So the 2016 season has been over for about two-and-a-half weeks, and we still miss it. So as Eri is taking a look at each individual team (god rest his soul), I'll be taking a smaller look at each team.
Yesterday, I took at look at the Independents and the America East. Today will be the NEC, as we start to knock off the smaller conferences first before getting to the big boys such as the ACC and Big Ten. Once again, St. Joe's was the best team in conference play during the regular season, but couldn't get that AQ in the NEC Tournament. Let's dive in.
The Good: Freshman Max Tuttle had a pretty good first season, scoring 20 goals and assisting on 10 others, and was named to the NEC All-Rookie team alongside goalie Greg Price. Junior LSM Ryan O'Donoghue was named a First Team All-NEC selection and was one of the top defenders in caused turnovers. Senior defenseman Chase Godfrey was named to the All-NEC Second Team.
The Bad: Yeah you weren't good at all. A decrease of wins from six to just two, and you were winless in your conference. Close losses against Air Force, Providence, Vermont, Mount St. Mary's, Wagner, and Hartford, and an embarrassing 7-1 loss to Navy.
The Future: You'll get some help next year, but maybe not that much to get back into NEC Tournament contention. Jake Giaquinto is a FOGO from Ward Melville, and Austin Pavone (Ridgefield) and Tyler Reynolds (Regis Jesuit) are defenseman that will arrive in Fairfield, Connecticut for 2017.
The Good: Hoya deemed you guys the national champions, won two more games than you did in 2015, and goaltender Matt Sefcik was named to the All-NEC Rookie team. Plus, Patrick and William McMenamin will be back for their senior year! Brothers!
The Bad: You lost close games against Monmouth, UMass Lowell, Hobart, and Mount St. Mary's. If you won against the last two teams, you could've made the NEC Tournament! But NOOOO!!!! You barely beat NJIT by two, and only one conference win? Against Sacred Heart? Room for more improvement!
The Future: You'll get some help, but will it be enough to make it to the NEC Tournament? Maybe. Attackmen Dominic Branda (Don Bosco Prep) and Nicolas Ancona (Paul VI) will be two guys to watch for in the future for scoring help. And even though Sefcik was named to the All-NEC Rookie Team, Sean Lanier of MIAA champion McDonogh comes in for some possible competition.
MOUNT ST. MARY'S MOUNTAINEERS (6-8)
The Good: You're on the rise. A slight rise, but a rise nonetheless. Bubba Johnson has one of the best names in college lacrosse, but he was also a First Team All-NEC midfielder, and freshmen Chris DiPretoro and Jack Mangan were named to the Rookie Team.
The Bad: You didn't make the NEC Tournament again, and had tough losses to Towson, Richmond, Robert Morris, and UMBC. Most of your losses were played tight, but a loss is a loss. Plus, the loss of Mark Hojnoski won't help either.
The Future: You've got a good amount of guys coming in for 2017. At attack, Connor Smith from Baldwinsville is a notable addition, while Brendan Doyle from MIAA power Loyola Blakefield is also a plus. Defenseman Joey Mercado (Lenape) and Robert Johnson (Bayport-Blue Point) help, and Adam Baker (Paul VI) will be a good add in goal.
The Good: From 3-11 to 7-8, you guys had a remarkable turnaround, and even made it to the NEC Tournament, where you lost to St. Joe's in a rematch of a win from two weeks before. That St. Joe's win was your highlight of the season. Also, senior Luke Laszkiewicz was a First Team All-NEC selection after leading you guys in goals and points.
The Bad: Laszkiewicz and midfielders Eric Rankel and James Rahe are graduating, so a lot of points are going to leave. Bellarmine, Air Force, and Bryant were all losses by a goal as well.
The Future: Including All-Rookie selections Eddie Smith (attack) and Alex Heger (goaltender), there'll be some reinforcements to aid your losses. Attackman Stephen Cyron from Avon Grove comes from an explosive offense from my hood (Southeastern PA), while FOGO Trey Arnold comes from Georgia power Lambert. Others include defenseman James Scane (Brother Rice) and goaltender Brenden Whalen (Cazenovia).
