Eulogizing the 2012 College Lacrosse Season: (27) Hartford

You spent the better part of four months meticulously dissecting the 2012 college lacrosse season. You shouldn't stop now because cold turkey is a bad way to go through life, man. College Crosse is providing decompression snapshots of all 61 teams and their 2012 campaigns, mostly because everything needs a proper burial.

I. VITAL SIGNS

Team: Hartford Hawks

2012 Record: 6-9 (3-2, America East)

2012 Strength of Schedule (Efficiency Margin): -1.64 (45)

2011 Strength of Schedule (Efficiency Margin): -0.61 (38)

Winning Percentage Change from 2011: -21.11%

2012 Efficiency Margin: 1.81 (27)

Efficiency Margin Change from 2011: +3.31

II. "ATTA BOY!" FACT

  • Only two teams -- Robert Morris and Massachusetts -- did a better job this year at sharing the bean and making the scoreboard blink than Hartford. The trend for the Hawks to share the love was evident fairly early in the season, and even though Hartford fell from its perch atop the country, the team remained one of the most varied attacks in the country in 2012. The ability of Carter Bender and Ryan Compitello to whip the ball past the ears of opponents and spread the wealth was a huge factor in the Hawks holding the third-best raw offensive shooting percentage in Division I. It was an offensive showcase that was underappreciated nationally -- partly due to the fact that Hartford went only 6-9 on the year, partly due to the fact that the America East was left on a doorstep this season for some poor sap to find and raise as his own -- but was one of the most complete units in the nation given its ability to function in the whole. Playing a schedule that ranked only 57th in the country in opposing defenses faced takes a little shine off of the diamond, but the fact remains that Hartford made its offensive bones artfully.

III. "YOU'RE GROUNDED UNTIL YOU QUALIFY FOR THE AARP!" FACT

  • As good as Hartford was at sharing the ball in the offensive end they were inversely poor at actually stopping opponents from throwing the ball around the box and making life miserable for goalie Scott Bement. Only six teams yielded goals via an assist more than the Hawks in 2012 and the end result was pretty icky: A raw defensive shooting rate that ranked 49th in the country (31.89 percent) and a save rate of under 50 percent for the team's primary netminder. Combined with a shots per defensive possession rate that was among the bottom third in the country, Hartford's defense basically worked under ground fire when in defensive postures. These are not particularly good things to have happen all at once -- unless you're a fan of horror movies and watching people bleed out without hope -- and the team's inability to mark, recover, and limit the approach of opposing offenses ultimately drove the Hawks' defensive efficiency value of "Sadness."

IV. MR. FIX-IT HAS A ONE-FIX ENGAGEMENT, AND IT'S . . .

  • Dabble in genetic engineering and replace four of its top five scorers -- Carter Bender, Ryan Compitello, Martin Bowes, and Aiden Genik. The seniors are off and gone to the lacrosse game in the sky (which isn't a real thing, college boy) and Hartford is going to need to try and find a way to replace all that shooting ability (three of the four shot over 40 percent in 2012) and offensive focus (about 46 percent of the team's assisted goals started from Bender, Compitello, or Bowes' sticks). So, yeah, pretty easy fix.

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