(Photo Courtesy of Navy Athletics)
The 2021 season was a season in which grad transfers and fifth-year players seemed to dominate the landscape. However, as usual, there were freshmen at every position that broke through and shined during their first season of college lacrosse.
Over the next week or so, Lacrosse Bucket will be highlighting some of the freshmen who made shined during the 2021 season. Here is a look at some of the top freshmen at the defensive position. This list will also include LSMs and SSDMs.
Jackson Bonitz, Defense, Navy – A highly-touted prospect coming out of high school, Bonitz certainly lived up to the hype as a freshman for the Midshipmen. Starting all nine contests at close defense, Bonitz recorded 10 caused turnovers, 25 ground balls, and scored a goal.
Cole Kastner, Defense, Virginia – Kastner didn’t get but four starts this past season as he spent most of the year coming off the bench. However, all four of those starts came during the Cavaliers’ NCAA Tournament run where the 6-foot-7 Kastner emerged as the top defender for the eventual champions. Kastner ended the season with seven caused turnovers and 14 ground balls.
Joe Speers, Defense/LSM, Delaware – Serving as the top LSM for the CAA’s top defense, Speers put together a solid freshman season in Newark. Speers ended the season second on the team in caused turnovers with 14 and fourth in ground balls with 39. He also added an assist.
Will Tominovich, Defense, Georgetown – The Georgetown Hoyas housed the No. 1 scoring defense in the nation this season and Tominovich was certainly a part of that success. Starting 10 out of 15 games, which includes the Big East title game and two NCAA Tournament games, Tominovich scooped up 23 ground balls and caused nine turnovers to be a top-10 player in both categories for the Hoyas.
Wallace Halpert, Defense/LSM, Georgetown – Helping to lead the nation’s top-ranked defense, Halpert put together one heck of a freshman season. Halpert ended the season with 27 ground balls and 10 caused turnovers for the Hoyas.
Trevor Marsala, Defense, Siena – Getting the starting nod after the Saints’ season-opener against Canisius, Marsala led the way as Siena’s top pole. Marsala ended the season as the team leader in caused turnovers with 15 while having the same number of ground balls.
James Chastain, Defense, Air Force – A day one starter for the Falcons, Chastain put together a solid freshman campaign as one of Air Force’s top poles this past season. Chastain ended the year with 11 caused turnovers and 19 ground balls.
Joseph Jorgenson, Defense, Merrimack – Starting all 10 games for the Warriors this past season, Jorgenson recorded 11 ground balls and eight caused turnovers.
Connor Cmiel, SSDM, Ohio State – Cmiel emerged as one of the top freshman SSDMs during the 2021 season, recording 14 ground balls and six caused turnovers while also dishing out four assists and scoring a goal for the Buckeyes.
Denton MacDonald, SSDM, Bellarmine – Helping to lead one of the best defenses in the SoCon, MacDonald scooped up 17 ground balls, caused eight turnovers, and scored a goal as the Knights’ top SSDM.