PLAYER RECOGNITON IS A 'CAPITAL' IDEA

Keith Marder Staff writer
Section: SPORTS,  Page: C5

Date: Saturday, April 1, 1989

The four coaches of the Capital District college lacrosse teams have expanded on a good idea for this season.


The Capital Cup has been awarded to the team which has won the Union- Albany State-RPI-Siena series since 1986. But now, along with the top team, the best individual players will also receive recognition. The coaches of the four schools will get together weekly and come up with a Player of the Week, then pick an All- Star team at the end of the season.


First-year RPI coach Jake Reed came up with the idea for the All-Star team. The Engineers, who compete in the ICAC, are the team in a league. Unless one of the players from the other teams makes All-American, they will get little or no recognition.


"It's a definite incentive," Siena senior captain Greg Kavovit said. "It gives you something to shoot for."


The coaches also think the attention the program will get should help recruiting.


"High school lacrosse is growing in the area," Siena coach Tom Pillsworth said. "Now the college programs can start building on that."


Union, which won the first three renewals of the Capital Cup, will have a tough time repeating. They will be favored, but not by much.


Last year, Union dropped an 8-6 decision to Albany, and that was its first loss ever in the four-team competition. However, the Dutchmen captured the Cup in a tie-breaker.


"I think all four of these teams can have winning records," Albany State coach Steve O'Shea said.


Union coach Chuck Priore agreed, saying: "I think we've got four good teams in this area. Anybody can win. The ball bounces funny ways. You never know what's going to happen."


Along with the four teams competing for the Capital Cup, two other Capital District Colleges - Hudson Valley Community College and Skidmore - also have lacrosse teams.


Here is a closer look at the teams:


ALBANY STATE Coach: Steve O'Shea


Key players - Attack, Rich Spadaro, Bill Piazza and Evan Haymes; midfield, Dan Baker, Ralph Naglieri, Kevin Koelsch and Chuck Peterson; defense, Fred Ackerman, John McDonnell and captain Mike Gordan; goalie, Anthony Danzi.


Outlook - The Danes will play a wide- open transition game. Danzi, a four-year starter in goal, is the key to the defense. The Danes will look to start their running game off his saves. Last year, Albany was 2-9, but that was O'Shea's first year. O'Shea thinks his team's strength is its depth. RPI Coach: Jake Reed


Key players - Attack, Tom Yorio, Scott Crowley and Dave DeLucia; midfield, Anthony Sovjani, Nick Pekkegrino Tom Anderson and Aaron Dentinger; defense, Bill Anderson, Bob Hughes; goalie, Brian Sullivan.


Outlook - RPI will be extremely defense-minded. Reed was the defensive coordinator and goaltender coach at Army and a two-time All-American goalie at Maryland. Last year the Engineers were 3- 9. Andu Sovjani, who had 16 goals and 10 assists last year, returns as one of the top players in the Capital District. SIENA Coach: Tom Pillsworth


Key players - Attack, Greg Kavovit, Christin King, Jeff Lapiana, Jim Egan; midfield, John Connolly, Bart Governanti, Chris O'Grady; defense, Dan Gaffney, Brian Loeber, goalie, Greg Stewart, Tom Burbank.


Outlook - Siena, coming off a 6-9 season, is 1-1, having beaten Rochester and lost to Trinity. The Saints are a senior- oriented team with almost half of their players in their final year. Siena plays a good schedule with games against Holy Cross, Providence and St. John's. UNION Coach: Chuck Priore


Key players - Attack, John Keller, Dave DeBerardinis and Jason Albert; midfield, Mike Uccellini, Blake Henderson and Matt Arnold; defense, Chris Johnson, Steve Garnett and Joe Goethe.


Outlook - Priore feels his team has a good mixture of youth and experience. The Dutchmen are 1-1, defeating Rochester and losing to RIT. They were 6-8 last year, but were only blown out by RIT (16-5) and St. Lawrence (11-1). Union, which has won the first three Capital Cups, will try to retain the trophy. SKIDMORE Coach: Mike Garcia


Key players - Attack, Ken Stern, Shaker Khayatt; midfielder, Matt Bernstein, Tom Duncan; goalie, Josh Doxsee; defense, Ray Yu; Nick Lawrence.


Outlook - Skidmore, in its ninth season of lacrosse, returns 14 lettermen. Ken Stern, a junior, scored 31 goals and had 10 assists for the 5-8 Thoroughbreds last year. Skidmore, is 0-1 having lost to Hartwick, 17-3. Defense is the team's question mark, with its strength in its attack. HUDSON VALLEY CC


Coach: Steve Maloney


Key players: Attack, Dave Wilcox, Mark Herzhauser, Billy Lowe; midfield, Matt Charton, Jim Mantica, Jeff Crowther; defense, Scott Gridley, Dave Polisky, Michael Vergalito; goalie Matt Stuto.


Outlook: The Vikings are 0-1 after losing 16-6 to the Army JV team. First-year coach Steve Maloney, who previously coached at Morrisville. is hoping to have a .500 season and make the regionals. Hudson Valley only has 24 players because former coach Tom Harrington was fired at the end of the first semester and about half the team transferred. Midfielder Matt Charton will be a key to the undermanned Vikings. According to Maloney, Charton never gets fatigued and doesn't want to come out of games. Defense and the quick goaltending of Stuto.