No. 1 Ranked St. Anthony’s Friars Team Preview

Coming in at number one in the LILJ top 24 preseason rankings, it’s the national powerhouse the St. Anthony’s Friars who enter the season once again as the reigning CSHAA champions. A team that never has a shortage of talent, they enter the 2024 season once again as one of the top teams across the country and will play some of the top teams across the country and aim to capture another CSHAA title over rival Chaminade, led by longtime Head Coach Keith Wieczorek. The Friars had a very special 2023 class that they graduated last year, but return a number of seniors that give them another great chance at stacking up with many of the nations best and winning another championship.

The Friars offense will once again look to be an elite offense with their returning players in the junior and senior class. Starting with their attack they return senior Lehigh commit Luke Breslin, and senior Army commit Quinn Langton as their top two attackers. Last season Breslin tallied 15 goals and 10 assists for 25 points, and through six games in the LILJ HSWL was good for nine goals, and six assists for 15 points. Langton was the Friars leading scorer in the winter league as he struck for 15 goals along with three assists for 18 points.

St. Anthony’s midfield graduated a lot from last season, but will look for elevated roles from this year’s juniors and seniors which include Luke Aasheim (Bryant), Kyle Bilello (Brown), Gary Merrill (UNC), and Alex Ruddy (Michigan). In the winter league Aasheim and Merrill led the Friars in points from the midfield, between 10 from Aasheim and 17 from Merrill. Both are in line for a huge spring season and Merrill who is in the 2025 class enters his second season on varsity after making the team last year as a sophomore. As they look to control games at the face-off X it’s senior Michael Moon the Brown commit who will look to get the ball to this prolific offense.

On the defensive side of the field the Friars welcome the return of defensemen Tommy Snyder (UVA), Dante Vardaro (Penn) in the senior class who will be two of their top anchors of their defensive unit. In the 2025 class look for UNC commit Parker McDonald and Army commit Michael Kelton to play a huge role in the success of the defense which allowed fewer than eight goals per game last season. In the net as their starter looks to be Sean Forde the senior committed to Utah who played in a small sample size last season and was dominant in the winter league with a 67% save percentage.

The Friars look to continue to add to their rich history this season by seeing where they stand against fellow nationally ranked teams and earning another CSHAA Championship.


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