As it is every year in college athletics, players graduate and new ones come in. Last season, the Virginia Men's Lacrosse team graduated several contributing members, including Owen Van Arsdale, Ryan Tucker, Davi Sacco, and Tyler German. This spring, Coach Dom Starsia and the Hoos welcome a large class of 11 new first years. Let's get to know some of them.
Ryan Conrad - Remember this name, because I have a feeling you will be hearing a lot of it not just this year, but over the next four seasons. Conrad comes to Virginia from Loyola-Blakefield (the same school Steele Stanwick attended) and was ranked the No.1 overall recruit (and the No.1 midfielder) by Inside Lacrosse from his sophomore year til enrolling in college. He is a versatile athlete who was his basketball team's starting point guard his junior and senior year, and he led his soccer team to two MIAA Championships.
As Coach Starsia mentioned in a podcast with Jeff White last week, he likes the ruggedness of Conrad's game. For a player with so much praise and recognition coming into their first year, you could expect Conrad act entitled, but all reports have indicated he's a nice kid who is grounded (listen to our podcast tomorrow with Inside Lacrosse's Terry Foy for more info as well).
With three goals, three assists, five groundballs, and six won faceoffs, Conrad was named the MVP of the Under Armour All-America game this past summer. I expect to see him running significant time on the first midfield, and could even play as a two-way midfielder as Coach Starsia also mentioned his strong defense in the podcast.
Oh, and he recently made the 2016 U.S. U19 30-player training roster.
Ryan Lamb - Lamb is another midfielder who could see reasonable playing time this season. At 6-2, 200 pounds, Lamb brings some size to the midfield that Virginia fans are used to. He was the Inside Lacrosse No.18 midfielder, and hails from Burke, Virginia (went to Paul VI Catholic High School). I like his size and he showed some good potential in the fall.
Phil Poquie - Let's stick with midfielders. I'm pretty excited to see what Poquie can bring to this team. A 5-10 middie from Philadelphia, Poquie earned the No.12 spot on Inside Lacrosse's midfielder list and was a four year letter winner for both lacrosse and football in high school. He's quick, athletic, and a multi-sport guy, all things that Coach Starsia likes in a player.
According to his official Virginia roster bio, his last name is pronounced Poh-quee.
Matt Dziama - For some reason, this one doesn't have a pronunciation guide in his bio. Dziama impressed in the fall with scrappy play on ground balls and tenacity on defense. He was an All-American at Wellesley (MA), and did a post graduate year at Deerfield Academy. Another guy that played football (wide receiver). Will play midfield for Virginia.
Zach Ambrosino - A defenseman, Ambrosino has been mentioned several times by Coach Starsia in the fall and spring as someone who impressed. Inside Lacrosse listed Ambrosino as the No.7 defenseman and No.29 overall recruit, and he also played in the Under Armour All-America game. Guess what? Yep, also played football, and wrestled as well.
Mikey Herring - Another player Coach Starsia mentioned in the podcast. Herring, an attackman, also played football and basketball in high school. He could provide an option off the bench on the attack for the Hoos.
Season starts Saturday at 1pm at Klockner Stadium as the Cavaliers welcome Loyola. Stay tuned with Streaking the Lawn for more lacrosse coverage the rest of the week.