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The Good, The Bad, & The Future: CAA

We look back at what the CAA teams did in 2016 and who they'll be getting in 2017.

I love this country, man.
I love this country, man.
Joshua Lott/Getty Images

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 SoCon. Today, it's time to start with some of the bigger conferences with the CAA! The once known THUNDERDOME was competitive again, and then you have Towson that was hands down the best team in the conference for the second straight season. So, just like every other conference. let's dive in.

UMASS MINUTEMEN (4-9)

The Good: You had two really nice wins against North Carolina and Penn State, and some polls ranked you guys for some reason early on in the season. I didn't get that, because in the end...well, I'll get to that now.

The Bad: Yeah, you finished 4-9 after a 5-10 year last year, and that was with Nick Mariano. You only scored in double digits whenever you won, so maybe score at least 10 goals in all your games next year! Army, Harvard, and all of your CAA games were close affairs, but you couldn't get a single CAA win.

The Future: For a program that has been around for a long time, you only have four seniors leaving. That's good! You won't be needing a ton of recruits, but three notable ones include attackman Max Lambert (Victor), midfielder Drew Gallant (Penn Charter), and goaltender Nick Ferrero (Port Washington).

DELAWARE BLUE HENS (5-10)

The Good: The record didn't improve from 2015, but you did get an extra conference victory, which was Towson, which was very impressive. The addition of Parker Ferrigan in goal was also beneficial when he took over for senior Conor Peaks in the middle of the season. Also, your freshmen class provided help throughout the season.

The Bad: Again, the record stayed the same, and you're always trying to improve year after year. A one-goal affair against Navy, followed by a 10-7 loss to Michigan also wasn't good. Tough losses to Mount St. Mary's, Rutgers, and an overtime loss to Drexel were other low points. Had the Drexel loss been a win, we'd be talking about a possible run in the CAA Tournament.

The Future: The future is bright in the First State. A lot of your recruits will come from the Mid-Atlantic region, and include players from really good schools. Inside the state, midfielder Luke Bianchino from powerhouse Salesianum hopes to begin success with the Blue Hens after successful seasons with the Sallies. Other notables include attackman Charlie Kitchen, who continues the number of St. Augustine Prep kids at the CAA school, midfielders Matt Waters (Rumson-Fair Haven) and FOGO Ryan Shaw (Boys' Latin), and defenders Drew Silvera (Episcopal Academy) and Connor Sorg (St. Paul's).

DREXEL DRAGONS (6-9)

The Good: You somehow managed to claw your way back into the CAA Tournament in the last two games of the regular season, getting wins over Delaware and UMass before falling to Towson 10-6 in the semifinals. You defeated the two best NEC teams in the regular season (St. Joe's and Bryant), and freshman Matthew Varian led the team in assists and points. Eight of your ten top scorers were underclassmen.

The Bad: Your record was a game worse than last year in conference play and overall play, which isn't that bad. Outside of a close loss to Maryland, other tough losses include Binghamton, twice against Towson, and Fairfield.

The Future: Your top recruit is definitely Steven Shollenberger, an attackman from Bullis. Two notable PA recruits are attackman Aidan Coll (Hill School) and defenseman Jason DePhillips (West Chester Henderson). Other recruits include midfielder Wade Shervin (St. Stephen's & St. Agnes), FOGO Ian Foster (IMG Academy), and defenseman Alex Pfaff (Loyola Blakefield).

HOFSTRA PRIDE (9-6)

The Good: The addition of JUCO attackman Josh Byrne provided Sam Llinares with a nice partner at attack, while Jack Concannon was solid in goal for the Long Island school. A vast improvement from a 5-9 campaign in 2015, and they got a season opening win over UNC in Chapel Hill.

The Bad: You had some questionable bumps down the road with losses against Georgetown and Providence, and also couldn't beat Fairfield and Towson. Your top six scorers had double digit point totals, and three of them are graduating this year, along with defenseman Finn Sullivan.

The Future: Ryan Tierney, an attackman from Massapequa, is an Under Armour All-American and will be an instant fill at attack. A trio of St. Anthony's grads come in to Hempstead, as defenseman Eric Wenz, FOGO Kyle Gallagher, and defenseman and LSM Lawrence Gailzia are great adds for the Pride. Penncrest midfielder Ryan Kinnard brings a great shot along with him.

FAIRFIELD STAGS (9-8)

The Good: Freshman Colin Burke was fire, as he scored 46 goals and 19 assists for a team leading 65 points en route to a USILA All-American Honorable Mention, along with midfielder TJ Neubauer. Junior goalie Tyler Behring played out of his mind the last few games for the Stags, as they overcame a slow start to reach the CAA title game.

The Bad: You went 0-3 and started the season four of their first five games, with their first win being a 12-10 victory over UMass Lowell. Richmond, Stony Brook, and a 4-2 loss to Towson in the CAA Championship were your tough losses in 2016, and also had a 10-5 loss to Yale.

The Future: You're hoping to finally overcome Towson and make it to the NCAA Tournament in 2017. Two top recruits in the nation are goaltender Sean McKee of Penn Charter and midfielder Travis Ford of Webster Thomas. McKee will have a great tutor in Behring in front of him for a year before he has a chance to take the starting job. Other notable recruits include attackmen Zach White (Malvern Prep) and Tommy Fleming (Saint Ignatius Prep), midfielders Adam Aronowitz (Episcopal Dallas) and Alex Wagner (Bishop Shanahan), and defensemen Andrew Murrow (Boys' Latin) and Brian Cosgrove (Brother Rice).

TOWSON TIGERS (16-3) - Won CAA Championship; Defeated Hobart in Play-In game, defeated Denver in NCAA First Round, lost to Loyola in NCAA Quarterfinals

The Good: By far, you were the best team in the CAA. Even though you lost to Delaware in a shocker, only losing to in-state foes Johns Hopkins and Loyola is a pretty good season. You had a number of All-Americans in SSDM Jack Adams, attackman Ryan Drenner, and defenseman Mike Lowe. Tight wins over Loyola and Denver were highlights of your season, and BOSS Shawn Nadelen decided to stay with the program over a rumored offer from Princeton.

The Bad: You're not the most dominant team in Maryland, as shown with losses over Hopkins and Loyola (in the NCAA Quarterfinals). Spencer Parks, Ben McCarty, Lowe, Nick Gorman, and goalie Tyler White all leave the program, creating big holes to fill.

The Future: You may find players on your roster to fill some of these voids, or turn to freshmen right from the start. Being from Maryland and near an MIAA school (Calvert Hall) is always good, and you have three players from MIAA schools coming in 2016. Calvert Hall attackman Michael Fanshaw, Severn midfielder Hunter Tyler, and Loyola Blakefield defenseman Eric Stout hope to make a difference right away. Non-MIAAers include Downingtown East defenseman Saunders Healy and midfielders Casey Kimmel (Massapequa) and Jake McLean (La Costa Canyon).