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Sports Digest

Men's Lacrosse season in review

Although the 2002 Holy Cross men's lacrosse team had a disappointing season, the Crusaders will return many promising players to the field; with just three members graduating this year, the team will have 20 players who saw action in at least 10 games. During the past season, Holy Cross dropped four of its 14 games by four goals or less, including two Patriot League contests. Despite its 1-14 record, the future looks bright for the young Holy Cross squad.

Returning in 2003 are the team's top five scorers: Michael L. McKee '05 (Sloatsburg, N.Y.), who led the team in scoring and assists, notched 12 goals and added 23 assists for 35 points. He also led the team in scoring in league games, making two goals while chipping in 10 assists for 12 points.

Shaun N. McGowan '03 (Garden City, N.Y.) posted a career-high 21 goals and added four assists for 25 points, nearly doubling his career total (13 points on nine goals and four assists).

Midfielders David B. McWilliams '03 (Northport, N.Y.) scored 18 goals and added six assists for 24 points while Paul J. Washington '03 (Port Jefferson Station, N.Y.) chipped in with 14 goals and four assists; nine of Washington's goals were scored in league play. Brian E. Taylor '04 (Randolph, N.J.) also had a breakout season for the Crusaders, scoring a career-high 12 goals and adding five assists for 17 points.

Defensively, Philip A. (Tony) Polito '02 (Dallas, Texas) had another great year for the Crusaders, notching 24 groundballs while starting 13 of Holy Cross' 15 games. Christopher P. Ryan '02 (Garden City, N.Y.) capped off a great Crusader career coming off the bench to play in all 15 games. He scored the second goal of his collegiate career and added 21 groundballs. Holy Cross defense, however, was led by Martin J. Gilbert '03 (Laguna Hills, Calif.) who became the first player since David DePaulo in 1996 to earn All-Patriot League honors when he made Second Team accolades this season. Gilbert, a defensive midfielder, led Holy Cross in groundballs with 57, including 21 in league play.

Crusader defense was also greatly assisted by its four first-year players. Richard Espinal '05 (New York, N.Y.), Edmond L. Yip '05 (Providence, R.I.), Patrick J. Sullivan '05 (Winchester, Mass.) and Derek J. Lemley '05 (Madison, Conn.) appeared in all 15 of Holy Cross' contests this season. Espinal and Yip started each game on close defense notching 39 and 52 groundballs respectively. Sullivan came off the bench to play close defense for the Crusaders, posting 16 groundballs while Lemley notched 18 groundballs from his defensive midfield position.

In goal, Holy Cross featured two second-year students who combined to post a 13.6 goals against average. Brian R. Hodgdon '04 (Pittstown, N.J.) started all 15 games in goal, recording a 13.8 goals against average and a 51.9 save percentage. He picked up the Crusaders' lone victory of the season and notched four games of 20 saves or more. Hodgdon posted a career-high 22 saves in the season opener against Fairfield before recording 21 saves against both Colorado College and Lafayette. His 195 save record this season is the fifth best single-season save total in school history. Stefano E. deStefano '04 (Warren, N.J.) proved to be a capable backup to Hodgdon. deStefano tallied a 12.2 goals against average and a 50.0 save percentage in four games.

The Holy Cross men's lacrosse team entered the 2002 season knowing that its youth and relative inexperience would bring difficulties. Yet, they welcomed the challenge and proved that men's lacrosse is a developing program that will be a force in the seasons to come.



Paul J. Washington ’03

Paul J. Washington '03

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