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The Good, The Bad, & The Future: CAA

We continue our conference recaps with the Colonial Athletic Association.

NCAA Lacrosse: Men's Championship Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

With the offseason now in full swing, it’s time to look back at the 2017 season! We’ll dissect all the individual teams from worst to first based off my final Power Rankings later during the summer.

But first, we’ll dissect each conference and return The Good, The Bad, & The Future series. We won’t talk a ton about each team until the individual dissections, but this should be a good quick glimpse at each team. Yesterday, we did the America East teams. We’ll now take a look at the teams from the CAA!

So let’s get started!

Fairfield Stags (5-9)

The Good: Fairfield didn’t have a very good season for the first time in a while, but they did beat Towson in the regular season, and the Tigers ended up going to Championship Weekend.

The Bad: Ever since 2014’s 12-4 record, the Stags have declined steadily, with 5-9 being their worst record since going 4-9 in 2008. It’s also their first season under .500 since ‘08 as well. Fairfield also was a favorite to win the CAA this season, and they ended up not even making the CAA Tournament. They had blowout losses to Richmond and Villanova, and fell short against Yale and Penn State.

The Future: Two of Fairfield’s three starting defensemen are graduating, along with goaltender Tyler Behring, and midfielders Jake Knostman and Dave Fleming. But sophomore stud Colin Burke and freshman Dylan Beckwith are back with Joe Rodrigues at attack, along with Travis Ford at midfield, FOGO Will Fox, and defenseman Andrew Murrow. There’s some work that needs to get done in order for the Stags to matter in the CAA.

UMass Minutemen (7-8)

The Good: It was the Minutemen’s best season since going 7-6 in 2014. Although they started the season 0-4, they ended up advancing to the CAA Tournament where they lost to Towson, thanks to a buzzer-beating goal to defeat Hofstra in the semifinals.

The Bad: UMass had one-goal losses to Ohio State and Brown, but they seem to have played up to their expectations. They do lose leading scorer Dan Muller at midfield, along with midfield mate Gianni Bianchin, attackman Grant Consoletti, defenseman Tyler Weeks, and goaltender D.J. Smith.

The Future: Tyler Bogart will be back to help lead the offense, with plenty of younger help on the team. Who will replace Smith in goal? The only other goalie on the team is sophomore Sean Sconone.

Delaware Blue Hens (7-8)

The Good: Bob Shillinglaw’s final season as head coach started very successful, going 7-3 in nonconference play. And the Blue Hens have a very young attack unit and goaltender. Charlie Kitchen and goaltender Matt DeLuca are both freshmen.

The Bad: Once CAA play began, it went downhill for Delaware, going winless in conference play. They had a one-goal loss to Bucknell at the start of the season after leading the majority of the game. One big thing the Blue Hens will have to replace is their entire starting midfield, which included Will Hirschmann and Trupert Ortlieb.

The Future: A new coach in former Cornell boss Ben DeLuca starts his run in the “First State” in 2018 and he inherits a ton of young talent. Andrew Romagnoli and Joe Eisele will be juniors, and DeLuca once had a talented offense up in Cornell with Rob Pannell.

Check out my interview I did with him while in Foxborough!

College Crosse TV At The 2017 NCAA Lacrosse Championships: Del...

BONUS #CollegeCrosseTV Episode! We found new University of Delaware Men's Lacrosse head coach Ben DeLuca decked out in blue and interviewed him!

‎Posted by College Crosse on‎ שישי 26 מאי 2017

Drexel Dragons (6-8)

The Good: Another appearance in the CAA Tournament is pretty good, and so was an upset win over Hofstra in mid-April. That was a big reason why Drexel was able to go back to the CAA Tournament for the sixth straight season. Freshman Reid Bowering made his mark on offense with 24 goals and a team-high 15 assists.

The Bad: For the third straight season and the fourth time in the past five seasons, Drexel lost to Towson in the CAA semifinals. The team also started 0-4 and suffered one goal losses to Providence and Towson in the regular season. Leading scorer Cole Shafer and Robert Frazee graduate this season, which is two-thirds of the Dragons’ starting attack.

The Future: Bowering and midfielder Marshal King return on offense, while Michael Meuer and Will Stabbert are back on defense. The Dragons also get back attackman Matthew Varian after he missed the past season with an injury.

Hofstra Pride (11-3)

The Good: The Pride had their best season since they went 13-3 in 2011. They started the season 10-0 and looked like they may have been number one in the nation for at least a week. Josh Byrne continued to be a stud after he came onto the scene last season, and young guys like Ryan Tierney, Dylan Alderman, and Brendan Kavanagh improved on offense, with Jack Concannon being a USILA Second Team All-American in goal.

The Bad: The record looks good. But how the season ended did not look good at all. Hofstra lost all three of their games in the final four games of the season, including a heartbreaker against UMass as time expired from around midfield. They looked like a team worth discussing for an at-large bid if they did not win the CAA but went undefeated in the regular season to completely out of it and crashing again late in the season. Byrne and starting defenseman Michael Diener depart.

The Future: Those are the only two big losses Hofstra has entering 2018. Kyle Gallagher replaced Kris Clarke at the face-off X midway through the season, but he has work to do. Five players did reach over 20 points, but after Alex Moeser’s 24 points, the next ones up on the scoring chart are three players with four points each. The Pride should contend for the CAA, and they might be early favorites.

Towson Tigers (12-5)

The Good: It was Towson’s year. After winning the CAA the past two seasons, the Tigers did it again and also went to their first Championship Weekend appearance since 2001, only to fall short against Ohio State. Regardless, Ryan Drenner was an animal at attack, and the rope unit of Jack Adams, Zach Goodrich, and Tyler Mayes was unstoppable for the most part. Goaltender Matt Hoy came up midway through the season and FOGO Alex Woodall blessed Towson with the ability to win draws.

The Bad: Woodall’s injury during the postseason may have hurt Towson’s chance of making it to the National Championship game. Ohio State’s Jake Withers dominated Connor Harryman when he came in, and the Buckeyes went on to win. The Tigers lose all three attackmen, two of their three starting midfielders and two midfielders on their second line, their top LSM, one of their SSDMs, and their goaltender. A lot of production and leadership is gone.

The Future: A bright spot is the entire starting defense returns. They may not have been the stars on the other side of the ball, but they were able to do their jobs because of it. They will need to find production at attack with maybe Dylan Kinnear, and find ways to complement Jon Mazza at midfield. In goal, will Josh Miller be able to retain his starting job he lost to Hoy?

Make sure you watch my interview with head coach Shawn Nadelen as well!

College Crosse TV At The 2017 NCAA Lacrosse Championships: Towson

College Crosse TV is back! We spoke with a few members of the Towson Lacrosse team!

Posted by College Crosse on Friday, May 26, 2017