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The 2016 College Crosse Conference Preview: Southern Conference.

Where my SoCon LaxBoys at?!?

I hope you don't have arachnophobia, because Richmond's coming in 2016.
I hope you don't have arachnophobia, because Richmond's coming in 2016.
Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports

From now until the start of the season, we'll be doing previews of the 10 D1 conferences (plus the Philly Four!). Additionally, because we're a site of the people, by the people, and for the people, we're going to start out with the conferences that don't get much media love and build up to the GLORY BOYS more renowned conferences. Today we'll be looking at the Southern Conference. Let's get it!

2016 Southern Conference Preview
Team 2015 Overall Record 2015 Conf. Record 2016 Preseason Rank (USILA)
Richmond 11-5 6-0 --
Mercer 5-8 5-1 --
High Point 10-7 4-2 --
Furman 4-9 3-3 --
Bellarmine 4-8 2-4 --
Jacksonville 4-8 1-5 --
VMI 1-14 0-6 --

(Italicized = #TheBigBBQ2015 participant.)

Teams to keep an eye on.

  • Richmond: While a young program (2016 will be the program's 3rd season), the Richmond Spiders are quickly becoming a team to watch. They play an exciting brand of lacrosse and have no problem scrapping with teams from bigger conferences. Indeed, the Spiders took down Rutgers and lost an OT heart-breaker to Marquette early in 2015. With a schedule that features 3 ACC teams and Marquette, look for Richmond to give the big boys all they can handle in 2016.
  • High Point: The Panthers first caught my eye early last year when they had the defending champ Blue Devils on the ropes in the 4th quarter. Though High Point ended up losing that game by 3, they garnered a great deal of respect here and around College Crosse Nation. High Point, like Richmond, has a 2016 schedule littered with Goliaths; should the Panthers take one of them down, we might see High Point elbow their way into the top 20.

#BallerWatch.

  • Dan Lomas, High Point: The 2015 Southern Conference Offensive Player of the Year was a beast last year. Indeed, Lomas finished 18th in D1 in goals per game in 2015, while also leading the Panthers and the Southern Conference in tallies. Lomas' 43 goals in 2015 were the most ever in a season at High Point, a mark previously held by ..... wait for it .... Dan Lomas. If High Point is to make back-to-back trips to the #TheBigBBQ this year, they'll need the Burlington, Ontario native to have an even bigger 2016.
  • J.P. Forester, Richmond: The First-Team All-Southern Conference junior led the Spiders in assists, goals, and points in 2015. Not bad at all. Forester has also started all but one of Richmond's 33 total games. If Richmond wants to make #TheBigBBQ2016, they'll need J.P. to have another breakout year.
  • Ben Pugh, Richmond: There are good goalies and there are brick walls. The Richmond junior is definitely the latter. How good was Ben in goal last year? He was second in the nation in save percentage and second in goals against average. Haha, yea, I'd say that's pretty good. Pugh will need to be at the top of his game this year if Richmond is to make their second tournament appearance in three seasons.

Official College Crosse Conference Prediction: Richmond.

  • I gotta go with Richmond by a hair over High Point. Posted up in talent rich Virginia, the Spiders have quickly amassed a very solid young program in a short amount of time. Indeed, despite finishing below .500 (6-11) in their inaugural 2014 season, Richmond went on to win the Atlantic Sun (R.I.P) tournament to become the only first-year program to make it to #TheBigBBQ. They were even better in 2015, going 11-5, sweeping the SoCon regular season, and dominating the 2015 Southern Conference All-Conference team. What were you doing when you were two years old? I doubt you were causing college lacrosse anarchy like the Spiders.  

    Despite a great 2015 regular season, the Spiders failed to make #TheBigBBQ2015, as they lost in double-OT to High Point in the SoCon tournament championship game. I think Richmond will keep the good times rolling this year and represent the Southern Conference at #TheBigBBQ2016. Keep your head on a swivel when you play the Spiders, Coach Dan Chemotti's boys are going to be a problem this year.
That's it for today. Look out for our Northeast Conference (I SEE YOU ST. JOE'S!!) preview later this week.