Fairfield University head men’s lacrosse coach Andy Copelan announced the signing of 14 student-athletes, from 10 states, to National Letters of Intent to play for the Stags. Benny Borgognone (Manhasset, N.Y.), Liam DaRos (Patterson, N.Y.), Joe DeLasho (Tuckahoe, N.Y.), Will Fox (Mullica Hill, N.J.), Evan Gagne (Westhampton, N.Y.), Jesse Gwozdz (Taunton, Mass.), Tyler Murphy (The Woodlands, Texas), Drew Murray (Langhorne, Pa.), Spencer Noonan (Sammamish, Wash.), Brad Nordstrom (Phoenix, Ariz.), Nick Panara (Pittsford, N.Y.), Riley Peters (Bethesda, Md.) , Joe Rodrigues (Saratoga, Calif.) and JB Smith (Dublin, Ohio) will enroll at Fairfield in September 2014 and become members of the University’s Class of 2018.
“While I think it’s important to have perspective regarding your incoming guys, I can confidently say that this is the most complete class we’ve brought to campus” said Copelan. “Lacrosse accolades aside, they are wonderful young men from great families. It’s an honor to welcome them into the Fairfield community and we’re excited for their arrival.”
Borgognone, younger brother of current Stag sophomore Frank, is a senior at Manhasset High School where he collected 48 ground balls and had 12 points as a junior. Projected as a defenseman for the Stags, he has earned Brine All-America, All-Conference and Regional Academic-Athlete honors during his scholastic career.
DaRos, a midfielder, is a senior at Brewster High School where he has led the team in scoring in all three of his varsity seasons. He tallied 52 goals and had 27 assists as a junior, as he picked up his second All-County, All-Section and All-League honors in as many season.
DeLasho, a three-time varsity letterwinner at Fordham Preparatory School, was named the CHSAA AA Face-Off Man of the Year in 2013 as well as earning First-Team All-League accolades. A 5-foot-10 face-off man, he scored 23 points last season, with 11 goals and 12 assists.
Fox is a senior at Saint Augustine College Preparatory School where he won 72 percent of the face-offs he took last season. He was named a 2013 Under Armour Underclassmen All-America and has earned four varsity letters.
Gagne, a midfielder, is a senior at Westhampton Beach High School where he tallied 50 points as a junior, with 34 goals and 16 assists. He is a two-time Suffolk All-Star, has earned Division 2 Suffolk County honors in each of the past two seasons and was named the 2010 Division 2 Suffolk County Rookie of the Year.
Gwozdz is a senior at The Governor’s Academy where he has earned three varsity letters and was an Underclassmen New England All-Star as a sophomore. Projected to play in the midfield for the Stags, he had nine goals and eight assists in 11 games in 2013.
Murphy will come to Fairfield from The Woodlands High School where he has earned four varsity letters in lacrosse and two in football. The 5-foot-11 attack missed his junior season due to injury, but tallied 22 goals and 18 assists during his sophomore campaign to earn All-District honors.
Murray, a 5-foot-9 attack, is completing his scholastic career at William Penn Charter School, where he tallied 42 goals and handed out 48 assists as a junior. He was named an Under Armour Underclassmen All-America and ranked 14th in Pennsylvania by StudentSportsLacrosse.com.
Noonan is a senior at Skyline High School where he earned Under Armour All-America and High School All-America honors following a junior campaign in which he picked up 96 ground balls. A 6-foot-3 defenseman, he has twice been named First Team All-State and will serve as team captain for a second season this spring.
Nordstrom is a 5-foot-9 goalkeeper at Brophy College Preparatory School where he stopped 112 shots, 67.9 percent, as a junior and boasted a 3.11 GAA against in-state rivals and earned US Lacrosse All-America status. He was named First Team All-State and earned MVP honors of the state tournament after leading his squad to its second consecutive state crown.
Panara, who hails from the same hometown as Copelan, is in his final year at Pittsford Sutherland High School where he is a two-time Under Armour All-America Underclassman, was ranked the 44th best player in the country by InsideLacrosse and earned All-Greater Rochester honorable mention from The Democrat and Chronicle. A 5-foot-10 defenseman, he finished his junior campaign with 44 ground balls and 17 caused turnovers and is 46th on StudentSportsLacrosse.com Top-50 list in 2014.
Peters, 5-foot-9, is in his senior year at Boys Latin School of Maryland and is projected to play in the midfield for the Stags. He is ranked 15th 2014 Maryland/D.C. rankings fromStudentSportsLacrosse.com and was 10th in the 2011 InsideLacrosse Top 20 Young Gun Sophomore Watchlist.
Rodrigues is a 6-foot-2 attack in his final year at Bellarmine College Preparatory where he has led the team in goals and assists the past two seasons. A three-time varsity letterwinner, he was named First Team All-League last season after scoring 52 times and handing out 40 assists.
Smith is a two-time Under Armour Underclassmen All-America selection at Dublin Jerome High School. He led the team in both ground balls (86) and caused turnovers (31) as a junior, earning Second Team All-state and First-Team All-Region accolades as a result.
Fairfield is in its final season as a member of the ECAC Lacrosse League, where it has advanced to postseason play in each of the past three seasons. The Stags will move to the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) for the 2015 campaign. Copelan, now in his sixth season, has led Fairfield to 43 victories as head coach and three Stags have been recognized with All-America recognition in the past two seasons.