PREVIEW: Stahl, 18 newcomers debut at Pitt

WASHINGTON, DC -- The George Washington University men's lacrosse team opens its 2017 season with a two-game roadtrip to Pittsburgh, PA for games against Central Collegiate Lacrosse Association Pittsburgh (0-0) and Indiana (0-0).

Friday night's 10pm contest against the Panthers of Pitt marks fourth-year coach Kurt Stahl's first as head, having taken over for J.D. Englehart, who is now serving as executive director for the program. Also debuting on the coaching staff is first-year defensive assistant Zack Sikora, a 2016 graduate of Rutgers University, where he was an All-Big 10 Conference LSM. Goalie coach Zach Quinn, a standout on the Colonials' inaugural MCLA team, returns to the coaching staff after spending last year on the presidential campaign trail.

Eighteen newcomers on the roster will also debut on Friday, yet not all are freshmen. Goalkeeper Jack Dunford (Braintree, MA/Archbishop Williams) will play his first game for the Colonials, despite being a junior at GW. He is expected to compete with fellow newcomer Peter Burger (Staples, CT/Staples), a freshmen. The goalie unit has great depth, with quality backups in freshman Alec Rubman (Morristown, NJ/Newark Academy) and sophomore transfer Ian Devalliere (Reno, NV/Bishop Manougue).

In front of the keepers are several young defenders who have shown great promise in the fall season and so far in preseason. Freshmen close defenders Billy Miller (Winchester, MA/Winchester) and Alex Cole (San Ramon, CA/De La Salle) are expected to compete for starting roles, while freshmen Haris Rahman (Upper St. Clair, PA/Upper St. Clair), Max Boland (Tolland, CT/Avon Old Farms), and Alex Colin (Miami Beach, FL/Miami Country Day), as well as sophomore transfer Cory Applequist (Bethesda, MD/Bethesda-Chevy Chase) will compete for reps at LSM.

On the other side of the ball, a pair of talented freshmen in Patrick Morrison (Lancaster, PA/Blair Academy) and Haven Williams (New Haven, CT/Suffield Academy) are expected to start, while fellow freshmen Matt Gilson (Easton, MA/Oliver Ames) begins the season on the disabled list following a torn ACL.

At the midfield, freshmen Ellery Groth (Montclair, NJ/Montclair), Glen Faulhaber (Rocky Point, NY/Rocky Point), Richard Nelson (Tenafly, NJ/Tenafly), and Martin Wang (Shanghai, China/Norwich Free) will compete for offensive reps on the second unit. Freshman Dylan DiLibero (Warwick, RI/Bishop Hendricken) will take first-team reps at the faceoff X.

The Colonials meet Pittsburgh for the fourth time, with the lifetime series currently in favor of the Panthers three games to zero. The teams last played to a 13-10 game in Washington, DC in 2015. Pittsburgh went 10-4 in the 2016 season.

On Saturday at 2pm, GW will take on the Indiana Hoosiers for the first time in program history. Indiana went 8-4 in the 2016 season. Both contests will be played indoors at Pitt's Cost Sports Arena.

For updates, please follow the team on Twitter @gwmenslax.