The season is fast approaching as teams have begun their preseason practices on frozen field turf’s as well as fieldhouses around New England.
Lets take a look at a few early season match ups that are going to take place in, and involve some of top New England teams in division 3.
The late February time frame gives a great opportunity to see how some of the top teams in New England look against some stiff competition. The NESCAC schools for the most part start a little later than most so we can focus on some Little East, CCC and Pilgrim squads.
1. February 24- Endicott @ Stevens- The Gulls are coming off a subpar season for their standards. Stevens has beaten EC three consecutive years, squeaking by with a 8-7 win on the North shore last season.
The Ducks are preseason #10 in Face-off magazine. Prediction: Stevens 12-10, Gulls will be improved this year, but Stevens will be come out on top here
2. February 27- Stevens @ Eastern CT- The Ducks will turn around and travel to Eastern CT, The Warriors are the defending Little East Champions and a very dangerous squad this year. Stevens has won the last three meetings, but coming off the Endicott game and having to travel I put the Ducks on upset alert.
Prediction: Eastern CT 13-11, Midfielder Mike Devine scored 46 goals last year, the Warriors return 4 of 5 leading point men. The Gulls will soften up the Ducks and ECSU makes a bold statement.
3. March 2- Western New England @ Stevenson– The CCC power jumps right into the fire against Face-Off magazine preseason #1 Stevenson Mustangs.
Last season the Golden Bears played a very tough game in Maryland coming up short on a 6-4 defensive battle. Prediction: Stevenson 10 WNE 5, Mustangs too much, WNE will be looking for offense early in the season with graduation of Pat White and his 48 goals.
4. February 27- Bates @ Keene St- Little East vs the NESCAC. These two teams have split the last four meetings that includes two overtime contests. The Owls are another team to watch this year. They will be looking to capture the Little East AQ away from Eastern CT.
Prediction: 3rd OT game in five years. Score one for the Little East Keene St 9-8
5. February 23 Nazareth @ Springfield- The Pride have won two consecutive in the series. Naz is coming off a disappointing 8-9 mark in 2012, meanwhile The Pride lost in OT to Stevens in the NCAA’s last season after posting 10 consecutive wins en route to the Pilgrim title.
Prediction: Pride will be too much 14-9