March 21, 2013

COLLEGE NOTEBOOK: Mules coming together

By Matt DiFilippo mdifilippo@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

Colby College men's lacrosse coach Justin Domingos says with the late start to preseason, it's going to take a while to fully know his team. The offense, though, is following a familiar script.

John Jennings set a school record last year with 43 goals and Ian Deveau was a second-team All-American last spring. Together, they've combined for 23 of Colby's 35 goals over the first three games this season.

Deveau already has 12 goals and four assists, including all four of Colby's man-up goals.

"He's one of the best midfielders in the country," Domingos said. "I'm not sure if there's a midfielder right now -- and I haven't seen them all -- in the country that shoots as well as he does. He's just a very talented kid and somebody you've got to account for. A lot of guys are unselfish and that speaks to him getting those looks."

A key on defense is Peter Willauer, who leads the Mules with 16 ground balls. Domingos says he's also a factor in Colby winning 60 percent of its faceoffs so far.

"Peter Willauer is a fast, athletic defenseman who we play on the wings on faceoffs," Domingos said. "Our success facing off is due in large part to his wing play. You win the draws and he picks the ball up and we're either pushing transition or we're securing the ball -- which in terms of possessions, is huge."

In their three games this year, the Mules have also followed their pattern as a team. They're 2-0 at home and 0-1 on the road. Over the past five seasons, Colby is 27-4 at home, with all four losses by one goal. The Mules are 11-21 away from home.

Why?

"It's a great question," Domingos said. "I think if I knew the answer to that, I'd be making a lot more money.

"There's a million different variables. After last weekend at Hamilton, we racked our brains: What could we have done differently? Did we do something wrong? Because we didn't play well and they played a great game."

It could also be almost entirely random -- if Colby was undefeated on weekends, people would probably say it was because they were freed from the burden of class schedules -- but in any case, the Mules probably aren't complaining that three of their next four games are in Waterville.

* * *

Colby's softball season starts at 9 a.m., Sunday with the first of 10 games in Clermont, Fla. If you want to be optimistic, the Mules are scheduled to play their first home game April 3 with a doubleheader against Maine Maritime Academy.

The Mules were 12-20 last season, including a 2-10 mark in the New England Small College Athletic Conference. But coach Kristina Katori thinks the pieces are there for improvement.

"I'm excited," Katori said. "I think we have more talent than we've had in previous years. I think it's a matter of putting all that together. We're very young, but I think that's a great thing. We'll probably start at least five or six underclassmen."

Katori expects to start three freshmen. Hall-Dale graduate Carylanne Wolfington can play catcher, infield or outfield, while Emily Schatz will be the regular shortstop and Tori Sansone will play first base.

Megan Michie (5-7, 3.02 ERA), Erin Caputo (2-4, 3.25), Aimee Polimeno (3-4, 3.33), Lauren Becker (1-3, 4.94) and Kelsey Yarmudian (1-2, 7.88) are all returning pitchers, although Yarmudian is currently out with a broken finger. Michie led Colby in starts, innings and strikeouts last year and probably has the most "stuff" among the pitchers.

(Continued on page 2)

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