The reigning Ivy League tournament champion Cornell men’s lacrosse team unveiled its 13-member class of 2022 last week. The incoming class is set to add to a roster which reached the NCAA quarterfinals and competed at the highest level in what was an expectation-surpassing 2018 season.
The cohort represents the first freshman class under now-head coach Peter Milliman, whose performance this past season led the University to remove the interim tag from his title in May.
“There are several players who have the ability to impact us right away, but for the first time in a few years, we have very few openings in the lineup right now,” Milliman said in a press release. “There is a battle at every position all of these newcomers are going to have to fight very hard if they want a chance to get on the field this year. This is a defensively heavy class but overall it’s a strong group that we are very excited about.”
It is a defense-heavy class, indeed, as the Red is set to have six new defenders join next season among five offensive players, one goaltender and one faceoff specialist.
Notable departures from this past season include three key impact players: defenseman Jake Pulver ’18, midfielder Jordan Dowiak ’18 and goaltender Christian Knight ’18 — all three All-Americans. In total, the Red loses 11 student-athletes to graduation — eight midfielders, one attacker, defenseman and a goalie.
6’1”, 200 lbs —Victor, N.Y. — Victor HS
Up first is the most decorated and perhaps most exciting player in the freshman class. Ierlan is a five-time varsity letter earner in lacrosse and a six-time varsity letter earner in hockey who set a myriad of program records at Victor in both sports, including career saves in lacrosse. Ierlan also comes from a strong lacrosse pedigree: he is the brother of Yale FOGO T.D. Ierlan, widely regarded as now the country’s best faceoff specialist after transferring there from Albany last month. Whether Ierlan will be able to crack the top of the depth chart before the season opener remains to be seen entirely, but it’s a safe bet that his talents could land him on the field very early in his collegiate career.
“Just going by accolades, Chayse is one of the most decorated high school player I’ve ever recruited,” Milliman said. “We think he might be the best goalie coming out of high school this year and we couldn’t be more excited to have him at Cornell.
“He has the athleticism, skills, patience, and leadership that you want to see in a college goalie but I believe that his work ethic may be his most impactful characteristic. Freshman goalies always have fundamental work to do but Chayse will likely compete for playing time as soon as he gets acclimated to our system and the speed at this level.”
6’3”, 210 lbs — Haddonfield, N.J. — Haddonfield Memorial HS
The faceoff unit struggled at times this past season for Cornell, which utilized sophomore Paul Rasimowicz heavily in the middle of the season. That is, until a shoulder injury sidelined him down the stretch, which became a key weakness for the Red in the playoffs. Rothstein may represent some much-needed relief to the platoon as a two-time U.S. Lacrosse All-American at the position.
“Mitch is one of the top face-off guys coming out of high school and we are very excited to bring him to Ithaca,” Milliman said. “He’s big and physical with great skills at the X and we expect that he is going to compete for face-off time very soon.”
5’ 7”, 170 lbs — Malvern, Pa. — The Hill Academy
Coyle is a three-star Inside Lacrosse recruit who spent one year post-grad at The Hill Academy in Ontario — the alma mater of rising senior Clarke Petterson and rising junior Jeff Teat. Prior to his season in Canada, Coyle was a four-year varsity letter earner at Malvern Prep high school where he recorded 273 career points and was named first team All-Eastern PA and an All-USA Today selection in 2017.
“After a very good high school career at Malvern, Billy benefited greatly from a post-graduate year at The Hill Academy to work on some other elements of his game,” Milliman said of Coyle. “With top level coaching at both schools he has been able to blend those two styles of play into something similar to the system we play at Cornell and I believe that Billy has the ability to be an impact player for us at some point.”
5’9”, 155 lbs — Oakville, Ont. — The Hill Academy
Follows is the lone Canadian in his class, but, in addition to Coyle, Teat and Petterson, he will be one of four alumni of The Hill Academy to play for Cornell next season. Follows spent his final three seasons there, winning the team’s MVP award as only a sophomore. No stranger to hardware, Follows was twice a winner of the Men’s U18 Team Ontario National Championship, earning tournament MVP honors in 2016 and the offensive MVP in 2017.
“Henry really exemplifies the kind of student-athlete that we want on our roster,” Milliman said. “We expect Henry to push our guys in practice and compete for some time on the extra man unit in a couple of years.”
5’ 7”, 180 lbs — Rochester, N.Y. — Salisbury School
One of five New York natives in this year’s new class, Lombardi played his four years at the Salisbury School in Connecticut, where in his senior year he was named an Under Armor All-American and a US Lacrosse High School All-American. Lombardi was originally committed to Michigan but went back on his non-binding commitment after the Wolverines made a coaching change last year.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) May 29, 2018
“[Lombardi] is a very dynamic player that has the ability to create offense very quickly,” Milliman said of the Rochester native. “An attackman by trade, [Lombardi] has the strength, speed and athleticism to make an impact in the midfield very early on in his career.”
