Reitenbach's first goal for Terrors: a winning season

March 10, 1993|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,Staff Writer

Western Maryland College men's lacrosse team welcomes a new era this season, guided by first-year coach Keith Reitenbach.

Reitenbach enjoyed a great deal of success as a player and an assistant coach. Now, he's looking forward to reaching the same kind of success with his own program.

"I'm tremendously excited," Reitenbach said.

"It's an opportunity I've been waiting for for a long time. I've been coaching at one level or another since I graduated in 1978. Since I turned it into a career, I've had some success and am anxiously awaiting to lead my own program."

Playing at Cornell, he was part of national championship teams in 1976 and 1977 and a runner-up team in 1978, his senior year.

After assistant coaching stints at Division III power Washington College in Chestertown and Division I North Carolina, Reitenbach took the same position at Cornell. He worked there for seven years before becoming head coach at Western Maryland.

"I'm excited about the challenge of taking Western Maryland College to a level it hasn't competed in before," he said. "My aspirations are to win a national championship, and my No. 1 goal is to see an entire class I recruited graduate.

"I'm very comfortable with the Division III environment and feel very strong toward the student-athlete."

Reitenbach knows it will take some time before Western Maryland can compete for a national championship.

The squad opened its season Saturday against a tough Rochester Institute of Technology team and lost, 21-12. The Green Terrors were scheduled to play at home today against St. Mary's but postponed the game because of bad field conditions.

They'll compete in the Middle Atlantic Conference for the final time this spring before joining the newly formed Centennial Conference in 1994.

"First things first, our objective is having a winning season and competing for the conference title," he said.

"The attitudes have been great, and I couldn't ask for anything more. I told the guys from the start not to compromise your achievements by limiting your expectations. They are really taking on the challenge with great zeal."

Western Maryland (7-5 last year) returns its top two scorers, seniors Joe Furnari and Brian Sattler. Furnari, a MAC second-team all-star as a junior, finished last season with 58 points (30 goals, 28 assists); Sattler had 54 (36, 18).

"I think we're going to be all right up front with the two high-scoring veteran attackers back," Reitenbach said. "I expect both of them will be competing for postseason honors."

Joining the two seniors up front in the starting lineup is freshman Dean Coccia (Chesapeake-Anne Arundel).

"He's a real testament to the Division III philosophy," Reitenbach said.

"He might be good enough to play Division I lacrosse but wanted to play both soccer and lacrosse. So, he's a projected eight letter-winner in the two sports. It's also exciting for the program to have the freshman starting with the two seniors."

Reitenbach will try to counter the loss of the team's entire starting midfield of a year ago with depth.

"We're going to run three midfields with a gold line, green line and a freshman line," he said. "We're going to try to run them one-two-three in the first three quarters and then go with the line that's hot or the freshest."

Reitenbach isn't designating any three as starters in the first two lines. Each will get equal playing time at the start.

Harris Dunne, a senior co-captain and faceoff specialist, will join fellow senior Andrew Price and junior Ken Higgs (Westminster) on one line. Seniors Peter Kangas and Alex Koundourakis will team with sophomore Mike Rapaport on the other.

Marshall Brown (Westminster), Zippy Mackie, John Earle and Andy Katchen will play on the freshman line.

Senior Chris Lynch and junior Marc Brunco will share time in goal. In front of them are returning starters Chris Cutler (junior) and Rob Doeller (sophomore). Junior Keith Abel will join them in the starting lineup.

"The defense is looking solid but inexperienced," Reitenbach said.

"Even though we have two out of three starters back, they are still inexperienced because they haven't played the kind of defense we're going to use. We're going to go a more aggressive man-to-man than they are used to playing, and we're also talking about some different zone sets."

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