It's the offseason, but we're always cooking here at College Crosse. The kid Jayskrem did an amazing job in his The Good, The Bad, & the Future series; you can find all of those posts, and the rest of our 2017 Scouting Reports here.
Profile: It's been a tough stretch for the Leopards the last handful of years and 2016 was no different. Lafayette has won 3 or less games in 5 of their last 6 seasons since 2010, which was their most recent .500+ season and also the last time they made the Patriot League tournament. In Lafayette's defense the Patriot League is one of the stronger conferences in D1, but you'd still like to see more than 3 combined conference wins since 2010.
2016 Record: 3-11 overall and 0-8 in the Patriot League. The Leopards were less productive on the offensive end in 2016, than they were in 2015, scoring roughly 1.5 less goals/game this past season. Lafayette had more turnovers in 2016 and cleared the ball less efficiently, which helps to somewhat explain the regression on offense.
Roster: Lafayette lost 8 seniors to graduation. Their biggest loss was senior goalkeeper Ben Falcone, who started 10 of his 11 games played last year. Rising seniors Eric Joseph and Jason Sands, will be back next year, and that's great news for Leopards fans.
Eric led the team in goals (33) and points (41) in 2016, and Jason led the team in assists (21) and was 2nd on the squad in points (28). Rising senior Kevin Lewis also contributed with 19 goals (2nd on the team in tallies) and 8 assists last year, good for 3rd on the team in total points (27). Those three need help, but that is a good senior core going into 2017 and something the team can build on in fall ball and the preseason.
Conference: The Patriot League is no joke. Loyola & Navy competed well on the national scene. Army, Bucknell, & Lehigh were in and out of the top 20-25 throughout the year. Boston University made some noise and at one time was 8-2 and in the top 15 in the country. Even Holy Cross was impressive last year when they rallied to make the Patriot League tournament with 3 conference wins in a row to end the regular season.
The Patriot League is deep and dynamic, Lafayette has a significant amount of work ahead to even be in contention for a conference tournament spot next year.
What are they doing this summer: Lafayette keeps things close to the vest and hasn't Tweeted a lot this offseason, but they did give a heartfelt shout out to former BALLER, Harvey Cohen ('40) who passed away on May 27th.
2017 outlook: I think it might be more of the same for the Leopards next year. Lafayette has to get better against conference opponents if they have any chance in 2017. They do have a nice group of seniors and return virtually all of their offensive production in 2017, so there is something to work with in the fall/winter. But I don't see them winning more than 1 or 2 conference games next year unless they have a few underclassmen step up to help their senior core.
Non-Sequitor: Legendary former head coach of Princeton University basketball and creator of the "Princeton offense," Pete Carril is an alum.