SAINT LEO, Fla – With the 2014 season on the horizon, Saint Leo men's lacrosse team will see plenty of fresh faces on the official 2014 roster, all of whom will be expected to make a positive impact both on and off the field.
The newcomers hail from various lacrosse hotbeds from around the country, with seven of the 18 calling the Sunshine State home. Four are New York natives, with two each coming from New Jersey and Ohio, while Maine, Colorado, and Massachusetts round out the list of home states.
Breaking down the list even further, the Lions will gain six defensive players, eight middies, and four attackmen. With three transfers from junior college programs, the new faces offer not only various amounts of talent and skill, but assorted amounts of experience and veteran strength to the core of the Green and Gold.
This week's installment of Uncaging the Lions features the midfield newcomers Dillon Affatato, Tony LaGuardia, Josh Kaufling, Jake Kavanagh, Preston Pena, and Greg Strobl.
5-10 | 210 | MiddieMaine, N.Y.
Maine-Endwell High School
Affatato played two years at Broome Community College where he earned All Region honors and was the number one faceoff specialist in the country for junior colleges. In his time at Broome, he won 114-of-145 total face-offs, for a win percentage of .790. Before Broome, Affatato played for Maine-Endwell High School under the direction of Andrew Ewuing. He was named All Conference, All STAC, and earned Region 3 All-State honors. He was also a member of the Fighting 4 Club Organization under the direction of Coach Chris Mahon.
5-8 | 170 | Middie
Padua Franciscan High School
A junior college transfer from Mercyhurst North East Community College where he earned Academic All-American honors. LaGuardia also competed at Padua Franciscan High School where he was named to the All-Ohio First Team. He was also selected to All-Ohio Second Team in his time at Padua Franciscan.
5-9 | 165 | Middie
Ralston Valley High School
Kaufling played for Ralston Valley High School under the direction of Head Coach Chris Knott. He earned First Team All-Conference and Second Team All-State. He helped his team to a state championship title. Kaufling was selected as the recipient of the Baggataway Award. Kaufling was also named offensive MVP at Ralston Valley.
5-10 | 185 | Middie
Shoreham Wading River High School
Competed at Shoreham Wading River HS under Head Coach Tom Rotanz. A native of Shoreham, N.Y., Kavanagh played a role in helping the Shoreham Wading River High School Wildcats to a State Championship victory in 2012. Graduated with a career faceoff win percentage of 70%. Was a member of a 2-time league championship team. Participant and winner of the Suffolk County Championship in 2011, 2012, and 2013. Member of a Long Island Championship team in 2012 and 2013. New York State Champions in 2013. Received the 2013 Long Island Unsung Hero Award.
5-10 | 150 | Middie
St. Augustine, Fla.
Bartram Trail High School
Competed at Bartram Trail HS under coach Matthew Demetrio. Also competed with the Team Florida club team under Coach Tom West
5-10 | 160 | Middie
Oviedo High School
Playing under the direction of Head Coach Sean O'Dell at Oviedo, Strobl earned First Team All-Conference, and All-District honors in 2012. In addition, he was named Midfielder of the Year in 2012, and earned the Coaches Award in 2011. The two-time captain racked up 14 goals, 45 assists, and 92 ground balls in his 2012 campaign.