Our next 2017 Scouting Report is on 2016's 56th ranked RPI team, the Canisius Golden Griffins!!
Profile: Canisius last had an above .500 record back in 2008, when the Golden Griffins went 10-6. They last won the MAAC in 2012. Since then, it's been dreary times in Buffalo. In 2015, they missed out on the MAAC Tournament with a 3-12 record. In 2016, they went 4-8 and .500 in the MAAC. That 3-3 conference record was good enough for the Griffins to make the MAAC Tournament, although they fell to eventual champion Quinnipiac in the semifinals. Rising senior Jeff Edwards leads returnees.
2016 Record: 4-8 overall, and 3-3 in the MAAC. They recorded wins against Siena, Manhattan, and Detroit, all of whom had at most three wins overall in 2016. They lost by three to Marist, five to Monmouth, and were blown out twice by Quinnipiac. In non-conference play, they had a nice early win against Vermont, and also had close losses against Boston University and Hobart. They had a questionable loss to Binghamton back in April.
Roster: 10 seniors graduate from the program, including midfielder Nick Tuttle and attackman Vince Gravino, who started all 12 games this season. They also lose starting defensemen Rich Stapleton and Brendan Barren. Stapleton recorded 21 ground balls and six caused turnovers, while Barren was second on the team with 29 ground balls and led the team with 18 caused turnovers.
Leading point getting Edwards returns for his senior year, as is rising junior Connor Kearnan, who led the team with 23 goals. Rising junior Steven Coss took the majority of faceoffs last season, and rising junior goalie Liam Ganzhorn started 11 games.
Conference: The MAAC has had a different conference champion every year since 2012, which is when Canisius won it. If the pattern continues, Monmouth or if we want to break the lacrosse world, Manhattan, are up next. But odds are, that won't happen. Marist, Quinnipiac, and the aforementioned Monmouth all joined Canisius in the MAAC Tournament last season. All three looked good last season, and Monmouth has been improving since going D1 in 2013 when they went winless. If Canisius continues to improve in 2017, they should content for at least a spot in the MAAC Tournament once again. But Siena and Detroit are looking for bounce back seasons after having disappointing 2016 campaigns.
What are they doing this summer: They were in our hood!
2017 outlook: I see Canisius going 4th once again in the MAAC. Having Edwards for another season really helps their case, but it won't be enough to topple over Quinnipiac, Marist, or Monmouth. They need to improve on their non-conference record however. They played their opponents well, but if they can finish, I'm sure they can hit the five win mark in 2017. But it won't be enough for them to win the MAAC for the first time since 2012.
Non-Sequitor: Michael Scheuer, the former CIA head of the Bin Laden Unit, graduated from Canisius back in 1974. He is now an adjunct professor at Georgetown University, which at this time of publication and whenever you get to read this, still sucks.