Wagner was a bad lacrosse team in 2012. This isn't to say that Wagner didn't anything right last year -- the team did earn its first victory in 721 days with a victory over Sacred Heart -- it's just that the Seahawks, under first year head Matt Poskay, were disasterously bad in so many areas of play that to list them all would require one of those proclamation scrolls and, probably, a coronor. 2013 is a new year, though, and you'd have to think (hope) that Wagner finds improvement (at least a little) under Poskay (who should wear a hard hat due to the renovation project he is overseeing).
I don't know if Wagner meets or otherwise surpasses its 2012 total of only a single victory Gatorade bath, but I do know this: For 2013, the Seahawks didn't line up a bunch of teams that are well above their competitive level. Let's tear this schedule apart.
Don't Bring a Knife to a Slap Fight
February 15: Providence; February 19: @ Rutgers; February 26: Lafayette; March 2: @ St. Joseph's; March 9: Mercer; March 12: VMI; March 16: @ Vermont; April 2: Manhattan
The Seahawks finished dead last in 2012 in adjusted efficiency margin (a measure that values a team's overall production, offensively and defensively, in terms of efficiency at both ends of the field). What's especially scary about that placement -- and which could be an issue again in 2013 -- is that the adjustment accounts for the Seahawks playing the easiest schedule in the country last year. Icky!
Wagner will attempt to reverse that situation next season, once again playing a schedule featuring -- how should I put it? -- teams that enjoy giving their opponents wins. The Seahawks' 2013 slate will feature eight non-conference opponents that finished the year in the bottom-third of the country in adjusted efficiency margin -- Mercer (60), VMI (59), Manhattan (56), Rutgers (54), Providence (53), Vermont (51), St. Joseph's (50), and Lafayette (47). Now, that doesn't necessarily mean that Wagner is fighting in mud and they have as good a shot as their opponents for success. No way, man. St. Joseph's is expected to build on their 2012 effort under Taylor Wray, believing that Brian Brecht won't have the Scarlet Knights in a better position in 2013 than a season ago is to look at his record in Siena and spit on it, and Providence under Chris Gabrielli should come with a force of competitiveness each week that at least keeps the Friars in some games. This isn't an easy run for the Seahawks, and Wagner could be staring at another winless season if they can't grab a win or two from the basket of Mercer, VMI, and Manhattan.
Reverse Survivor Championship Odds are Good
Each season College Crosse gives a tip of the cap to the last Division I lacrosse team to win a game. The run-up is called Reverse Survivor, and the champion is generally feted with a huge Internet party and smart-alecky wise cracks. Wagner won the Reverse Survivor championship last season following an Albany defeat of Binghamton, leaving the Seahawks as the last winless team in the country in early April. This year, though, the Seahawks have a few decent shots to take themselves out of the running nice and early in the season.
Early dates against St. Joseph's, Mercer, VMI, and Vermont could get the Seahawks into the win column before the calendar turns to April. If Wagner can't get a win out of that bunch, an April date with Manhattan looks like the Seahawks' last best chance for a victory before the Seahawks move into the bulk of their conference schedule and start rolling the dice for Gatorade baths. It's tough to say that Wagner is a definite Reverse Survivor contender with the meat of their potential victories coming relatively early in the year, but this is a team to still keep an eye on for top honors (what would be the program's third Reverse Survivor championship in a row).