Men’s lacrosse leaves a lasting impression

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By Danielle Coppola

As the men’s lacrosse team ends its record-winning season, the team will have to say good-bye to 13 seniors.

As is well known on campus, the men’s lacrosse team was greatly impacted by the shocking news that their fellow teammate and captain Nate Greenberg was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma in the fall, but from the beginning of the season it was clear that this would bring the 2014 men’s lacrosse team closer than ever.

Nate Greenberg indicates that this was “a magical season and four years” to be a part of. Greenberg continues, “These seniors are the greatest guys I know and I am so proud to call them my best friends. They all helped me so much this year in my battle against cancer, and I am forever grateful.”

The 13 graduating seniors had the privilege of being a part of an award-winning team consisting of Liberty League Champions (2011), an undefeated home season (their senior year) and 49 wins during their illustrious career.

The seniors have learned so much from their hall of fame coach Paul Wehrum, who has also learned a lot from coaching these men. Wehrum talks about the men on his team as if they were his own, “I have learned a lot from this group, especially from the Nate Greenberg situation. It really brought me back to step one and brought our team closer. We won games we ‘shouldn’t’ have won and came together as a team. We had the most wins in the program’s history this year, on top of the 49 wins this senior class had through their four years at Union.”

Returning junior and USILA Division III Outstanding Goalie of the Year Stefan Basile commented on the seniors departure, “The 13 seniors that graduate this year will be missed a great deal. They leave Union as the winningest class in Union history, but more importantly they have set precedents in dedication and commitment that have reshaped Union Lacrosse. The imprint of this senior class on this program will be felt for years to come.”

Picture 26 #2 Jon Andrews 

Nickname: JA

Position: Midfield

Favorite Memory: Winning the Liberty League Championship freshman year.

Words about Wehrum: He has made a huge impact on my life. He made me a better player on the field, and a better person off the field. I am proud have been able to call him my coach and will continue to look for his advice in the future.

 

 

 

 

 

Picture 27

#3 Nate Greenberg

Nickname: Bergycat

Position: Midfield

Favorite Memory: Winning the Liberty League Championship freshman year.

Words about Wehrum: I am extremely proud and thankful to say that I had the privilege of playing for such an amazing coach. He has taught me so many things and through all my struggles this year, I truly felt his motto of family coming first.

 

 

 

 

 

Picture 28#6 Devyn Jeffereis

Nickname: Chugs

Position: Goalie

Favorite Memory: Winning the Liberty League Championship my freshman year.

Words about Wehrum:

I couldn’t tell you the specific aspect of his personality which makes him such a great coach. Rather, it was his integrity and character which banded us together into a family and helped us grow into young men.

Picture 29#12 Greg Mooney

Nickname: Moondog

Position: Midfield

Favorite Memory: RPI in OT, NCAA second round. The whole senior season.

Words about Wehrum: He is a player’s coach and one I was lucky enough to play for.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Picture 30#14 Dylan Tripodi

Nickname(s): Trip / Podi

Position: Attack

Favorite Memory: Rejoining the seniors as a member of the 2014 team.

Words about Wehrum: A legendary, hall of fame coach — but more than that, he is an incredible human being with more passion, enthusiasm, character and heart than anyone I’ve ever met.

 

 

 

 

 

Picture 31#21 Jake Quinn

Nickname: Bones / Iceman

Position: Midfield

Favorite memory: Beating the three NESCAC teams we faced this year.

Words about Wehrum: I could not imagine playing for any other head coach. I have never played for a coach who cares so much about our success on the field as well our futures after lacrosse.

 

 

 

 

 

Picture 32#25 Steve Melia

Nickname: Stillwell Angel

Position: Defense

Favorite Memory: Swimming in shark-infested waters with the team in San Diego on our spring break trip sophomore year.

Words about Wehrum: He’s on old-school coach that treats his players like men. I was lucky to play for a hall of fame coach.

 

 

 

 

Picture 33#28 Brady Collins

Nickname: Cherker

Position: Defense

Favorite Memory: Being a part of this team has been one of the best experiences of my entire life. I wouldn’t trade any  experience I’ve had with my team.

Words about Wehrum: He is one of the most knowledgeable lacrosse minds I’ve ever met, but an even better man and leader.

 

 

 

Picture 34#32 Shawn Joyce

Nickname: J-Swag

Position: Defenseman

Favorite Memory:  Visiting the wounded veterans at the Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington D.C. freshman year during spring break.

Words on Wehrum: He cares about every guy and is invested in how each is doing both on and off the field.

 

 

 

Picture 35#36 Pat DeBenedetto

Nickname:  Patrikis (The Great Philosopher)

Position:  Midfield

Favorite Memory:  Being a member of one of the best defenses in Division 3.

Words about Wehrum: Far and away the best and most passionate coach I have ever had.  He cares so much for all of his players.

 

Picture 36#37 Kyle McQuiggian

Nickname: Quiggs / Gator / Gandalph

Favorite Memory: Beating Amherst to make it back to the Elite Eight.

Words about Wehrum: Wehrum is the best logistics coach I have ever met, and his passion for the game and us players is evident everyday.

 

 

 

 

 

Picture 37#40 Tanner Jones

Nickname: Bubba

Position: Defense

Favorite memory: Scoring my first and only goal against Amherest.

Words about Wehrum: Best coach I have ever played for in my entire life. He has a unique way of bringing teams together and getting the most out of all of his players.

 

 

 

 

Picture 38#44 Rob Santangelo

Nickname: Teet

Position: Attack

Favorite Memory: Winning a Liberty League Championship my freshmen year. I couldn’t have asked for a better senior year.

Words about Wehrum: He’s one of the greatest coaches I’ve ever played for in my life, and he has made my college lacrosse experience everything I could’ve imagined.

 

Picture 39CoachWehrum

Nickname: “Old Man”

Position [in College]: Attack / Midfield

Favorite Memory: The team came together in adverse conditions and won games we shouldn’t have.

Words to the seniors: From the bottom of my heart, thank you. Job well done, men.

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#3 Nate Greenberg

Nickname: Bergycat

Position: Midfield

Favorite Memory: Winning the Liberty League Championship freshman year.

Words about Wehrum: I am extremely proud and thankful to say that I had the privilege of playing for such an amazing coach. He has taught me so many things and through all my struggles this year, I truly felt his motto of family coming first.

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