PISCATAWAY, NJ – Eleven high school seniors have signed National Letters of Intent to further their education and athletic careers as members of the Rutgers University men’s lacrosse team, head coach Jim Stagnitta announced today.
Rutgers’ class is highlighted by five student-athletes who hail from New Jersey. In all, the Scarlet Knights signed four midfielders, four defensemen, two attackmen and one goalie.
The New Jersey natives are attackmen Mike Dugan (Summit, NJ), midfielder Francis Collins (Hohokus, NJ), defensemen Chris O’Dougherty (Kinnelon, NJ) and Greg Carafello (Kinnelon, NJ) and goalie Peter Pantages (West Essex, NJ). The 2004 recruiting class also includes Tad Stanwick (Baltimore, MD), Stephen Doherty (Yorktown Heights, NY), Rob Smith (Wantagh, NY), Steve Campbell (Vestal, NY), Will Stone (Wantagh, NY) and Mike DeMeo (Manhasset, NY).
“We are very pleased with the quality and talent level of the student athletes in this recruiting class,” said Stagnitta. “We met our recruiting goals and addressed our team needs at each position. This class will immediately provide us with increased depth and competition at each position. A number of these recruits have the ability to compete for playing time immediately.”
Dugan was the Most Valuable Player of the Union County Tournament for Summit High School and finished his junior season with 38 goals and 18 assists for 56 points. He was a second team All-State “A” Division selection and first team All-Fitch and All-Iron Hills choice as Summit advanced to the NJSIAA Group I finals.
Collins played for the 2004 NJSIAA Group III state champions at Ridgewood High School where he had seven goals and four assists as a junior. A talented all-around athlete, he showcased his skills this summer at the Garden State Games. He is an excellent shooter and dodger who sees the field well.
O’Dougherty, a product of Group IV state champion Seton Hall Prep, is a big, strong athlete who anchored a Pirates defense that allowed just 5.5 goals per game in its four postseason victories last spring. A two-time all-league and all-conference selection, O’Dougherty garnered third-team all-state accolades last season.
Carafello led Don Bosco Prep with 89 ground balls last year as the Ironmen qualified for the NJSIAA Group III playoffs. A defensive midfielder in high school, Carafello will likely play defense for the Scarlet Knights because of his exceptional speed and toughness.
Pantages enters his fourth year as the starting goalie for West Essex High School where he already owns the career record for saves and save percentage. As a junior, he was an all-conference and all-state choice, leading West Essex to a 19-4 record and the NJSIAA Group II finals.
Stanwick plays at tradition-rich Boys Latin High School and already owns 49 career goals and 38 assists. Boys Latin competes in the ultra-competitive MIAA Conference and Stanwick has twice earned second team all-Baltimore Messinger honors. He was also a Top 205 All-Star and member of the Maryland Free State Team.
Doherty is a left-handed two-way midfielder who had 29 goals and dished out 24 assists as a junior for Lakeland High School. As a face-off specialist, he won 68 percent of his draws and is a two-time all-league selection. This past summer, Doherty played at the prestigious Empire State Games.
Smith is a versatile athlete who is also a standout running back for Wantagh High School, which is competing for the Long Island title. An all-conference choice as a sophomore and all-Nassau Country choice as a junior, Smith scored 26 goals and handed out 14 assists last year from his midfield position.
Campbell was an Empire State Games alternate last summer and at 6-1, 210 lbs., is a big, strong, athlete midfielder. As a junior, he amassed 20 goals and 12 assists for first team all-conference honors, just one year after notching 14 goals and 10 assists. He is also a standout football player at Vestal High School.
Stone is a two-year starter for Wantagh High School who has 140 career ground balls. He can play both long stick and close defense because of his excellent speed. He is a teammate of Rob Smith, a fellow member of this year’s recruiting class.
DeMeo was a starter on Manhasset’s undefeated New York state championship team in 2004. At 6-3, 210 lbs., he is a big, strong defensemen who received all-conference and academic all-America honors last season.
Rutgers finished its 2004 season 8-6 overall and earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament for the second consecutive year. The Scarlet Knights played five ranked opponents and were ranked in the Top 15 of the USILA coach's poll every week of the regular season. The 2005 season begins on Saturday, March 5, when Rutgers travels to face Delaware.
Rutgers 2004 Recruiting Class
Name Pos. Height Weight Hometown/High School
Steve Campbell M 6-1 210 Vestal, NY/Vestal
Greg Carafello D 6-0 180 Kinnelon, NJ/Don Bosco Prep
Francis Collins M 6-2 180 Hohokus, NJ/Ridgewood
Mike DeMeo D 6-3 210 Manhasset, NY/Manhasset
Stephen Doherty M 5-11 175 Yorktown Hts., NY/Lakeland
Mike Dugan A 6-2 215 Summit, NJ/Summit
Chris O’Dougherty D 6-2 200 Kinnelon, NJ/Seton Hall Prep
Peter Pantages G 6-0 185 Roseland, NJ/West Essex
Rob Smith M 5-9 180 Wantagh, NY/Wantagh
Tad Stanwick A 5-11 165 Baltimore, MD/Boys Latin
Will Stone D 5-11 175 Wantagh, NY/Wantagh