LEWISBURG, Pa. -- The Bucknell men's lacrosse team has wrapped up another successful fall ball campaign, and Bison head coach Frank Fedorjaka is excited about the team's freshman class. Thirteen first-year players will be on the 2014 roster, and many of them will help pick up the slack after a talented and successful senior class departed last spring.
"Collectively, this class of freshman has the strongest academic profile of any group I have recruited in the last 15 years," said Fedorjaka. "In addition to that, the class of 2017 is loaded with talent. The majority of that is on the defensive end. It all starts with Brad Dotson. Brad comes in at 6’7” and highly decorated. Brad is a rare talent as he has terrific feet for a big man, and he handles the ball very well and has an uncanny ability to knock passes down. He has picked up the defensive scheme very well and is currently starting for us on close defense.
"Evan Bernstein comes from a program with a strong tradition of winning. He runs very well, plays with tenacity and has also picked up the defensive scheme very well. He can play both LSM and close defense. Mike Schiappa plays close defense and possesses terrific footspeed and footwork. He is a smart player and as he continues to learn the defense he will become a key contributor this year.
"Jack Slater comes from one of the best programs in the nation. Jack is one of the best ground ball guys on the team and will be counted on to help on the faceoff wings. He is a former hockey player with a nose for the ball.
"Jake Kennedy is a goalie that sees the ball very well. He has soft hands and doesn’t give up many rebounds. As Jake develops more strength he will get quicker hands which will allow him to get to the ball a split second sooner. He has good confidence and possesses the right demeanor to be a successful Division I goalie.
"Ben Foley has moved over to short-stick defensive midfield. Ben has good size, speed and athleticism. He is a very good ground ball man and makes lots of plays in the open field. He is pushing for time on the second d-mid line.
"Quinn Collison is a natural lefty who is an extremely talented finisher. He has quick hands and can catch anything. He is currently our fourth attackman. Tommy O’Connor has the hardest shot on the team. He is very aggressive and plays with tremendous confidence. He is currently running on and off with the second midfield line.
"Joe Walsh can play both attack and midfield. Joe has great hands and can finish in tight, create his own shot and set up others. He is very close to being in the mix and has a very bright future. Nick Steinfeld also has a ton of potential. He comes from a small school with a young lacrosse program, so he has to get used to the speed of the college game. But he has good size, toughness and the ability to get to the goal. He is a good athlete who rides hard and has a great attitude.
"Grayson Helm has good quickness and vision. He can bread down the defense and make a difficult skip pass. He also has a hard outside time and room shot. Nadder Sharif-Amemi is coming off an injury from high school. He has good size and moves very well for a big man, and he also handles the ball well. And finally, Robbie Coe made the team as a walk-on. He had success in high school and adds much-needed depth to the goalie corps."
Below is a closer look at each of the Bison freshmen:
EVAN BERNSTEIN (Boonton, N.J./Mountain Lakes) – Defenseman
Born Aug. 16, 1994 in Morristown, N.J. … son of Ronald and Beverly Bernstein … has one sister, Madelyn … competed in lacrosse and football at Mountain Lakes High School … in lacrosse, earned first team all-state, all-group and all-conference honors … captained the team as a senior … was also a first team all-conference and second team all-group honoree in football.
ROBBIE COE (Chatham, N.J./Chatham) – Goalie
Born Oct. 12, 1994 in Morristown, N.J. … parents are Matthew and Maureen Coe … has two siblings, Andrew and Grace … mother is a 1986 Bucknell graduate and was a member of the Bison rowing team … two-year varsity letterman at Chatham High School … 2013 NJILCA First Team All-State selection … NJILL All-Star selection … Daily Record first team all-star … named second team all-county by the Star-Ledger … MSG Varsity honorable mention all-state … participated in Gill Gibbs All-Star Game … earned a Star-Ledger Player of the Game citation ... helped team win state championships in 2012 and 2013.
QUINN COLLISON (Cincinnati, Ohio/Archbishop Moeller) – Attack
Born March 30, 1995 in Cincinnati … parents are Blane and Kelly Collison … father played football at Dayton and was team co-captain in 1984 … earned four letters in lacrosse and three in hockey at Archbishop Moeller High School … captain of the lacrosse team as a senior … earned Under Armour All-America honors … also named All-Ohio and All-Midwest … selected to the All-North American Lacrosse Invitational Team … ranked No. 3 in assists and No. 5 in total points in program history … two-time academic all-conference selection in hockey.
BRAD DOTSON (Vienna, Va./Langley) – Defenseman
Born July 27, 1995 in Silver Spring, Md. … son of Scott and Judi Dotson … sister, Audrey, is a junior at Bucknell and is a starting forward on the Bison women’s basketball team … father played on the soccer team at Maryland … earned four varsity letters in lacrosse and two in basketball at Langley High School in McLean, Va. … captain and MVP of both teams as a senior … in lacrosse earned All-America, First Team All-Liberty District, First Team All-Northern Region and Second Team All-Met honors in 2013 … was a three-time all-district, two-time all-region and two-time All-Met selection … named to Washington, D.C. Under Armour All-Star Team in 2012 … helped Langley win three state titles from 2010-12 … also earned First Team All-Liberty District and Second Team All-Northern Region honors in basketball as a senior … earned the school’s Outstanding Athlete Award.
