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2019 Men’s College Lacrosse Year In Review: #36 Canisius Golden Griffins

Canisius was the fourth seed in the MAAC Tournament for the second straight season, but could not pull off another upset.

Canisius Athletics

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!

#36 Canisius Golden Griffins

Conference: MAAC
2019 Record: 8-8 (4-3 in MAAC)
Postseason: Lost to Marist in MAAC Semifinals
Head coach: Mark Miyashita (2nd Season)

Statistical Leaders

Goals: Mario Caito (33)
Assists: Layne Collins (19)
Points: Jacob Buck (44)
Faceoffs: Daniel Balawejder (154-of-314; 49%)
Ground balls: Daniel Balawejder (78)
Caused turnovers: Holden Garlent (26)
Goals against average: Brad Nordstrom (9.96 GAA)
Save percentage: Brad Nordstrom (54.5%)

Personnel Losses

Key seniors departing: A Mario Caito (33 Gs, 7 As, 26 GBs, 3 CTs), D Logan Monroe (8 CTs, 24 GBs, 2 Gs), A Layne Collins (16 Gs, 19 As, 26 GBs, 9 CTs), G Brad Nordstrom (9.96 GAA, 54.5% SV %, 28 GBs, 6 CTs), SSDM Michael Sanzone (6 CTs, 19 GBs, 1 G), D Trevor Hamm (6 CTs, 21 GBs)
Senior scoring departing: 78 of 252 points (31%)
Senior starts lost: 74 of 160 (46.3%)

Season Summary

In 33 games under Mark Miyashita, Canisius has been pretty average with a 16-17 overall record. They did however win the MAAC Championship last season and tried to do so again in 2019.

Nonconference play was also average, but there were a couple of good wins by the Golden Griffins. The team alternated between a loss and a win in their first six games, beginning with a big loss to Hobart. Canisius then had to fight their way back against Mercer for their first win of the season before a setback against Furman. Fast forward to early March against Robert Morris where the Griffins held off the defending NEC champions in a rematch of last year’s NCAA play-in game for a two-goal victory. The following weekend against Colgate, Canisius used a 4-0 run to upset the 19th ranked Raiders at home for probably their best win of the year.

It was time for the squad to make a mark inside the MAAC, a conference that has not had a repeat champion for over 10 years when Canisius ended Providence’s back-to-back run. After a tough one-goal loss to Siena, the Griffins recorded four straight conference victories over Monmouth, Quinnipiac, St. Bonaventure, and Detroit Mercy. It looked like they would not have too much trouble as they entered the conference tournament.

Their penultimate regular season game was against Manhattan. Entering the season, the last time the Jaspers defeated the Griffins was back in 2007. It looked as if Canisius would record another win with a 6-2 lead with 4:28 left in the first half. But the Jaspers scored with 10 seconds left and went on to score four more goals in the third. Neither team found the back of the net in the fourth quarter and Canisius was on the opposite end of an upset. The season ended with two close losses to Marist, one in the regular season and one in the MAAC Tournament.

16 of Canisius’ 33 games under Miyashita have been decided by two goals or less, with the team going 7-9 in those contests and a 1-5 record this year alone. Four of those losses came against MAAC opponents, including the final three games of the season.

Freshman Jacob Buck made an immediate impact on offense with a team-high 44 points, but he didn’t lead the team in goals or assists. Fellow attackmates Mario Caito and Richmond transfer Layne Collins led those respective categories. Mathieu Boissonneault led the midfield with 12 assists and 40 points with Carter Stefaniak topping all Canisius midfielders with 29 goals. Jake Lemon, Ryan Cicci, and Isaiah Ricketts were other notable contributors up top.

The Griffins’ defense was a veteran-heavy unit with junior Holden Garlent leading the way alongside seniors Logan Monroe and Trevor Hamm at close with Kevin Eells also getting time. CJ Goss was the primary long stick midfielder with Michael Sanzone, Ryan Wierzbicki, and Jonathan Phillips playing roles as short stick defenders. Daniel Balawejder was the primary faceoff man for another season, and Fairfield transfer Brad Nordstrom started all 16 games in goal and was an All-MAAC Second Team selection.

Looking Ahead

Canisius had a small senior class, six players to be exact. But all six of them were everyday contributors, with five of them primary starters. With half the starters gone, there will be some big shoes to fill.

Buck is the only starting attackman returning as the entire starting midfield should be back. Boissonneault is listed on the team’s website as an attackman, so it might not be a far-fetched idea if Miyashita moves him down to attack next year. Mike Penna is also someone to keep an eye out for.

Garlent is the only returning close defenseman with Eells also capable of starting. Ryan Sharkey appeared in 10 games last season and could be an option there. With Canisius losing their starting goaltender for the second consecutive season, Matt Vavonese and Cody Haas are returning options to assume the starting role.

Poll

How many wins will Canisius get in 2020?

This poll is closed

  • 8%
    0-3
    (4 votes)
  • 17%
    4-5
    (8 votes)
  • 33%
    6-7
    (15 votes)
  • 40%
    8+
    (18 votes)
45 votes total Vote Now