5’11”, 185 lbs — Rye, N.Y — Rye HS
Chabot is a product of Westchester powerhouse Rye High School, where he recorded 175 career points — good for second-best by a midfielder in program history. Chabot, at times, found some success in the faceoff X, and, while he had verbally committed to attend Colgate before switching to Cornell, could bring a valuable skill set to a Red squad which struggled on the draw at times this past season. It’s rare in contemporary lacrosse for a player with faceoff skills to boast significant offensive talent as well.
“Billy is another very good all-around athlete who was able to play multiple positions in high school,” Milliman said. “We expect Billy to add some depth to the midfield both offensively and defensively as well as provide some competition with the faceoff unit.”
5’9”, 170 lbs — Honeoye Falls, N.Y. — Honeoye Falls Lima HS
Ruff is a two-way player out of western New York who was a US Lacrosse All-American in his senior year at Honeoye Falls Lima. The 2018 Monroe County Player of the Year brings some added diversity of skill to an already high-functioning Cornell midfield unit. His offensive prowess is coupled with speed and agility that has potential to add significant value to a Cornell team looking to repeat as Ivy League Tournament Champions in 2019.
“[Ruff] scored a lot of points in high school, but he’s fast and athletic enough to play both ends of the field,” Milliman said. “His diversity gives us options and we’re looking forward to seeing how he develops and what role he will fill for us.”
5’8” 180 lbs — Hewlett, N.Y. — Hewlett HS
Adler is a native of Long Island, a haven for the highest quality lacrosse programs in the entire country. And even in that environment, Adler led all longpoles in the region in ground balls and caused turnovers in his senior year. Having also spent time as a long-stick midfielder, Adler boasts a resume of accomplishments including four all-conference selections in his time at Hewlett.
“Gavin has been one of the top long sticks midfielders on Long Island as a high schooler and has shown the ability to impact games with his speed, intensity and ability to pick up loose balls,” Milliman said. “He’s a physical defenseman that plays with an edge and we are looking forward to watching him develop in college.”
6’0”, 170 lbs — Hagerstown, Md. — Culver Military Academy (Ind.)
Batson played on a national No. 1-ranked Culver squad in 2018 in a season in which he served as the team’s captain. After transferring from St. James School (Mass.), he went on to relative success with Culver, twice earning selections as all-midwest there.
“He is a very fundamental defenseman with excellent speed and he really fits our style of play,” Milliman said. “Teddy may be entering college a bit under-the-radar but I think he has a great chance to compete for us sooner rather than later.”
6’2”, 195 lbs — Canton, Mass. — Belmont Hill School
Fields is the biggest of the bunch in this class of defenders. A three-year player at Belmont Hill and a captain his senior year, Fields was twice a league champion and additionally earned all-league selections in each of his three high school seasons. His physical size adds nicely to a Cornell defense which is replenished with six fresh faces for 2019.
“Max has been a very consistent performer in the ISL League and has been one of the top high school defenders in the Massachusetts area for a couple of years now,” Milliman said. “He has the size, strength and speed to be a top level college defender and we are really excited that he is at Cornell.”
6’2”, 190 lbs — Princeton, N.J. — Princeton HS
A triplet with fellow freshman Patrick Jacobs and their sister, Margaret, Ian comes to Cornell as a four-time letterer out of Princeton, where he was team captain his senior year, along with Patrick. Ian was the 2017 Princeton High School Defensive MVP (his brother won the award in 2018) on top of first-team All-Mercer County and second-team All-NJ in 2017. Ian also lettered twice in soccer.
“Ian is a tall, rangy defenseman that rarely come with his combination of footwork,” Milliman said. “He has the frame and the potential to compete for us down the road.”
6’1”, 185 lbs — Princeton, N.J. — Princeton HS
Patrick Jacobs, as opposed to his brother Ian, was the Princeton High School Defensive MVP in 2018 and served as captain alongside his brother this past season. He is a three-time All-Colonial Valley Conference selection. He one-ups his brother on the soccer pitch, where he was lettered three times on top of two all-conference selections.
“Patrick is a physical defenseman who plays as hard as anyone,” Milliman said. “He’s a good cover guy and like his brother, Ian, he should be in the mix for playing time once he gets more experience.”
6’1”, 230 lbs — Annapolis, Md. — Archbishop Spalding HS
Also a one-time letterer in football, Stramanak split his high school years between Annapolis High School and Archbishop Spalding. He was named to the 2016 Under Armour Underclass Baltimore team as well as playing for the Annapolis Hawk Lacrosse Club, where he was captain from 2015-18. Stramanak’s addition makes it four on the Red’s roster to hail from Maryland.
“JQ is a very good high school defenseman coming out of Maryland, but he missed his senior lacrosse season while recovering from an injury,” Milliman said. “He is a big physical defender who has excelled with individual matchups. Once he gets back to 100% healthy and gets development and understanding of our team system, we think JQ has great potential.”