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Baldwin lacrosse forte: Experience

| Wednesday, March 27, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

The Baldwin boys' lacrosse team has high expectations for the 2013 season.

“Our previous varsity experience is certainly a strength this season,” Shawn Leydig, the Highlanders' head coach, said. “The team has great chemistry, and it shows on and off the field.

“Our goal is nothing short of winning the division and raising a banner in the (Baldwin) gymnasium.”

The Highlanders started off on the right foot, handing North Hills a 12-6 defeat in their season opener.

Senior attacker Jake Naylor and junior midfielder Tony Thornton registered four goals apiece for the local squad, and were complemented by junior attacker Wes Richards, with one goal and three assists.

One of the reasons for the team's high hopes in 2013 is the host of senior players on this year's varsity roster.

“We are fortunate to have 14 seniors on the roster,” Leydig said. “We are returning all but two starters from last season. (Junior) Kevin Moore will be handling the goalkeeper duties, and really proved himself during preseason workouts.”

Along with Naylor, Baldwin's senior team members are attackers Louie Reda and Rico Roberto; midfielders Kaleb Reckley, Matt Pepper, Nicolas Tulenko and Vic Murphy; defensive specialists Brian Betz, Nick Mitchell, Dylan Hipchen, Anthony Barbano and Geno Szegedy; plus goalkeepers Josh Elliott and Amer Kuhwash.

“This is the third varsity season midfielders Tony Thornton and Kaleb Reckley have been playing on a line together,” Leydig said.

“Our starting defense is comprised of Nick Mitchell and (junior) Enzo Ruscitto, who bring the physicality, and Brian Betz, who is a shutdown defender. Ground ball hawks Anthony Barbano and (sophomore) Joe Tulenko play a major role as long-stick midfielders.”

Thornton, Reckley, Mitchell, Barbano, Moore and Roberto are serving as the Highlanders' co-captains.

Ray Fisher is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5820 or rfisher@tribweb.com.

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