Hempstead, NY - Two Hofstra University men's lacrosse alumni, Steven DeNapoli and Kevin Unterstein, have been named to the United States Men's National Lacrosse Team roster for the Champion Challenge contest against the defending NCAA Division I national champions, Loyola College on Sunday, January 27, 2013.
The Champion Challenge is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. (ET) at ESPN's Wide World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. This eighth annual event will be the first in which the Team USA men take on the defending NCAA champion. Team USA also will square off against 2012 NCAA semifinalist Notre Dame on Saturday, Jan. 26, with Jacksonville University also scheduled to participate in the event. At the 2012 Champion® Challenge, Team USA defeated the University of Denver 16-15 in overtime.
The reigning world champion U.S. men's national team, which defeated Canada to win the 2010 Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) World Championship, will bring 38 players to evaluate prior to tryouts for the 2014 U.S. men's national team, to be held August 30-September 2, 2013.
DeNapoli, '11, a two-time All-CAA selection in 2009 and 2011, was one of 16 first time All-Stars in the 2012 Major League Lacrosse All-Star Game. A four-year letterman at Hofstra, he was also named to CAA Championship Tournament teams in 2009 and 2011. A USILA North-South Senior All-Star Game selection in 2011, DeNapoli played in 13 games last season for the Rochester Rattlers of Major League Lacrosse. DeNapoli recorded 11 goals and four assists for 16 points that tied for eighth on the team in goals and points.
Unterstein, '08, a 2007 USILA All-American honorable mention, was also a four-year letterman and two-time All-Colonial Athletic Association selection as well. The 2008 CAA Defensive Player of the Year, he was also voted the CAA Championship Tournament Most Valuable Player while leading the Pride to the conference title. Unterstein, who is also an assistant coach of the Hofstra Men's Lacrosse staff, played in 12 games for the Long Island Lizards of the MLL last summer. He was second on the Lizards with 40 ground balls.
The Team USA roster for the Champion® Challenge by position with professional teams, collegiate alma maters, and previous U.S. team experience noted:
Billy Bitter, Rochester Rattlers,North Carolina; Grant Catalino, Long Island Lizards, Maryland; Matt Danowski, Charlotte Hounds, Duke; Matt Gibson, Long Island Lizards,Yale; Mike Leveille, Rochester Rattlers, Syracuse*; Kevin Leveille, Rochester Rattlers, Massachusetts; Steele Stanwick, Ohio Machine, Virginia^; Chazz Woodson, Ohio Machine, Brown.
Sam Bradman, LXM Pro Tour, Salisbury; Steven Brooks, Chesapeake Bayhawks, Syracuse; Steven DeNapoli, Rochester Rattlers, Hofstra; Benson Erwin, N/A, Johns Hopkins; Graham Gill, LXM Pro Tour, Navy; Kyle Harrison, LXM Pro Tour, Johns Hopkins#; Ben Hunt, Chesapeake Bayhawks, North Carolina; Cameron Lao-Gosney, Hamilton Nationals, Lehigh; Roman Lao-Gosney, Hamilton Nationals, Lehigh; Peet Poillon, Charlotte Hounds, UMBC; Paul Rabil, Boston Cannons, Johns Hopkins*; Jeremy Sieverts, Denver Outlaws, Maryland; Kevin Unterstein, Long Island Lizards, Hofstra.
CJ Costabile, Long Island Lizards, Duke^ Ryan Flanagan, Charlotte Hounds, North Carolina Kyle Hartzell, Ohio Machine, Salisbury Brian Karalunas, Long Island Lizards, Villanova John Lade, Rochester Rattlers, Syracuse^ Eric Martin, Denver Outlaws, Salisbury* Kevin Ridgway, N/A, Notre Dame Dillon Roy, Denver Outlaws, Denver Brett Schmidt, Charlotte Hounds, Maryland Michael Simon, Chesapeake Bayhawks, Stevenson Chad Wiedmaier, Hamilton Nationals, Princeton Lee Zink, Denver Outlaws, Maryland
Jordan Burke, Boston Cannons, Brown; John Galloway, Rochester Rattlers, Syracuse; Scott Rodgers, Hamilton Nationals, Notre Dame.
Chris Eck, Boston Cannons, Colgate; Alex Smith, Chesapeake Bayhawks, Delaware*;
* 2010 U.S. men's national team member
# 2006 U.S. men's national team member
^ 2008 U.S. men's national under-19 team member
"Champion Challenge will be another opportunity for our coaching staff to evaluate the Team USA player pool prior to next year's tryouts, Team USA coach Richie Meade said. "We'll have some familiar faces to the program out there, and we'll also take a look at some new guys. We're looking forward to testing ourselves against what will be a top-notch opponent in Loyola."
Throughout the Jan. 25-27 weekend, the U.S. Women's National Team will face Northwestern and Syracuse, the 2012 NCAA champion and runner-up, respectively. Both the U.S. men's and women's national teams will host instructional clinics for youth and high school players in grades 1-12, as well as coaching clinics on Saturday, Jan. 26. The U.S. women's national team roster and ESPN TV schedule will be released later this year.
For more information about Champion® Challenge, a US Lacrosse event, visit: www.uslacrosse.org/2013championchallenge. For more information about the U.S. national teams, visit www.uslacrosse.org/teamusa.