HOBART STATESMEN (10-7) - NEC Tournament Champions; Lost to Towson in Play-In Game
The Good: You won the NEC Tournament by upsetting St. Joe's! It was your first NCAA Tournament birth since 2004 as well! Attackman Chris Aslanian was named the NEC's Rookie of the Year. The diaper dandy was a complement to attackman Frank Brown and midfielder Cooper Stefaniak, both of whom were named to the All-NEC Second Team. Defenseman Arik Andreen was a First Team selection, FOGO Andrew Spallanzani was a Second Team selection, and midfielder Bryan Hancock joined Aslanian on the Rookie Team.
The Bad: That Towson loss! My god! Also, you tied Syracuse at six in the third quarter, but gave up the next seven goals to lose to your upstate rivals. You also lost to fellow upstaters Cornell and Colgate in close games.
The Future: BOSS Greg Raymond's future isn't clear yet. He was rumored to go to Princeton, but Matt Madalon was elevated to permanent BOSS. He should be fine in Geneva for at least another season, unless somebody wants him. Virginia? They're running out of options anyway. But, Raymond (it'll probably be him) will get a pair of attackmen in Jake Stowell (Cazenovia) and Eric Holden (Lincoln-Sudbury). Two more NY guys in goalie Sam Lucchesi (Garden City) and defenseman Sam Mueller (Jamesville-Dewitt) hope to give Hobart a repeat in the NEC in 2017.
The Good: Aye, you beat Brown and Harvard in some pretty good wins. Pretty, pretty, pretty....pretty good wins. Attackman Tucker James and defenseman Kyle Mummau were First Team All-NEC selections, while a multitude of Bulldogs were Second Team selections, including Shane Morrell. Gunnar Waldt was a USILA Honorable Mention, and LSM Mike Vailas was named to the All-Rookie squad.
The Bad: Early season losses to Bucknell, Yale, and Drexel didn't help a possible at-large bid. An OT loss to St. Joe's lost your chance to host the NEC Tournament, and it all fell apart when Hobart upset you in the NEC Tournament. Morrell and Waldt are departing, so that leaves some holes to fill.
The Future: Bryant hopes that some incoming freshman can keep the success of the Bulldogs going. FOGO Trevor Weingarten (Bergen Catholic) might compete with Kenny Massa for the FOGO job. Defenseman Jack Callahan (Victor) and Zach Coffey (Governor's Academy) hope to add to Bryant's depth at defense, and easily a contender for Lacrosse Name of the Year Viper Scheele (Jupiter) might have to take over for Gunnar Waldt in goal. Viper Scheele. Wow.
The Good: You were the second best of the #PhillyPhourPhocus teams behind Villanova, but had the best record of all four. Mike Rastivo was an USILA Honorable Mention, and was also named NEC Offensive Player and overall Player of the Year, while goalie T.J. Jones was the NEC Defensive Player of the Year. You also have a lot of guys returning for 2017, such as Rastivo, Jones, and Chris Blewitt.
The Bad: A bad loss to Drexel and giving up a late lead to Virginia would've been great to possible give you guys a possible at-large bid. Outside of that, scheduling wasn't that good. Your best non-conference win was a 9-8 victory over Penn, but it didn't matter when you lost to Hobart in the NEC title game.
The Future: BOSS Taylor Wray plans to reload for 2017. C.J. Stowell (Paul VI), Alex Ives (Salisbury School), Ray Vandergrift's brother James (Academy Of The New Church), and Nick Vernacchio (Upper Dublin) add some depth on offense. On the other side of the ball, Tyler Makar (Yorktown), Tate Hutchinson (Manheim Township), and goaltender Jason Roland (Wilson West Lawn) will arrive on Hawk Hill with expectations to finally give St. Joe's an NEC Championship.