Wildcats add nine freshmen to their roster.
Sept. 9, 2008
Villanova, Pa. - Michael Corrado has announced the addition of nine freshmen to the 2009 roster. Matt Bell, CJ Burke, Kevin Cunningham, Dan Gutierrez, Ryan McDonagh, Joe Payne, CJ Small, Michael Vigilante, and Nolan Vihlen will join the Wildcat program.
"We feel this is a very athletically gifted class that also possess outstanding lacrosse skills. This class includes players from many of the top lacrosse programs in the country that are used to winning. Several players are from non-traditional lacrosse areas, including our first recruit ever from the state of Tennessee. This just shows the tremendous growth of the sport of lacrosse. I can't wait to start working with this group"
Matt Bell (Severna Park, MD) is a 5"10" attackman from St. Mary's HS in Annapolis, MD. Matt led St. Mary's in scoring, his 52 goals and 18 assists helped St. Mary's advance to the quarterfinals of the MIAA play-offs. Bell was named 1st team All County, Honorable Mention All Metro and led the MIAA in goals scored.
"Matt is a very quick, skilled attackman that has a great knack for scoring the ball. He has gained invaluable experience playing in the ultra competitive MIAA. We are hoping that Matt will be able to compete for playing time right away"
CJ Burke (Pittsburgh, PA) is a 5'9" two time all Western Pennsylvania midfielder from Pittsburgh Central Catholic HS. During his senior year Burke led his team in scoring with 37 goals and 25 assists. His senior year culminated with his selection as a high school All American and the Western Pennsylvania Player of the Year.
"CJ is an outstanding athlete that possesses the skills to be a great scorer or feeder at the next level. He had a great high school career and we are confident he is going to be able make the jump to college play very quickly"
Kevin Cunningham (Garden City, NY) is a 5'9" midfielder from Kellenberg HS. Cunningham scored 43 goals and had 25 assists his senior year and named to the NSCHSAA first team. Cunningham earned four varsity letters in lacrosse and three in basketball.
"The fastest of the freshmen, Kevin has great vision. He runs and sees the field well, plays extremely hard, and is a great groundball guy. "
Dan Gutierrez (Chevy Chase, MD) is a 6'1" goalie from Georgetown Prep. Dan was a three year member of the Georgetown Prep team that went 62 and 4 and was ranked as the number one team in the U.S. his sophomore year. He was 23-1 as the starter his junior year.
"Coming from one of the best programs in the country, Dan has faced the best high school competition out there. He stops the ball extremely well and will be working hard on his clearing throughout this year."
Ryan McDonagh (Huntington, NY) a 6'2" defenseman helped to lead St. Anthony's to the New York CHSAA Final his junior and senior years. St. Anthony's finished the season 14-4. Ryan was a team captain and member of the National Honor Society. He also received the St. Anthony's High School Marine Corps Award and the Adam L'Eplantenier Memorial Award in recognition of lacrosse achievements, and leadership ability.
"Ryan has good size and plays a rugged style defense. He works hard on the field and in the weight room. Ryan is an excellent communicator and will be great leader as he his role increases."
Joe Payne (Birminham, MI) is a 6' 190lb midfielder from Brother Rice HS. During Payne's senior season he scored 5 goals and dished out 25 assists for the number one ranked team in the country. He helped Brother Rice win it's 6th straight Michigan HS lacrosse championship as well as winning the Midwest MSLCA championship.
"Joe is a versatile two way middie who had the ability to help our program in many different areas of the field. We'll be asking him to contribute at a number of different areas on the field."
CJ Small (San Diego, CA) is a 5'10" attackman and midfielder. During his senior year Small helped lead La Costa Canyon HS to the CIF championship. CJ's 41 goal s and 42 assists led his team in scoring, he also was the teams top face-off man winning 77% of his draws. Small holds the La Costa Canyon all time record for assists in a career(132) and points in a career (257). CJ was selected a high school All American and the CIF Player of the Year.
"CJ is an extremely versatile player that will be able to contribute at the attack or midfield position. He is an outstanding shooter, feeder and he is also an excellent face-off man that will provide valuable depth at the face-off X."
Michael Vigilante (Massapequa, NY) is a 6'3" 190 pound attackman. Vigilante was a team captain and was selected an All County player in his senior year. He led Massapequa in scoring his senior with 39 goals and 11 assists. Michael was a member of the National Honor Society, Massapequa's HS class president. He was also was named a New York state Scholar athlete, a member of the Nassau County All Academic team, and received the Chief Pride Award.
"Michael is a big, athletic attackman that uses his size to get to the goal and create his own shot. When he's healthy and ready to play, his size and shooting ability will also help him get on the field as either an attackman or a midfielder."
Nolan Vihlen (TN) is a 5'10" face-off midfielder. During his senior season Vihlen won 244 of 290 face-offs for a 84% winning percentage, he also scored 18 goals. He was named 1st team All State in Tennessee and CBHS midfielder of the year both his junior and senior years.
"Nolan has been a dominant face-off man at the high school level. He is constantly challenging himself to improve, he has attend several face-off combines during the last year to go up against the best competition."