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The Good, The Bad, & The Future: Big East

We continue our conference recaps with the Big East Conference.

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 CAA teams. We’ll now take a look at the teams from the Big East!

So let’s get started!

St. John’s Red Storm (1-13)

The Good: The Red Storm got big production from freshmen twins Joe and Mike Madsen, with Joe leading the team with 20 goals and 25 points on the season.

The Bad: Only one win, which was a late 13-12 victory over Siena, who didn’t have a very good season either until the very end. Ever since 2014’s 7-7 record, which was also Kieran McArdle’s last season with St. John’s, the team has regressed from three wins to two wins and finally to a single victory this year. Can they avoid going winless in 2018?

The Future: The Red Storm do lose their entire starting midfield of Nick Heller, Jackson O’Leary, and Scott Scannell, along with starting defenseman Dante Addona and LSM Kyle Skramko. But with the Madsen twins and Colin Duffy on offense and freshmen defensemen Tim Kiel and Pat Smyth protecting Daniel Costa, the Red Storm have a solid young base to work with for a few years.

Georgetown Hoyas (4-10)

The Good: Georgetown improved from a 2-12 disappointment in 2016 by doubling their win total. Daniel Bucaro continued to impress with a team-high 40 goals and 53 points, and Peter Conley had a healthy and impactful 2017 after missing parts of two seasons with foot injuries. Despite the number of losses, they can compete with some of the best teams in the nation.

The Bad: The Hoyas still haven’t been able to find their 2015 magic. They had one-goal losses to Towson, Loyola, and Marquette, and a two-goal loss to Hofstra. There is improvement to be made, but the Hoyas won’t have two of their three starting defensemen and Conley just transferred to Duke for his graduate season. Devon Lewis was also a starting midfielder that will graduate.

The Future: The starting attack of Bucaro, sophomore Austin McDonald, and freshman Jake Carraway all return in 2018, and defenseman Jarrett Jones is also a freshman. Nick Marrocco returns for his final year in goal.

Villanova Wildcats (9-6)

The Good: Another nine win season for the Wildcats, who started out slow but went on a five-game winning streak in the middle of the season. They defeated Brown and Maryland in that span, and also got the second seed in the Big East Tournament. Senior Jack Curran scored a program-record 46 goals and was an Honorable Mention USILA All-American, while midfielder Jake Froccaro was named a Second Team choice.

The Bad: Losing four of their first five games was a tough start, especially with losses coming against Monmouth and Delaware, which pretty much ended any chances of an at-large bid. The team lost to Providence in the Big East semifinals after beating them five days prior in the regular season finale by eight. Two of the three starting midfielders in Curran and Froccaro graduate. John Kluh, who missed 2014 and 2015 with season-long injuries and medically redshirted both years, does have a year of eligibility remaining if he wants to use it. Starting defenseman Danny Sweeney also graduates.

The Future: The entire starting attack of Devin McNamara, Christian Cuccinello, and Danny Seibel, should all return, and Nick Testa appears to have solidified his role as the starting netminder leading into 2018. Zachary Kryza and Patrick Kennedy will be sophomores on defense, and look for guys like Connor Kirst and Joey Froccaro to make an impact at midfield.

Providence Friars (10-7)

The Good: It was a very impressive year for Chris Gabrielli’s squad, as it was their best year since the 2006 season, when they also went 10-7. Jarrod Neumann was one of the best defensemen in the nation and was selected by the Florida Launch in the MLL Draft, while Brendan Kearns, Nick Hatzipetrakos, and Tate Boyce make up a solid sophomore trio.

The Bad: Four of the team’s losses came by a goal, and their loss to Sacred Heart was by two. It looked like they would have defeated Boston University and Brown, but fell to them in double overtime. And in the Big East Championship game, the Friars, who were without Hatzipetrakos, made a late run to make it a one-goal game, but could not tie the game up. Neumann, along with defenseman Jimmy Cunningham, attackmen Ryan Schaffer and Austin Goltz, and midfielder Keenan Assaraf all graduate.

The Future: The entire starting midfield returns, along with Kearns at attack and Hatzipetrakos at midfield. James Barclay is the lone returning starter on defense to protect Boyce in goal, and FOGO Colin Keating brings his 59.1% win percentage for his junior year.

Marquette Golden Eagles (8-8)

The Good: The Golden Eagles weren’t supposed to win the Big East again with a powerful Denver squad back for revenge. But at 5-7 entering the Big East Tournament as the fourth seed, Joe Amplo’s squad beat Denver once again and eventually won the Big East title for the second straight season. Their best win was against Air Force back in late March.

The Bad: It certainly wasn’t 11-5 like last season, but a conference title helps a little bit. Marquette did have an overtime loss to Villanova and had a chance to beat Notre Dame during the regular season, but blew that chance. That also began a four-game losing streak for the Golden Eagles, and their rematch in the First Round against Notre Dame was ugly on their end.

The Future: Leaving are starting attackmen Grant Preisler and Joe Dunn, midfielders Andy DeMichiei and Ryan McNamara, and defenseman Nicholas Eufrasio. Returners include Joe Dunn and Tanner Thomson on offense, along with Nick Grill, Jackson Ehlert, and goaltender Cole Blazer on defense. It’s always hard to three-peat in anything, and it will be a challenge for Marquette to do that in 2018.

Denver Pioneers (13-4)

The Good: The Pios returned to Championship Weekend after a year hiatus from the Memorial Day Weekend festivities. FOGO Trevor Baptiste became the first face-off specialist to be a Tewaaraton finalist, and freshman Ethan Walker blossomed to be one of the best freshmen in the nation.

The Bad: Denver had an ugly loss to Ohio State on the road in March, and also had a very questionable loss to Marquette in the Big East semifinals. They fought hard against Maryland in the semifinal, but Baptiste didn’t have his best day at the face-off X. Connor Cannizzaro departs at attack, Tyler Pace is out at midfield, and Christian Burgdorf leaves on defense.

The Future: Bill Tierney returns a ton of talent and scoring next season, which was highlighted in the semifinal game with the third midfield. Nate Marano had two goals, and Joe Reid had a goal as well. But all but two starters are back, and with Alex Ready having two years of experience already in goal, we should see improvement from him with Jake Nolan and Dylan Gaines back on defense.

Check out my Championship Weekend interviews with Ready and Walker below:

College Crosse TV At The 2017 NCAA Lacrosse Championships: Denver

#CollegeCrosseTV spent some time with two young studs from DU Men's Lacrosse, along with their bus driver (who's from Philly but didn't like my hat!)

Posted by College Crosse on Friday, May 26, 2017