As part of our offseason we are doing an early 2017 scouting report on every D1 team. The kid Jayskrem is also doing a great series called The Good, The Bad, & the Future; his last few posts were on the CAA, the Patriot League, the Big East. You should definitely check them out.
Our last scouting report was on Dartmouth. We're doing our list from the bottom to the top, so our sixth report is on 2016's 66th ranked RPI team, Waaaaaaaaaggggggggggggnnnnnnnneeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrr!!
Profile: 2016 was a breakout season for the Seahawks. While .500 is usually the goal for most programs, when your team won 6 games from 2006-2014, 6 Ws in a season (a school record) is something to celebrate. Former UVA star and current Wagner coach, Matt Poskay, has done a remarkable job during his time on campus and deserves praise for turning things around at Wagner.
2016 Record: 6-9 overall, 1-5 in the conference. Just let that sink in for a minute. Wagner, the team that is usually a good bet to win Reverse Survivor, won six games last year and was a 1 goal loss to UMass Lowell & a triple OT loss to Hobart from finishing 2016 with a winning record. Additionally, Wagner was better in several statistical categories in 2016 than they were in 2015. Wagner scored nearly 2 more goals/game, nearly doubled their number of GBs, reduced their number of penalties significantly, and had more assists/game in 2016 than last year.
While there is still much work to do (Wagner gave up nearly 2 more goals/game and had 80 more turnovers this past season than in 2015), Wagner did prove itself capable and certainly shocked a lot of people by how well they played in 2016.
Roster: Wagner had 6 seniors for Senior Night, including brothers Patrick & William McMenamin. Both Patrick and William are listed as redshirt juniors on the team's roster page. I believe this means they have year of eligibility left. However, here's a picture of all 6 seniors at graduation, with no mention of Patrick or William coming back next year. It'll be a big loss for Wagner if those two aren't back next season, as Patrick's 33 points (16 Gs & 17 As) and William's 31 (28 Gs & 3 As) will be difficult to replace.
Luckily for Wagner, rising junior, Andrew Streilein, will definitely be back next season. The 2015 All-NEC Rookie Team selection was at it again in 2016 with 43 points (21 Gs & 22 As), as he led the team in assists and points, and was second on the squad in goals. Additionally, Wagner's 2016 All-NEC Rookie Team goalie, Matt Sefcik, will also be back next year. Sefcik had a great first year as "he held seven opponents to less than 10 goals, recorded a .505 save percentage, and a GAA of 10.36 while registering a total of 153 saves."
Conference: While Wagner was still the second to last team in the conference last year, one has to be a bit encouraged with how the Seahawks played last year. Outside of blowout losses to Bryant and St. Joe's, the Seahawks were competitive with the rest of their conference. Indeed, Wagner barely lost to NEC tournament champ Hobart in triple OT, and put up a good fight against Robert Morris and Mount St. Mary's. If Wagner can find a way to steal 1 or 2 more conference wins next year, the Seahawks could very well compete for a spot in the NEC tournament. Wagner isn't on the mountaintop just yet, but they're going in the right direction.
What are they doing this summer: Haha, good question! Wagner's not too active on Twitter and I can't find anything on their website. But that could just mean they follow #CollegeCrosseRuleNumber1 and like to keep things quiet, which I obviously respect.
2017 outlook: I hate to say it, but I could see Wagner taking a slight step back next year. Andrew Streilein being back next year is huge, but the loss of Patrick and William McMenamin, plus former senior Billy Battaglia (8 Gs & 5 As) means that Wagner lost numbers 2-4 of its top point scorers from 2016.
Aside from Streilein, the biggest returning point scorer for Wagner is rising junior Billy Martin (6 Gs & 5 As). I hope I'm wrong and that Wagner continues its upward trajectory, but the Seahawks do lose a significant amount of firepower next season and several people will need to step up if they are going to eclipse 6 Ws next year.
Non-Sequitor: Wagner College was actually founded in Rochester, New York and not Staten Island.