BEN FOLEY (Florham Park, N.J./Seton Hall Prep) – Midfielder
Born Dec. 11, 1994 in Summit, N.J. … parents are Quentin and Beth Foley … has a sister, Evan … 2013 graduate of Seton Hall Prep, where he earned three varsity letters in lacrosse and two in swimming … also played a year of JV basketball … captained the lacrosse team as a senior … two-time selection to the Brine All-American Lacrosse Classic.
GRAYSON HELM (Wyomissing, Pa./Wyomissing Area/Lawrenceville School) – Midfielder
Born May 2, 1994 in Wyomissing, Pa. … son of Scott and Angel Helm … has an older brother, Austin, and a younger sister, JoAnna … father played lacrosse at RIT … 2012 graduate of Wyomissing Area High School, then did a postgraduate year at The Lawrenceville School in New Jersey … earned five total varsity letters in both football and lacrosse and three in wrestling … lacrosse High School All-American … also earned four first team all-county and three first team all-district citations … county scoring and ground ball leader while at Wyomissing … captain of the Dukes Lacrosse Club … in football was a quarterback and two-year captain … earned honorable mention all-state and first team all-county and all-section honors on the gridiron … set Wyomissing school records for touchdown passes, yards and completion percentage … first team all-section honoree in wrestling.
JAKE KENNEDY (Rancho Santa Fe, Calif./Torrey Pines) – Goalie
Born Feb. 18, 1995 in San Diego … son of John and Kiran Kennedy … has two sisters, Emma and Zoe … four-year varsity letterman in lacrosse at Torrey Pines High School … as a senior was named a U.S. Lacrosse All-American and also earned First Team All-CIF honors … 2013 Adrenaline All-American … named team’s defensive MVP … named to ESPN/Warrior 40 Team in 2012 … in 2011 attended Nike Blue Chip Camp and made Top 205 All-Star Team … helped team win a pair of Southern California CIF championships.
TOMMY O’CONNOR (Wayne, Pa./Malvern Prep) – Attack
Born March 20, 1995 in Pittsburgh, Pa. … parents are Tom and Suzanne O’Connor … has four siblings: Brendan, Katie, Keenan and Dylan … three-year lax letterman at Malvern Prep … First Team All-InterAC and Second Team All-Main Line selection … led the team in scoring as a junior and senior.
MIKE SCHIAPPA (Lincolnwood, Ill./Loyola Academy) – Defenseman
Born Apr. 12, 1995 in Chicago … son of Fred and Deborah Schiappa … has a sister, Vanessa, who was a 2009 graduate of Boston University … captain and MVP of the lacrosse team at Loyola Academy in 2013 … three-time all-conference, two-time all-state and two-time USILA All-American … also a USILA All-Academic selection as a senior … two-time selection to the North American Lacrosse Invitational … as a junior and senior helped lead Loyola to the Illinois Class A state championship … 2012 recipient of the Dr. Talbot Award for Leadership and Support and 2013 recipient of the Patrick L. Rattigan Award for Academic Achievement … attended the Nike Rising Sophomore Blue Chip Camp and was named an All-Star at the Maverick Showtime Camp … picked for the 2012 and 2013 US Lacrosse Champion All-American Showcase.
NADER SHARIF-EMAMI (New York, N.Y./Lawrenceville School) – Defenseman
Born Feb. 22, 1995 in New York City … son of Ali Sharif-Emami and Maryam Arjomand … has one brother, Amir … 2013 graduate of The Lawrenceville School in New Jersey, where he played football and lacrosse.
JACK SLATER (Kensington, Md./Gonzaga) – Defenseman
Born March 11, 1994 in Washington, D.C. … parents are Bill and Lisa Slater … has three siblings: Ellie, Katie and Ridge … Katie played lacrosse at Virginia … cousin, Kevin Ridgeway, played lacrosse at Notre Dame and in the MLL … earned four letters each in lacrosse and hockey at Gonzaga College High School in Washington, D.C. … helped lacrosse team to four straight league titles and a 45-0 record over four years … in 2012 and 2013 team was ranked No. 3 in the nation and No. 1 in the Washington Post … earned Washington Post Second Team All-Met honors in 2012 and 2013 … First Team All-WCAC in 2013 … in hockey was named 2013 Washington Post All-Met Player of the Year and MAPHL Player of the Year … broke Gonzaga’s all-time scoring record and was named team MVP … led team to two league titles … earned the Jacob Jackson Student-Athlete Award.
NICK STEINFELD (Pacific Palisades, Calif./Brentwood) – Midfielder
Born July 15, 1994 in Los Angeles … son of Jake and Tracey Steinfeld … has a sister, Morgan, and brothers Zachary and Luke … earned four varsity letters in both lacrosse and water polo at Brentwood High School … three-year captain and three-year team MVP in lacrosse … earned High School All-America honors as a senior … named First Team All-CIF as a junior and senior and Second Team All-CIF as a sophomore … was also team captain and Second Team All-CIF as a senior in water polo.
JOE WALSH (Warminster, Pa./St. Joseph’s Prep) – Attack
Born Sept. 30, 1994 in Abington, Pa. … son of Matthew and Deirdre Walsh … father played football, basketball and lacrosse at Swarthmore … mother was on the swimming team at Swarthmore … has two brothers, Jason and Adam, and step-siblings Peter and Alli Donaghy … Alli was a 2013 Bucknell graduate and a member of the Bison cross country and track and field team, and Adam is a member of the Bucknell Class of 2015 … earned three varsity letters in lacrosse at St. Joseph’s Prep in Philadelphia … recorded 56 points as a senior … First Team All-Philadelphia Catholic League … led team to a conference championship and a berth in the state finals during his sophomore year.