With the 2019 college lacrosse season complete, it’s time to look back at how all 73 teams did during the season, along with an early look at each squad for 2020.
Note: These are not end of season rankings.
Here’s our last five Year In Review posts we’ve done:
To see all of our posts, check out the 2019 Year In Review section on the site.
Let’s continue our 2019 Year In Review!
#69 Wagner Seahawks
2019 Record: 2-12 (0-6 in NEC)
Head coach: Bill McCutcheon (1st Season)
Goals: Dominic Branda and Spencer Kaufman (17)
Assists: Stephen Dwyer (11)
Points: Stephen Dwyer (24)
Faceoffs: Nick Warren (141-of-310; 45.5%)
Ground balls: Nick Warren (64)
Caused turnovers: Kyle Stofko (30)
Goals against average: Matt Sefcik (12.03 GAA)
Save percentage: Matt Sefcik (54%)
Key seniors departing: G Matt Sefcik (12.03 GAA, 54% SV %, 41 GBs, 3 CTs), M Spencer Kaufman (17 Gs, 6 As, 14 GBs, 2 CTs), A John Norton (12 Gs, 7 As, 16 GBs, 4 CTs), D/LSM Riley Owens (18 CTs, 41 GBs), D Kevin Doherty (16 CTs, 9 GBs), D Connor Davis (8 CTs, 16 GBs), M Kevin Gray (8 Gs, 3 As, 3 GBs), A Davis Prince (2 Gs, 6 As, 1 GB)
Senior scoring departing: 64 of 158 points (40.5%)
Senior starts lost: 75 of 140 (53.6%)
2019 was a year of growth and transition for the Wagner program. Head coach Bill McCutcheon came to Grymes Hill in late October after Matt Poskay left and had his first practice with the team in November.
Three months later, his team played and won their first game of the season, a 7-6 overtime affair against Bellarmine. That and a 14-11 win over NJIT were their only two wins.
But a lot of the work may have come behind the scenes as McCutcheon began to establish the foundation and expectations for the future of Wagner lacrosse. He also established some core fundamental values (compete level, accountability, and caring for each other). And the players themselves handled all of the quick changes very well.
On the field, the Seahawks showed heart. Wagner was either leading, tied, or down a goal at halftime in all of their NEC conference games. Four of their overall losses were by four goals or less, including two one-goal defeats. That came even with the team running out of gas and running out of depth. One example was the team running two short stick defensive midfielders and converting freshman defenseman Tommy Scarpello to SSDM.
Players such as Stephen Dwyer, Dom Branda, Kyle Stofko, and Matt Sefcik were key players on this young Wagner team. Most of them will be there in 2020 as well, including rising senior midfielder Tim Schmidt, rising defenseman Connor Sweeney, and rising sophomore defenseman Justin Isenhour.
Wagner had a 14-person senior class graduate and will have an eight-person senior class in 2020, which means the Seahawks will be very young and looking for underclassmen to provide some major minutes. They also won’t have Stofko back, as he transferred to Marist this summer. The wealth will be much more spread throughout the group, and it would not be surprising to see a young captain, perhaps even a sophomore captain.
For McCutcheon and company, this will truly be Year 1 of his tenure as he really takes control of the program and building a championship mentality with his players. He’ll focus on the continuity with the current group and harping on building chemistry as a team with the little things, including practice.
McCutcheon also brought in former Monmouth assistant Marc Zolchonock as part of his coaching staff, a young and fresh face that has a great work ethic in his short time as an assistant coach. He will also be a big part of Wagner’s expanded and more aggressive recruiting efforts beginning this summer.
It will take some time for Wagner to see some of these changes instituted. But the hope is that the Seahawks can become a player in the NEC as they trust the process.
How many wins will Wagner get in 2020?
This poll is closed