It will be an emotional year in Brooklandville as Rick Brocato embarks on his final season as head coach at St. Paul’s after announcing, earlier this year, that this would be his final campaign on the Crusaders’ sideline.
In 17 years, Brocato has amassed a record of 225-104 with St. Paul’s, a perennial power in the MIAA A Conference, the nation’s premiere high school lacrosse league. Overall, Brocato has won 244 games as a high school lacrosse head coach.
After a slow start last spring, Brocato rallied a young team to a 12-7 record and a spot in the A Conference playoffs and there is plenty of firepower back from that squad.
All-American candidate Keegan Pear, a senior attack, is back after scoring 32 goals and dishing out 29 assists. Anchoring the defensive end of the field will be another potential All-American in senior goalkeeper Alex Rode, who made 258 saves last year, stopping 64% of the shots he faced. The Crusaders also have two seniors back to anchor the face-off circle. Brendan Tscherne returns after winning 63% of his draws, scooping 96 ground balls, scoring five goals and delivering an assist in 2016, while Bobby Barroll had 33 ground balls and won 62% of his draws.
“We are good up the middle, especially at the goalie and face-off position,” said Brocato. “Strong senior attack corps and a strong first midfield, and defensive midfield position.”
Seniors Logan Posner (A), Matt Mayer (A/MF) and Kyle DiPietro (MF) are also back after combining to score 40 goals, with 11 assists last year. In addition, junior Logan Zimnoch, senior Riley Gaeger and senior Carson Gaeger all return to the midfield where the combined for 20 goals and six assists.
Junior Andrew Caples is the top defender returning for Brocato and the team has a pair of talented senior long stick middies in Jackson Woodward and Antonio Mastromanolis.
Adding to the excitement of the 2017 season will be the 100th anniversary of the St. Paul’s/Boys’ Latin lacrosse rivalry.
ST. PAUL’S CRUSADERS
Head Coach: Rick Brocato (17th year, 225-104)
Players to Watch:
Keegan Pearl, Sr., A (32 goals, 29 assists in 2016)
Alex Rode, Sr, G (258 saves, 64% save percentage)
Brendan Tscherne, Sr, MF/FO (96 ground balls, 5 goals 1 assist, won 63% face-offs)
Bobby Barroll, Sr, MF/FO (33 ground balls, 1 goal 1 assist, won 62% face-offs)
Logan Posner, Sr., A (11 goals 9 assists)
Matt Mayer, Sr., A/MF (14 goals 1 assist)
Kyle DiPietro, Sr., MF (15 goals 1 assist)
Logan Zimnoch, Jr., MF (8 goals 4 assists)
Riley Gaeger, Sr., MF (7 goals 2 assists)
Carson Gaeger, Sr., MF (5 goals)
Andrew Caples. Jr, D
Jackson Woodward, Sr. LSM (3 goals 3 assists)
Antonio Mastromanolis, Sr, LSM (3 goals 1 assist)
Jack Brocato, Jr., A (5 goals 13 assists)
Troy Barthelme, So., A (4 goals 6 assists)
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