season before stepping out of the line-up.
Coach Schunke and his coaching staff will continue to build the program as they focus on the NEAC championship and an opportunity to win an automatic bid to the NCAA national championship.
Hilbert College, located in suburban Hamburg, N.Y., south of Buffalo, is a private four-year college founded in 1957 in the Catholic Franciscan tradition. With nearly 1,100 students, Hilbert is a dynamic Western New York college that offers career-focused majors, including one of the top criminal justice programs in the region, and more than 50 minors and concentrations. The college’s engaging, student-centered campus community offers numerous leadership, internship, and service learning opportunities from which students launch successful careers while making positive changes in their communities. The Hilbert Blueprint promotes a well-rounded student experience over four years – starting with the Foundations Seminar in the freshman year, followed by Sophomore Service, Junior Symposium, and culminating with the Senior Capstone. Hilbert has expanded its academic offerings with the college’s first graduate programs and new Accelerated Degree Programs geared to adult learners.