Harford CC lacrosse team young but ready

March 07, 1993|By John W. Stewart | John W. Stewart,Staff Writer

Given the weather over the past several weeks, Harford Community College lacrosse coach Frank Mezzanotte believes his team could be a contender for the national "parking lot" championship.

The team got on its outdoor field in January when the weather was decent, but rain and snow have severely hampered recent workouts.

Still, Mezzanotte, in his third year of building a competitive program, says the Fighting Owls are ready to get over the hump.

"I think there are a couple of points here," the coach said last week. "We have enough talent to at least equal last year, but there is a question of how far along are the other teams. At the same time, we return basically three starters, so it will be a case of how quickly our freshmen develop.

"It scares me to have to see them jump in against teams like DTC Suffolk and Essex early in the season."

The returning starters are Tim Olinick, Brad McLean (C. Milton Wright) and Jeremy Shek (Bel Air). A year ago, during the school's first winning season (9-6), McLean had 25 goals, two assists; Olinick, 13 goals, 19 assists, and Shek, 10 goals, 13 assists.

Overall, there are 11 sophomores on the 33-man squad, 10 of whom played a year ago. They will be challenged by what Mezzanotte calls the best crop of freshmen to come out of Harford County in his three years.

Among the newcomers are Jack Kelly and John Monar (Liberty) on attack; midfielder Rip Saling, and defensemen Mike Chaney (North Harford) and Tom Slate.

"Each year, we try to get at least one representative from each of the county schools. We had it last year and have all but one this season," Mezzanotte said.

"This time, we got maybe seven or eight who were all-county a year ago, including defensemen Jason Ziegler [North Harford], Nick Gesell [Fallston], and Bryan Arist [C. Milton Wright), plus attack Ryan Wegeler [Fallston]."

Veteran Bill Steelman (Bel Air) and newcomer Lance Buckley (Towson) are the chief contenders for starting goalkeeper.

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