Anna Maria College AMCats
The Anna Maria College AMCats finished the 2012 season 10-8, ending in the semi-finals of the Great Northeast Athletic Conference tournament at the hands of Mt. Ida College. They lost to Mt. Ida 11-3, after the AMCats defeated Becker College in the GNAC quarterfinals. Anna Maria feels confident heading into 2013, according to Head Coach Mark Lange. He tells us the AMCats have a great mix of young and old talent, and that a lot of his returning players were the core of the 2012 team. Coach Lange feels that the AMCats strength in 2013 will be his defense, where he is returning a good group of defensemen. He goes on to say, “we feel that with this mix of players, we should be competing to finish in the top half of our league and earn a home playoff game.” The overall goal of the AMCats is to make a push to grab the league championship and NCAA qualifier this season.
Leading the charge for Anna Maria in 2013 will be Chris Summers on the offensive side, and Jason Baker on the defensive side.
Chris Summers is a senior midfielder. He finished 2012 with 35 goals and six assists. Summers was a 1st Team All-Conference player in 2012. His 35 goals tied a school record for goals in a season, despite a season-shortening injury. Coach Lange says, “he is the hardest working player I have ever had the pleasure of coaching, and he is just as skilled as anyone.”
Jason Baker is a senior long stick midfielder. He finished with 15 goals and nine assists in 2012 to go along with 70 groundballs and 40 caused turnovers. Coach Lange tells us, “having a player like Jason at LSM who can play with anyone in our league, not only on the defensive end of the field, but in transition and the offensive end as well, will give us a strong advantage.”
Coach Lange will also be leaning on his seniors this spring. These seniors have been with the program for the past four years and have built a strong foundation. The 2012 season was the best finish the AMCats have had in school history, seeing Anna Maria finish third in the GNAC, and record their first playoff win. He goes on to say, “it will be lots of fun to see this core finish their careers strong and continue to work hard to try and build on their legacy.”
The Great Northeast Athletic Conference favorite in 2013 seems to be Mt. Ida, according to Coach Lange. He tells us they are returning their top two offensive weapons in Nick Yacuzzi and Gilson Fernandez Jr. Coach Lange also says that Mt. Ida is returning a lot of leadership on the defensive side of the ball.
Dark-horses in the GNAC this season could be Emmanuel and Anna Maria, according to Coach Lange. He feels that his team can build on last year’s experience and a become a true contender come playoff time. He continues to say that Emmanuel was loaded with freshmen talent in 2012, and that Coach McWilliams laid a great foundation then.
Coach Lange told NE Lax Blog a player we should keep an eye on in the GNAC in 2013 is Dylan Gray. Gray is a senior attack for Lasell College who finished 2012 with 71 points. He was also the GNAC offensive player of the year. Coach Lange says, “he (Gray) possesses excellent speed, and uses this speed well when changing direction to free up his hands for a quick release shot or feed.”
Photo courtesy Lynette Colome via Anna Maria College Athletics