Norwich University Cadets
The Norwich University Cadets finished the 2013 season as the Great Northeast Athletic Conference Champions. They went 9-0 in conference play and won the GNAC tournament by defeating Mt. Ida 9-7. By winning the GNAC tournament Championship the Cadets earned an automatic bid into the Division III NCAA tournament. The Cadets went up against former Division III National Champions Tufts in the 1st round and they lost 4-26. They finished the 2013 season with a 12-5 record. Leading the Cadets this spring will be 2013 GNAC Coach of the Year Neal Anderson. This season will mark Anderson’s sixth season on the sidelines with Norwich. As the defending GNAC Champions, the Cadets are looking to repeat in 2014. According to coach Anderson, “we expect to continue pushing the level of lacrosse in the GNAC again this season with a large senior class and a talented group of underclassmen.” The Cadets are also looking to improve their national standing in 2014. To help in that goal they have beefed up their non-conference schedule by adding Plattsburg State, Bowdoin and New England College.
Leading the Cadets in 2014 will be a high powered offense lead by their attack and midfield. Leading the attack will be Ian Mendoza, Ian Thomas and Seth Fuller. Mendoza a senior was a 1st team All-GNAC selection in 2013. He scored 39 goals and had 5 assists. Fellow senior Thomas had 28 goals and 19 assists while junior Fuller had 28 goals and 19 assists last spring. The midfield will be lead by seniors Zach McMillan and Joe DiTommaso. According to coach Anderson, McMillan and DiTommaso are the best athletes on the team and they dominate between the lines. Defensively the Cadets will look to reigning GNAC Defensive Play of the Year Mark Paradiso. Paradiso a senior goalie was also a 1st team All-GNAC selection in 2013. He had a 8.15 goals against average while making 142 saves last spring. The Cadets also return two of three starting defensemen in juniors Andrew Beechinor and Peter Troiano.
Norwich University is the birth place of the ROTC military education. They have a strong tradition of educating tomorrow’s leaders and many of their lacrosse alumni have earned distinguished military positions after graduating. The lacrosse program has steadily improved each year since 2008 as they have focused on becoming a destination for military minded athletes looking to play great lacrosse at the DIII level.
The favorite this spring in the GNAC would have to be Norwich. The Cadets are the defeating GNAC Champions. According to Coach Anderson, “with the majority of the team returning we are probably the favorite to win it again.” A dark-horse in the GNAC this spring looks like Emmanuel. Coach Anderson went on to say that Emmanuel has done a great job recruiting and executing a nice level of lacrosse at key times during the season. A couple of players in the GNAC that we will keep our eyes on are Chris Curtis and Ian Mendoza. Curtis is a midfield from Emmanuel, who is a big, strong player according to coach Anderson. While Mendoza an attack from Norwich is the all around best player in the GNAC according to his coach.
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