Our next 2017 Scouting Report is on 2016's 48th ranked RPI team, the Mount St. Mary's Mountaineers!!
Mic’d up with BOSS Gravante!
Profile: I definitely don’t hide my affections for the Mount. I love their horn after goals, their uniforms, and their beautiful stadium. However, despite all the trappings, their on-field performance has left much to be desired.
Since 2005, MSM has only had two above .500 seasons. They had a great year in 2010 when they went 12-5 and made it to the Big BBQ, but other than their 9-6 year in 2011, Mount St. Mary’s didn’t rack up a ton of wins from 2005-2014. 2014 (1-15) was a difficult season for BOSS Gravante’s crew, however, the team has had an uptick in their performance over the last two season, which may be a sign of good things to come in 2017.
2016 Record: 6-8 overall and 2-4 in the NEC. MSM bested their overall record from 2015 by one win (they also went 2-4 in the NEC in 2015). The squad is significantly better than they were in 2014 when they only won one game, and their win over Georgetown last season was their second W over the Hoyas (last one was in 2013) since 2005.
While we always say there are no moral victories in lacrosse, MSM did have a few close losses to good teams last year (including a 4 goal loss to Towson and a 3 goal loss to Richmond). If they can turn a couple of those close Ls into Ws in 2017, the Mount may make some noise in the NEC and be in contention for the conference’s AQ.
2017 Roster: Mount St. Mary’s will have to find a replacement for Mark Hojnoski next season. Hojnoski led the squad with 42 points in 2016 and was the team leader in goals (26) and assists (16). He also earned Second Team All-NEC honors in 2016.
Luckily for MSM they’ll have Bubba Johnson back for 2017. Johnson earned First Team All-NEC in 2016 and finished third on the team in goals (13) & tied for second in assists (9).
Additionally, sophomores Chris DiPretoro and Jack Mangan, will hopefully improve on their great freshmen campaigns in 2017. Both DiPretoro and Mangan made the All-NEC Freshman Team in 2016. DiPretoro broke out with 22 goals last season, good for second on the team (he also had 5 As), while Mangan was a loose ball MONSTER last season with 47 GBs (he also had 7 Gs & 6 As). All three will be integral in 2017 as MSM breaks in the 23 freshmen.
Conference: The NEC is no joke. While it’s not the ACC or B1G, this is a very solid mid-major conference. The conference is led by St. Joe’s and Bryant, but no one should sleep on the Hobart. The Statesmen stunned everyone last season with their back-to-back wins over Bryant and St. Joe’s in the NEC conference tournament, and they should be back in contention alongside the Bulldogs and Hawks in 2017.
Mount St. Mary’s is on the rise but as of now there is still some distance between them and the top of the conference (MSM lost to Bryant, St. Joe’s, and Hobart by 5, 6, and 7 last season, respectively, and didn’t score more than 7 goals against any of the top 3 NEC teams).
2017 Outlook: MSM missed out on a conference tournament bid last season as they finished 5th behind 4th place Robert Morris (MSM lost to RMU 11-9). However, if the Mountaineers can take care of business against Wagner & Sacred Heart in 2017, they might be able to sneak into the conference tournament if they can find one more win against any of the top 4 from last season.
Non-Sequitor: (Via Wikipedia) “Babe Ruth was discovered at Mount St. Mary's by Joe Engel, a student and college baseball player at the school, when the St. Mary's Industrial School for Boys of Baltimore (which Ruth attended) team came to Emmitsburg to play. Engel informed minor-league Baltimore Orioles manager Jack Dunn of Ruth and his prodigious pitching ability.”