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Tom Gravante has no plans to hold out key veterans from season finale for Mount St. Mary's men's lacrosse

Even though the 2017 campaign for Mount St. Mary's will end after Saturday's game against Saint Joseph's at Waldron Family Stadium in Emmitsburg, there are still a few things at stake.

The Mountaineers (4-9 overall, 1-4 in the Northeast Conference) would love to end a four-game losing streak in the league, get a win for a nine-member senior class in the final game of the seniors' careers, and build a little momentum for 2018.

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To accomplish those goals, the team needs all of its weapons, which is why coach Tom Gravante said he does not intend to bench key players such as sophomore attackman Chris DiPretoro (team-leading 29 goals and 36 points), sophomore midfielder Jack Mangan (13 goals and 10 assists), junior defenseman Daniel Barber (team-leading 16 caused turnovers and 27 ground balls) and junior goalkeeper Matt Vierheller (11.22 goals-against average and a .500 save percentage).

Tom Gravante "very disappointed" season for Mount St. Mary's men's lacrosse will end after Saturday

"I couldn't do that to those young men," Gravante said Monday. "They would be unhappy about that. Those guys are players. They want to play. I can't withhold them from that field. That would be crazy. We're going to go full strength."

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Gravante did say he plans to play more players, especially the younger ones, to get a sense of how they cope under game conditions. He said the offense will run three lines of midfielders and could play as many as seven attackmen.

"We'll try to get numbers into the game, especially in the midfield," he said. "We could run up to seven attackmen, but we'll see how it goes. I really want to put our guys in a position to win, and I'm confident that can happen if our guys battle for 60 minutes one quarter at a time and really put together a complete game. So there is going to be some depth in this game, but it's not necessarily going to be freshmen because we have withheld some of our freshmen from the field because we are redshirting them."

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Gravante said the coaches will approach Saturday's finale as an opportunity to evaluate future players. And the message he has for those players is simple.

"As I tell them, 'Make your time count or I have to get you off the field. It's your decision. Start the game with grit and mental toughness and stay in the game. I can only share with you what was shared with me as a player, and that's how you stay in the game. Make your time count,'" he said.

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