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2018 Men’s Lacrosse Year in Review: #61 Mercer Bears

The Bears once again contended for a spot in the SoCon Tournament.

Peyton Williams/Mercer Athletics

With the 2018 college lacrosse season complete, it’s time to start looking back at how all 71 teams did during the season, as well as what to expect from each squad for 2019.

We’ve already begun looking back to 2018 with some team recaps thus far and continued our series last week with Marist, Siena, Hartford, Binghamton, and Cleveland State.

So with that, let’s continue the recaps!

#61 Mercer Bears

Conference: SoCon
2018 Record: 4-10 (2-5 in SoCon play)
Head coach: Kyle Hannan (6th Year)

Statistical Leaders

Goals: Scott Baird and Pascal Coombs (22)
Assists: Scott Baird (13)
Points: Scott Baird (35)
Faceoffs: Kiel Brennan (105-of-216; 48.6%)
Ground balls: Kiel Brennan (63)
Caused turnovers: Matt Hughes (30)
Goals against average: Bradley Hodoval (10.46 GAA)
Save percentage: Bradley Hodoval (49.5%)

Personnel Losses

Key seniors departing: M Scott Baird (22 Gs, 13 As, 26 GBs), M Matt Quinn (19 Gs, 12 As, 18 GBs), LSM Patrick deHueck (20 GBs, 14 CTs, 1 G, 1 A), A Bryan Gibson (13 Gs, 6 As, 10 GBs), D Willy Deines (14 GBs, 8CTs)
Senior scoring departing: 90 of 176 points (51.1%)
Senior starts lost: 55 of 140 (39.3%)

Season Summary

After three straight 5-8 seasons, the Bears fell to 4-10 in 2018, failing to qualify for the SoCon Tournament despite two conference wins against Air Force and VMI.

Seven of their games were decided by three goals or fewer, with four of them coming by one goal. Mercer went 3-4 in games with margins of three goals or less, but 1-3 in one-goal affairs. Two of those one-goal losses came against Richmond and Furman. Had the result went in favor of the Bears, they would have been in the SoCon Tournament.

Despite losing Lucas Wittenberg to Georgetown, the Bears did have a pair of 30-point scorers in seniors Scott Baird and Matt Quinn. Junior Pascal Coombs tied the team lead with 22 goals and finished third on the squad with 27 points.

Defensively, freshman LSM Matt Hughes led the way with 30 caused turnovers, 13 more than sophomore defenseman Michael O’Brien. He was also an Honorable Mention on the College Crosse All-Freshman selections. Senior Patrick deHueck and redshirt-junior Jake Sadd also had more than 10 caused turnovers in 2018. In his second year as the starting netminder, Bradley Hodoval had very similar numbers to his freshman campaign. His goals against average went down from 10.59 to 10.46, but his save percentage went very slightly down from 49.8% in 2017 to 49.5% in 2018. He did also play in 100 more minutes this season.

With Will Beecham leaving the team, Kiel Brennan took the majority of the faceoffs and went 48.6% from the X.

Looking Ahead

The loss of Wittenberg now hurts Mercer heading into 2019. Baird and Hughes depart, as well as attackman Bryan Gibson. That’s three of the team’s top five scorers, leaving Coombs and sophomore midfielder Will McCarthy remaining. Mercer needs some scoring help from their depth. Redshirt-freshman attackman Nate Patterson was the only other player to score more than 10 points (5 Gs, 6 As).

Mercer really needs to get their attack going on offense, and Coombs will have to be the leader on that unit, which includes Patterson and junior Mikey Ewing. With the two big losses at midfield, look for Michael Quinn top step up as well.

Willy Deines is the only player from the starting defense that departs. Saad is a redshirt-junior, while Hank Morgan is a junior. Brennan and Hodoval have been consistent in their two years in Georgia, and should continue to do just that in 2019.

Here’s who the Bears will be adding to their roster for next year.*

Mercer’s Unofficial Class of 2018

Player Position High School
Player Position High School
Adam Barry Attack Cardinal Gibbons (NC)
Nick Darrow Midfield Columbine (CO)
Sean Goldsmith Attack Northwest Guliford (NC)
Jackson Kennedy Defense/LSM Saint Andrew's (FL)
Tim Kroneberger Midfield Calvert Hall (MD)
Garrett LeClair Midfield McIntosh (GA)
Jackson Mahoney Defense/LSM Christian Brothers (TN)
John McCormack Midfield Lassiter (GA)
Jake Meyer Goalie Northern Guliford (NC)
Brandon Paxton Midfield First Presbyterian (GA)
Connor Purcell Defense Hagerty (FL)
Daniel Shumake Midfield Memphis University School (TN)
Philip White Midfield/FO Lambert (GA)
Ashton Wood Midfield/FO Nease (FL)

*Compiled from a multitude of websites. Schools usually officially announce their recruiting class during the fall semester.

Poll

How many wins will Mercer get in 2019?

This poll is closed

  • 2%
    0-2
    (1 vote)
  • 45%
    3-4
    (18 votes)
  • 17%
    5-6
    (7 votes)
  • 35%
    7+
    (14 votes)
40 votes total Vote Now