RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Four high-school seniors – Robert Grasso (Islip, N.Y./Islip), Ash Listermann (Fairfax Station, Va./Lake Braddock), Brenden McKenney (Arlington, Mass./Arlington) and Jake Potter (East Grand Forks, Minn./East Grand Forks) -- have signed National Letters of Intent to continue their lacrosse careers at Felician University, Felician head men's coach Brendan Bonacum announced today.
All four players committed to the Golden Falcons during the first three weeks of the 2018-19 NCAA signing period. The newly legislated span began on Nov. 14 and runs continuously through Aug. 1, 2019, replacing the separate early and regular signing periods of past years.
Felician is a member of NCAA Division II and competes in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference. The Golden Falcons (1-11, 1-4 CACC) completed the program's inaugural season in 2018, earning their first-ever victory on Apr. 17, 9-7, over Post University.
Grasso is a 5-foot-10, 165-pound midfielder for Islip (N.Y.) High School. He was part of a Buccaneer squad that won Suffolk County, Long Island, and Class C New York state titles in 2018, all for the first time in school history. Grasso also participates in bowling for Islip and led the 2017-18 Buccaneers in games won. At Felician, he expects to major in business administration.
"Robbie will bring a tremendous amount of experience and a high 'lacrosse IQ' to our midfield," Bonacum said. "Our coaching staff expects that his skill set will allow us to use him in a variety of situations, increasing his chances of contributing right away to the 2020 squad."
Listermann was an honorable-mention all-Patriot Conference goalkeeper as a junior at Lake Braddock High of Burke, Va. The 6-foot-2, 230-pounder was a 2017 all-star in the Capital Box Lacrosse League, leading the Capital North Stars to the league championship in the midget division. Listermann, who spent much of his childhood living in Atlanta, Ga., also toils for the Evergreen Lacrosse Club, based in Leesburg, Va., and is working toward WLOA referee certification. He expects to major in English.
"Ash is a great shot stopper, as evidenced by his .697 save percentage as a junior in high school," Bonacum said. "He'll bring a high level of competition to our goalie group."
McKenney, a 5-foot-9, 160-pound midfielder, is a 2019 captain for Arlington (Mass.) High. He has also participated in football and indoor track & field for the Spyponders and plays indoor and summers for Home Grown (HGR) Lacrosse, based in North Andover, Mass. McKenney hopes to study business administration.
"Brendan is a true two-way midfielder," Bonacum said. "He is another guy that has a skill set conducive to being on the field in many different situations."
Potter, a 6-foot-2, 170-pound defenseman, is a captain and returning team MVP for the Predators of the Grand Cities Lacrosse Association, run jointly out of Grand Forks, N.D., and East Grand Forks, Minn. He attends East Grand Forks High Senior High, where he plays ice hockey. Potter is a first cousin of Alex Verdugo, a major-league baseball outfielder with the Los Angeles Dodgers. He intends to pursue a certificate in forensics within Felician's criminal justice program.
"Jake's ability to handle the ball in transition and his one-on-one skills will be of tremendous assistance to our defensive unit," Bonacum said. "He will come in behind several upperclassmen but we expect him to push them for immediate playing time."
Felician begins its 2019 season by hosting the University of the District of Columbia on Wed, Feb. 20, in Lyndhurst, N.J.