AURORA, N.Y. – The Wells College men's lacrosse team enters its sixth season as an NCAA Division III varsity program in 2013 and will open its North Eastern Athletic Conference slate of games this Wednesday, Mar. 27 at home against the Wildcats of Cazenovia College at 4:00 p.m. Since joining the Wells College cadre of sports prior to the 2007-08 athletic season, the Express have improved each season in a variety of categories.
In 2012, the Express tied their program record for victories in a season while also setting program records in shots on goal (249), ground balls (483) and caused turnovers (105). The Express also return a NEAC All-Conference defenseman in Hayden Shuster (Careywood, Id.), who drew Third Team All-Conference honors after ranking third in the conference with 27 caused turnovers in the backfield.
Wells also debuts a wholly-revamped coaching staff in the 2013 season. Christopher Bily, a 2007 graduate of SUNY Cortland, enters his first season with the program after serving as an Assistant Coach for the Eagles of Robert Morris University in Chicago, Ill.
With the Eagles, Bily aided the development and growth of a first year program and coordinated the program's recruiting efforts. Prior to his tenure at Robert Morris, Bily served as an assistant boy's lacrosse coach at Onondaga Central Junior/Senior High School in Nedrow, N.Y., helping the team to three NYSPHSAA Section III playoff berths from 2007 to 2010. A graduate of SUNY Cortland, Bily was a member of the 2005 SUNYAC Champion Red Dragons men's larosse team and played boy's lacrosse in high school at West Genesee High School in Camillus, N.Y.
Bily has also tabbed his brother, Alex Bily, and former Wells College student-athlete Ryan Dwyer '08 as his assistant coaches. Alex, a two-time USILA All-American, is a 2008 graduate of Le Moyne College and earned back-to-back NCAA Division II Men's Lacrosse Championships with the Dolphins and was an All-Conference player within the Northeast-10 Conference. Dwyer, a graduate of Wells College, was a member of the inaugural team in 2008 and was selected as the Lesley Wead Zabriskie Express Award recipient as the men's lacrosse player who "embodies the true ideals of team commitment, leadership, discipline, dedication, and sportsmanship."
"I strongly believe that Wells College men's lacrosse has a strong future in Upstate New York," said Bily when pressed for his thoughts on the upcoming season. "We are a young and hungry coaching staff that wants to place Wells College on the men's lacrosse map."
Bily has tabbed longtime Express players Daniel Munsell (Doylestown, Pa.) and Dan Schilling (Huntington, N.Y.) as his team's two captains. Munsell enters this Wednesday's contest against Cazenovia only one point shy of 100 for his career, having scored 78 goals and 21 assists (78-21=99) across his career. Munsell currently ranks seventh all-time with 43 games played and ranks second behind Kylan Hallett '11 in points and goals.
Schilling is also a four-year member of the Express, ranking 10th all-time in games played with 29. This season, Schilling has been playing full-time on attack and has recorded three points (1-2=3) in four games. Senior defenseman Stephen Rodriguez (Whittier, Calif.) is the third and final four year member of the Express, having appeared in 41 career games, causing 26 turnovers to rank fifth all-time in that category.
In addition to Shuster, Munsell and Schilling, the Express also return veterans Matt Duffy (Huntington, N.Y.) and Alex Manley (Derby, N.Y.). Duffy, who has appeared in three career games for the Express, has scored a goal and an assist this season in his lone game against Mitchell College on Mar. 9. Through four games, Manley ranks second on the team with 22 ground balls and has also fired 12 shots for the Express.
The Express are ripe with youth who are poised to make a strong impact for Wells throughout the season. Freshman Connor Jansen (Horseheads, N.Y.) has recorded four goals and an assist in two games (4-1=5) and has drawn the praise of his head coach in limited time on the field this season.
"We could not be happier with his depth, knowledge and skill in the game," said Bily.
Freshman Michael Flaherty (Rochester, N.Y.) has served as the primary faceoff specialist for the Express, securing 27 victories for Wells at midfield. Flaherty is joined by first year players Brayden Shumski (Everett, Wash.), Uriel Lloyd (Bronx, N.Y.), Fahad Rahmat (Toronto, Ontario) and Tim Lambert (Clay, N.Y.) in the field.
Goaltender Tyler Bischoff (Allendale, N.J.), a sophomore at Wells, has played every minute between the pipes this season and has made 53 saves for the Express in four games to rank him fourth in the conference in that category. A rookie lacrosse backstop, his off the field efforts so far in his young career have impressed the coaching staff.
"Bischoff is a workhorse," said Dwyer. "He is always putting in the extra time to make himself better than anybody else on the field."
Outside of Wednesday's game against the Wildcats, the Express will welcome the Mustangs of Morrisville State College, the Hornets of Lyndon State College, the Wildcats of SUNY Institute of Technology and the Storm of Keuka College to campus at varying points of the season.
Stay up to date with the latest news directly from the Wells College athletic department by "liking" us on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/WellsExpress) and subscribing to our Twitter account (http://www.twitter.com/WellsExpress).