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2018 Men’s Lacrosse Year in Review: #33 UMass Lowell River Hawks

The River Hawks advanced to their first ever America East tournament in program history.

UMass Lowell 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. These are not end of season rankings, as some people might think.

We’ve already begun looking back to 2018 with some team recaps thus far and continued our series this week with North Carolina, Towson, and Penn.

So with that, let’s continue the recaps!

#33 UMass Lowell River Hawks

Conference: America East
2018 Record: 8-8 (3-3 in America East play)
Postseason: Lost to Albany in America East semifinals
Head coach: Ed Stephenson (4th Year)

Statistical Leaders

Goals: Jon Phillips (30)
Assists: Sean Tyrrell (32)
Points: Sean Tyrrell (58)
Faceoffs: Brett Dattilo (84-of-187; 44.9%)
Ground balls: Will Puduski (70)
Caused turnovers: Will Puduski (30)
Goals against average: Hunter Braun (10.50 GAA)
Save percentage: Hunter Braun (57.3%)

Personnel Losses

Key seniors departing: LSM Will Puduski (70 GBs, 30 CTs, 2 Gs, 3 As), A Sean Tyrrell (26 Gs, 32 As, 39 GBs), M Jon Phillips (30 Gs, 14 As, 19 GBs), A Matt Balter (28 Gs, 8 As, 19 GBs), D Bain Schroeder (43 GBs, 11 CTs, 1 G), M Sam Klingsporn (15 Gs, 4 As, 13 GBs), M Cory Highfield (4 Gs, 2 As)
Senior scoring departing: 171 of 269 points (63.6%)
Senior starts lost: 74 of 160 (46.3%)

Season Summary

The Year Four Bump greatly benefitted Ed Stephenson and UMass Lowell in 2018. After winning four games in each of the two previous seasons, the River Hawks doubled their win total to eight games and also advanced to their first America East tournament in program history.

Their first five games were decided by one goal. After an overtime win over Quinnipiac in the season opener, UMass Lowell ended up losing three straight games before bouncing back with a big win over Providence. They ended conference play with a win over Manhattan and a loss against eventual CAA champion UMass.

America East play was average, going 3-3 overall with the wins against the bottom three teams and the losses against the top three teams in the conference. They also got two more nonconference wins against Dartmouth and NJIT before falling to Albany in a surprisingly close game. In the AE semifinals, the River Hawks scored four of the first five goals before taking a two goal lead. But despite tying the game up at 10 with 12:56 left in the game, the Great Danes scored five straight goals to pull away.

As with most four-year programs, the River Hawks were very senior-led, and it was evident at attack with Sean Tyrrell and Matt Balter joining freshmen Harry Morrill or Jake Lining up front. The midfield saw Jon Phillips and Sam Klingsporn lead the way and accompanied by junior Austin Lane and sophomore Daniel Cozzi.

The youngest unit was at close defense. Bain Schroeder was the only senior on the starting unit and was accompanied by sophomores Cam Hult and Cameron Richard and freshman Jack Hinken. The big star however was senior LSM Will Puduski who recorded an unbelievable 70 ground balls and 30 caused turnovers in his final year. Junior Ryder Lessing was his backup. The short sticks included freshman Kyle Laforge, sophomore Isaac Bot, and juniors Clifford Kurker and Blaine McMahon. Freshman keeper Hunter Braun was solid in his rookie season with a 57.3% save percentage.

Looking Ahead

UMass Lowell has plenty of players to replace, especially on the offensive side. Three of the River Hawks’ top five scorers all graduate, including their top two in Tyrrell and Phillips. Klingsporn is another big departure. That leaves Lane, Cozzi, and Morrill as the only players that had double digits in points from a year ago. Look for Lining, Domenic Giachello, and others to be expected for more production. Maybe Bot moves back to offense after transitioning to SSDM.

As for the defense, it’s pretty in tact despite Puduski being a huge blow to the group. Richard and Hult can join Hinken at close while Lessing is a good replacement at LSM. Braun hopes to improve on his 10.50 goals against average while one of either sophomore Brett Dattilo or freshman Jacob Zablocki will look to standout as the top FOGO on UMass Lowell.

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

UMass Lowell’s Unofficial Class of 2018

Player Position High School
Player Position High School
Doug Barker Defense Bishop Guertin (NH)
Liam Gately Goalie Medfield (MA)
Connor Jamail Midfield Dripping Springs (TX)
Pat Kaveny Defense/LSM Foxborough (MA)
Liam McDonough Midfield/FO Groton Dunstable (MA)
Matt Murakami Goalie Proctor Academy (NH)
Drew Muzzey Defense Laconia (NH)
Jack Tepper Defense Shrewsbury (MA)
Zach Zeyher Midfield Wilton (CT)

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

Poll

How many wins will UMass Lowell get in 2019?

This poll is closed

  • 7%
    0-4
    (3 votes)
  • 34%
    5-6
    (14 votes)
  • 17%
    7-8
    (7 votes)
  • 41%
    9+
    (17 votes)
41 votes total Vote Now