By Will Donley, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Please consider the following heights and weights. 6 feet 3 inches, 205 pounds. 6 feet 1 inch, 215 pounds. 6 feet 2 inches, 195 pounds.
These are not the heights and weights of the starting linebackers of the Penn
State football team. These are not even
the heights and weights of some of the Penn State football team's running backs
These are the heights and weights of three contributing defensemen on the Penn State men's lacrosse team.
As the popularity of lacrosse continues to skyrocket, more and more athletes are trading in baseball gloves and football shoulder pads for lacrosse sticks and lacrosse helmets. This means that bigger, stronger and faster athletes are flooding college lacrosse rosters.
Nowhere on the lacrosse field is this increasing trend of size, strength and speed more apparent than on the defensive end. These defensemen, who already carry a six-foot lacrosse stick, are now adding size, strength and speed to their repertoires.
Attackmen and midfielders beware.
The Penn State men's lacrosse team is no different. The Nittany Lions have three contributing defensemen who all rely on their size, strength and speed to stifle opposing offenses.
Junior Ryan McGarvey (Lower Gwynedd, Pa.) measures 6 feet 1 inch tall and weighs in at 215 pounds. Senior Matt Bernier (Drexel Hill, Pa.) is 6 feet 2 inches tall and weights in at 195 pounds. Perhaps the most athletically gifted of them all, senior Billy Davis (Paoli, Pa.) is 6 foot 3 inches tall and weighs in at 205 pounds.
This weekend, the Penn State defense will employ its size, strength and speed against a potent Binghamton attack. The Bearcats boast a young but talented attack unit and a veteran offensive midfield.
Binghamton also boasts a sizeable defense. Junior Ryan Button (Auburn, N.Y.) is 6 feet 2 inches tall and weighs in at 210 pounds. Senior Derrick Danieu (Orchard Park, N.Y.) measures 6 feet 2 inches tall and weighs in at 215 pounds. The smallest of the three, senior Adam Pardi (Niskayuna, N.Y.) is 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighs in at 190 pounds.
Like anything else, size, strength and speed do not come without their disadvantages. Often times, the biggest, strongest and fastest players are penalized the most.
Davis leads all returning Penn State players in penalties. He was penalized nine times last season while appearing in 13 games. Bernier started and played in 12 games and was penalized five times last spring. McGarvey was penalized the least. He was sent to the penalty box only two times in 13 games last season.
The Binghamton defense was slightly more disciplined last spring. Danieu led all Bearcats with 5 penalties in 13 games. Button played in 14 games last season and Pardi appeared in 12 games, but both defensemen were only penalized 3 times.
Expect both teams to utilize their defenses' physical prowess in a disciplined manner this weekend. In this early season game, neither team can afford to give up extra-man opportunities.
The Nittany Lions and the Bearcats clash at 1:30 p.m. this Saturday on Bigler Field. Look for a physical battle in front of each goal as both defenses attempt to put a stop to each team's young offensive unit.
Will Donley, Senior Attackman, Penn State Men's Lacrosse Team, GoPSUsports.com