YCP men’s lacrosse brings same goal as always into new season: a national title

By Andrew Apel

SERVE. Work. Humble. These are the words instilled on the Spartans men’s lacrosse team from the moment that they step on campus as freshmen. When asked about the team’s culture, head coach Brandon Childs had this to say, “The culture serves to align us all in terms of our goals and our mission. If we are all in line with our daily actions we are better suited to meet our goals … the culture is in the hands of the players so when you recruit you can’t just recruit the most talented players but kids who will enhance the culture.”

Childs is going into his 12th year as head coach and has led the team to a 161-46 overall record and seven NCAA tournament appearances, and nabbed five conference coach of the year awards. He is assisted by defensive coordinator and York College alum Matt Whitcher, offensive coordinator Ryan Drenner, and volunteer coaches Shane Brookhart and Ryan Kennedy. 

The Spartans are coming off of an historic 2022 season, going 20-3 and advancing to the NCAA Final Four game where they faced off against Union College. This was the farthest the team was able to go in their seven appearances. they were also able to earn their second Middle Atlantic Conference Championship in a row with a 15-14 win over Stevenson University.

Coach Brandon Childs is a big believer is maintaining the right ‘culture’ when it comes to the men’s lacrosse program. (Photo by Karen Fought)

“Our goal is always to win the national championship,” Childs said, addressing a question about the team’s overall goal this season. “We don’t talk about it much because we are more concerned about being our best today, and getting better and better each day so that our goal will eventually take care of itself.”

He also said he looks forward to “developing the youth in the program and the ups and downs that come with that and the challenge of staying the course when we are in the downs.” 

The team is returning multiple players on both offense and defense. That group includes 6 of the top 10 point scorers, four 2022 All Americans and one player on the Division 3 player of the year watch list for 2023.

With that being said, the Spartans will be a young team in 2023, including sophomore Nick Biava on defense who “will be asked to carry a much larger role than he did last year,” Childs said, as well as Ryan Kazella and Davis Fisher, both freshmen who played meaningful minutes this fall and spring scrimmages.

Ethan Greene was a 2022 USA Lacrosse Magazine Second Team Preseason All-American. (Photo by Karen Fought)

Childs said he believes that “there’s a lot of talented young players on our team that are going to have opportunities.” He also feels that this year’s team is focused on the goal of winning the national championship and believes it to be a strong point in the program. “When it comes to film and film sessions, there’s a focus level for our group that other teams don’t have. If that focus is used correctly it will mean a lot of growth throughout the course of the year,” he said.

The Spartans will not have an easy road to attain their goal as they have one of the hardest schedules in Division 3. They will play nine ranked opponents this season including reigning national champion Rochester Institute of Technology as well as Salisbury which has won nine NCAA titles in the last 20 years.

Although the road to the championship will not be easy, the Spartans are ready to step up to the task and prove themselves as the best team in the country.

Vinny Facciponti was a 2022 USA Lacrosse Magazine Third Team Preseason All-American. (Photo by Karen Fought)

Important games for the men’s lacrosse team include:

  • Away vs. Washington and Lee- 2/18 (season opener)
  • Away vs. Rochester Institute of Technology- 3/4
  • Away vs. Salisbury- 3/11 
  • Home vs. Gettysburg- 4/5  
  • Away vs. Stevenson- 4/26

Andrew “AJ” Apel is a sophomore majoring in Sport Media and a member of the lacrosse team.

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3 thoughts on “YCP men’s lacrosse brings same goal as always into new season: a national title

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