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2019 Men’s College Lacrosse Year In Review: #39 Providence Friars

The Friars once again reached the Big East Tournament, but lost in the semifinals after Georgetown went on a fourth quarter rally.

Peggy Higgins

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!

#39 Providence Friars

Conference: Big East
2019 Record: 7-9 (3-2 in Big East)
Postseason: Lost to Georgetown in Big East Semifinals
Head coach: Chris Gabrielli (7th Season)

Statistical Leaders

Goals: Nick Hatzipetrakos (39)
Assists: Brendan Kearns (19)
Points: Nick Hatzipetrakos and Brendan Kearns (46)
Faceoffs: Colin Keating (113-of-218; 51.8%)
Ground balls: Colin Keating (53)
Caused turnovers: Emmett Jennings (22)
Goals against average: Tate Boyce (10.10 GAA)
Save percentage: Tate Boyce (55.7%)

Personnel Losses

Key seniors departing: G Tate Boyce (10.10 GAA, 55.7% SV %, 35 GBs, 4 CTs), A Brendan Kearns (27 Gs, 19 As, 21 GBs, 3 CTs), A Nick Hatzipetrakos (39 Gs, 7 As, 17 GBs, 3 CTs), D Nick Crews (6 CTs, 19 GBs), FOGO Colin Keating (51.8% FOs, 53 GBs, 1 CT, 2 Gs, 2 As), M Joseph McHale (3 Gs, 4 As, 23 GBs, 8 CTs), SSDM David Procopio (6 CTs, 13 GBs, 1 G, 1 A), D/LSM Luke Verrochi (6 CTs, 7 GBs)
Senior scoring departing: 106 of 269 points (39.4%)
Senior starts lost: 66 of 160 (41.3%)

Season Summary

It was two years ago when Providence came up one goal short of winning the Big East Championship. After missing the Big East Tournament in 2018, the Friars looked to get back to the conference tournament in 2019.

The team started the season at 2-2 with two blowout wins over Holy Cross and Saint Joseph’s and two close losses to Boston University and Bryant. Providence would then play in three consecutive one-goal games, losing the first two to Sacred Heart and Harvard before edging Hofstra on the road. A win over UMass Lowell and a loss to Drexel followed before conference play began.

In the Big East opener, the Friars needed overtime to defeat St. John’s 8-7 before they fell to Georgetown by two after the Hoyas exploded for eight goals in the third quarter. Providence then improved to 2-1 in Big East play with a big 15-8 win over Marquette, a game that helped the team get into the conference tournament. Losses to Brown and Denver followed before a thrilling regular season finale victory against Villanova. Villanova forced a Providence turnover and attempted a clear with a field-length pass in the final seconds before goalie Tate Boyce cut off the pass and helped cleared the ball which eventually found Nick Hatzipetrakos for the tying goal as regulation expired. Right at the start of overtime, FOGO Colin Keating won the draw and scored in a span of five seconds to give the Friars one of their more exciting wins in recent memory.

But their season came to an end in Denver in the Big East semifinals against Georgetown. Up three in the final quarter, the Friars gave up all four goals to the Hoyas to fall by a single tally. A difficult way to end their year.

Hatzipetrakos, Brendan Kearns, and freshman Matt Grillo were the starters at attack for the majority of the season and each finished with at least 25 goals and 40 points. Up top, Tim Hinrichs, Ryan Nawrocki, and Evan McGreen started at least 10 games at midfield with Hinrichs leading the way with 13 goals and 29 points, one more in each category than what Nawrocki recorded. Kevin McCordic, Dan Axelson, Nick Shaw, Joseph McHale, and Sean Leahey also contributed to the position. Leahey started in the first four games before missing the remainder of the season.

On defense, Emmett Jennings was the only Friar to record double-digit caused turnovers with 22 on the year. McHale and Rob Stovel were next with eight. Jennings, Stovel, and Nick Crews were the starting close defensemen for the year, with Luke Verrochi, Mike O’Grady, and Nick Tommasi as the long poles. David Procopio was a stalwart as a short stick defender, with McHale, Shaw, and Owen Martinson playing notable roles as well. Tate Boyce was a stud in goal yet again as a senior, while Colin Keating and RJ Romeo split the bulk of the faceoffs.

Looking Ahead

Nearly 40% of Providence’s offense departs, as does over 40% of their total starts from a year ago. Kearns and Hatzipetrakos have been mainstays on offense since they arrived to Rhode Island. Grillo and Leahey being back should help, with the entire starting midfield returning as well.

There should be a lot of promise for Jennings, who will be a junior next season. He’ll be the top defender for another season with Stovel back as well. The defensive midfield takes a hit with Verrochi, Procopio, and McHale all graduated, as does Boyce in goal and Keating at the faceoff X.

If Providence can fill some of those big holes on both sides of the ball, the Friars should be a contender in a Big East that has seen Denver become a little vulnerable in the last couple of seasons.


How many wins will Providence get in 2020?

This poll is closed

  • 3%
    (2 votes)
  • 36%
    (19 votes)
  • 36%
    (19 votes)
  • 23%
    (12 votes)
52 votes total Vote Now