Defense will lead the Crusaders rise under new head coach Trey Whity

by Nelson Coffin


COACH: Trey Whity, 3-1

TOP RETURNERS: Logan Zimnoch (Sr., M, Towson); Nick Hapney (Sr. D, Utah); Ham Whiteford (Sr., D, Middlebury); Mason Woodward (Jr., D, Marquette).

KEY LOSSES: Alex Rode (Virginia), Brendan Tscherne (Air Force), Keegan Pearl (Furman).

TOP NEWCOMERS: Jamie Grant, Soph., GK.

OUTLOOK: St. Paul’s alum Whity, who won a national championship at Virginia as a top-notch defender, said he feels fortunate to return to coach such a talented group at his alma mater after taking over for Rick Brocato.

And while he realizes that the Crusaders are not purported to be among the MIAA A Conference elite at this point, the first-year coach said that his team will be up for the many challenges ahead.

First and foremost, St. Paul’s should be rock-solid at the defensive end of the field with Hapney, Whiteford and Woodward, the latter of whom will typically take on the opponent’s top attackman,

“He has great feet and is a very good one-on-one defender,” Whitty said. “He’s a phenomenal No. 1 guy.”

Zimnoch will lead the charge from the midfield for the Crusaders, who will count on a rebuilt attack to generate enough scoring to keep rivals on their toes as well.

Junior Andrew Milani are poised to lead the attack unit that will be looking to become a formidable group in its own right and Grant is a talent in the cage.

“We expect our defense to be solid,” Whitty said. “And we have a bunch of two-way middies. The attack is young and talented. We have the ability to make some noise this year. We have a lot of new guys and a lot of hungry juniors and seniors.”

After playing teams from Pennsylvania, Indiana and Ohio, the Crusaders (3-1) will open their conference play when they travel to Loyola Blakefield on April 6 to meet the team that knocked them from the playoffs last spring.