Fall Check-In: Loyola Returns Loaded Roster For 2016

Over the past five seasons, the Loyola Cubs have gone 66-26 overall and 31-9 in the Mission League. They haven’t finished lower than second in what is one of the three power leagues in the L.A. area. Last year, Loyola went 15-4, swept through the Mission League at 8-0 and was ranked either No. 1 or No. 2 in the US Lacrosse/MaxLaxLA coaches poll from the preseason through the end of the regular season.

But Loyola’s season came to a sudden halt in the second round of the playoffs with an overtime loss at home to league-rival Crespi, a team the Cubs already had beaten twice during the regular season. Don’t think for a minute that with all but seven players returning from last year’s squad, the 2016 Cubs will soon forget that ending.

Heading into their fourth season under head coach Seth Cohen and assistant Brett Tietjen, the Cubs have firmly established themselves as one of the area’s elite high school programs. Based on a roster that seems to get deeper every year, there’s nothing to indicate that will change.

Below, Coach Tietjen describes where the Loyola varsity stands with four months left in the offseason:

Loyola returns 8 of 9 All-Mission League players and two All-Americans in senior attack Sean Smith and junior goalie Joe Theuer.

The fall/winter will be used to see who will fill the other two spots at attack, replacing graduated seniors Nate Mohler and Harrison Mac. Smith will lead the offense from X after a stellar season last year. Sophomores Henry Hasenberg and Wes Priestley played some valuable minutes as freshmen and look to make a big jump as sophomores. Senior J.P. Hatch and junior Garett Smith also look to be in the mix, with Hatch playing both attack and midfield.

Joe Theuer, Loyola
Junior goalie Joe Theuer returns after being named All-American last spring.

Loyola’s strength is, again, at the midfield, where juniors Ryder Mora (committed to Maryland) and Jonathan Partamian (Syracuse) have made major strides. They come back a year older, bigger and more experienced. Junior Mason O’Hanlon has made a huge step from last year and could add some offensive punch to a top midfield line or could play attack. Junior Emmett Rielly, who missed a lot of time last season with injuries, returns looking to make a big impact on the field after a very strong freshman campaign when he led all freshman in goals. Junior Joe Peterson is also back and will compete for time in the top two midfield lines, along with second-team All-Mission speedster Mike Lira, a senior.

The defense returns three first-team All-Mission long poles in Nick Mohler, a junior, and seniors Max Neblina and Tommy Riley. All of them had an excellent summer and look poised to take on a tough schedule facing a slew of Orange County, San Diego and San Francisco teams. Senior Joel Krogstad, junior Morgan Lewis, junior Chris Castaneda, and Jackson Sirmon give Loyola’s defense a lot of depth.

Goalie Theuer, last year’s team MVP, returns even better than last year. Now a junior, Theuer looks to take on more of a leadership role directing our defense. There is a plethora of goalies competing to take the backup spot. Freshman Cam Bieler has been a wall in the Leverage Box League, and freshman Will Parducci has had some strong performances in the LA Mavericks Fall Ball League.

Last year’s JV MVP Aidan Hesse and junior Tristan Frank had a great summer dominating the faceoff X. Junior Luke McKenna can fill in nicely at shortstick D-middie after the graduation loss of Jack Dixon.

The fall and winter seasons will be used to evaluate the talent and see who fits where, but this should be another talented group of boys for the Loyola lacrosse team.