Our next 2017 Scouting Report is on 2016's 53rd ranked RPI team, the Colgate Raiders!
(Check out all our 2017 Scouting Reports and my 'The Good, The Bad, & the Future' posts here .)
Profile: You’d think that after a 10-6 campaign in 2015, which included a Patriot League championship, Colgate would be similar in 2016 right? Wrong, dead wrong. Instead, the Raiders had an abysmal 4-10 season with only two conference wins. They did lose Ryan Walsh and Matt Clarkson to graduation, but the Raiders could not repeat their magical run of 2015.
2016 Record: 4-10 overall and 2-6 in Patriot League play. It was simply disgusting. The season started with a shocking loss to Michigan, before rebounding with wins against Binghamton and a nice win over Bucknell at home. They lost to Lehigh and edged out Hobart, and then the wheels came off. Like seven game losing streak wheels came off. After handling Lafayette, they got blown out by Syracuse and the pain was over.
Roster: The Raiders will lose ten players to graduation, notably midfielders Cam Williams and Tyler Rigo, LSM Connor Murphy, and starting defensemen Leo Stouros and John Baker. Murphy and Stouros were two of the team’s leaders in caused turnovers and ground balls last year, while Williams recorded 11 goals and five assists in his final campaign.
But the future is bright, especially with rising sophomore attackman Sam Cleveland and rising junior midfielder Anthony Abbadessa. The two were tied for the team lead with 15 goals, but Cleveland led the team with 13 assists and 28 points. Abbadessa recorded 20 points. Cleveland was even ranked third on the team in caused turnovers with seven. Other key contributors returning include Peter Donato and Chase Wittich on offense. Jack Stebbins was a big two-way threat last season, while the Raiders return both FOGOs in rising senior Peter Marchetto and rising junior Collin Orr. Each took a similar amount of faceoffs last season, but percentage rise, Orr had the better percentage at 44.7%, compared to Marchetto’s 42.2%. And in goal returns Brandon Burke, who will be a rising senior. Burke led the team with 34 ground balls, and had a save percentage of .484 with a 10.58 goals against average.
Add Under Armour All-American and former Bullis attackman Nicky Petkevich as well and ‘Gate hopes to be rolling once more in 2017.
Conference: The Patriot League is a dog fight. In recent seasons, Army, Loyola, and Navy have had long stays in the Top 20, with Loyola reaching Championship Weekend in 2016. Bucknell seems to be a team on the rise as well, after going 10-5 last season. So that leaves Boston University, Lehigh, Holy Cross, and Lafayette. Lehigh and Holy Cross, thanks to a late conference win steak, made the Patriot League Tournament last season, while BU is a team that has the potential to be a team on the rise very soon. Colgate needs to perform well in Patriot League play if they want to return to the league tournament in 2017.
What They’re Doing This Summer: It’s the summer of BOSS Mike Murphy and his son on recruiting trips! Which means soft serve ice cream!
When you like vanilla AND chocolate, twist is the best option!
2017 Outlook: I think Colgate’s offense will be pretty good next season. Cleveland and Petkevich will do some things next season as a nice pair. I think the Raiders will barely be able to make the Patriot League Tournament over Lafayette, Holy Cross, and I think Lehigh. The Patriot League is really tough to decide, but Colgate has a lot of upside to like entering fall ball.
Non-Sequitor: Meow Andy Rooney went there, but in terms of important people, meow, the comedy troupe known as Broken Lizard, which includes Jay Chandrasekhar, Kevin Heffernan, Steve Lemme, Paul Soter, and Erik Stolhanske, all went to Colgate, meow. They’re known for the movies Beerfest, meow, and my favorite, Super Troopers.