New England Division 3 Report: Preseason

NEW ENGLAND D3 REPORT, Preseason

It is certainly time to start looking at the 2014 lacrosse season in Division 3 around New England. Once again we will have our Top 20 and 3 Stars each week and hopefully profile some more individual players as the year goes on. To start the season the NESCAC leads the way with 11 teams, the CCC comes in with 4, the new look NEWMAC has 3 and the Little East comes in with 2.

There are a couple of storylines, big match ups worth watching in the early going. Can the NESCAC place more than one team in the NCAA Tourney in 2014? How will Tufts and Western New England fare down south early in the season against National title contenders? Can Babson overtake Springfield as the NEWMAC sponsors lacrosse. Anyway let’s look and see how our first Top 20 looks.

  1. Tufts(14-5) Lost to RIT in NCAA second round. The Jumbos are looking for their fifth straight NESCAC title. They have been the class of New England in recent years winning the National title in 2010 and runners up in 2011. They will have a key OOC matchup on the road this year as they travel to Baltimore to take on National Champs Stevenson in mid March. Preseason All American Cole Bailey will lead the offense. 
  1. Western New England (12-7) lost to Cortland St in second round of NCAA. The CCC Champs are facing a tough OOC schedule this season that features National Champ Stevenson, National Runner up RIT and Tufts. This is a team that continues to get better and we think will be a NCAA contender come May. Very dangerous in 2014, you heard it here first.
  1. Middlebury (13-3) The Panthers enjoyed a resurgence last season before being upset in the NESCAC playoffs by Wesleyan. That loss cost them an NCAA bid. Jon Broome, last year’s 2nd Star looks to build on a big freshman season. Their OOC schedule very similar to last year, (Springfield, St Lawrence & Plattsburgh) that may hurt at the end of the season. Looking to replace a lot of scoring from last year’s squad.
  1. Conn College– (12-4) The Camels had a nice run last year, winning 10 of 11 before losing to Tufts in NESCAC semi finals. Goalie Bobby Bleistein, our 3rd Star last year looks to build on his 64.8 save %.
  1. Wesleyan– (12-5) Coach Raba’s team returns a lot of scoring punch from last season’s team that ended Middlebury’s NESCAC title hopes in the semi finals. Like Middlebury I think they may have to win league to gain entry into Tourney. Would like to see the Cardinals spread their wings against tougher OOC competition!
  1. Endicott(13-5) The Gulls rebounded after a subpar 2012. They will have to replace our first star from last year Sam Ozycz, but The Gulls have always had a strong tradition at the face off X. Start the season with a tough stretch of Stevens, Conn College and EConn.
  1. Hamilton-(9-6) Solid run in NESCAC last year making the playoffs with a 9-6 record. Lost stud D man Nate Menninger who transferred to Virginia.
  1. Eastern CT– (9-7). Lost to WNE in NCAA play in game. After a tough start the Warriors came on strong to end the season and won the Little East title. Mike Devine enters the season with 107 goals over the last three seasons. Beefed up schedule features Cortland on March 15.
  1. Bowdoin– (9-7) The Polar Bears look to rebound from an up and down season. Return a lot of scoring punch from last year, need to be more consistent.
  1. Springfield-(10-8) Lost to Cabrini in NCAA play in game. Begin the season as NEWMAC favorite. As always they will face a tough OOC schedule, Nazareth, Western New England, Middlebury, etc. Can they hold off Babson? 
  1. Amherst– (5-10) Lost five one goal games and three in OT. The Lord Jeffs are dangerous and can beat anyone in the NESCAC.
  1. Keene St– (14-3) Once again the Owls look to battle with EConn in the Little East. Those two continue to be class of the league. Lost some scoring from last year’s team, but the Owls have shown the ability to re load in recent years.
  1. Bates- (7-6) look for the Bobcats to be about the same as last year,…a solid capable D3 squad . Let’s see if they can knock off one of the big boys. 
  1. Williams– (5-9) Haven’t been .500 since 2009, Can they return to past glory? I don’t think it will be this year.
  1. Colby (6-9) Big losses to graduation, big questions on who will be carrying the load offensively.
  1. Trinity– (4-10) Hoping to stay out of the NESCAC cellar.
  1. Babson– (10-8) Can the Beavers overtake Springfield in the NEWMAC? They had a good start to 2013 but faded late losing to Springfield two times in the final weeks to end the season. Tough start to season will set tone. (Skidmore, St Lawrence, Union, EConn, Roger Williams and Colorado College) Very interesting team, looking to get to the next level.
  1. Roger Williams– (9-6 ) The Hawks were a little disappointing last season after a strong 2012. They return a lot of talent. WNE and Endicott remain large roadblocks in the CCC. Similar to Babson, look forward to their match up this year.
  1. UNew England– (14-5) Winners of ECAC D3 title. The Nor’Easters surprised a lot of teams last year, just ask Colby and Endicott. Big fan of do it all Mid Dan O’Gorman.
  1. Wheaton– (7-8) This last spot could have easily gone to UMass Dartmouth, Wentworth, Western CT or Plymouth St. I give it to Wheaton to start based on tougher OOC.

 

Laxpower Rankings

2013

2012

1

Tufts

7

3

-4

2

Western New England

30

16

-14

3

Middlebury

9

22

13

4

Conn College

24

32

8

5

Wesleyan

21

25

4

6

Endicott

52

55

3

7

Hamilton

36

30

-6

8

EConn

66

41

-25

9

Bowdoin

32

17

-15

10

Springfield

53

14

-39

11

Amherst

44

21

-23

12

Keene St

45

34

-11

13

Bates

38

51

13

14

Williams

40

47

7

15

Colby

50

27

-23

16

Trinity

61

24

-37

17

Babson

67

53

-14

18

Roger Williams

82

68

-14

19

UNew England

102

100

-2

20

Wheaton

91

75

-16