Eastern Connecticut State University Warriors
The Eastern Connecticut State University Warriors finished their season losing in the first round of the Division III NCAA tournament. The Warriors lost to Western New England 10-16. They got in the NCAA tournament by winning the Little East tournament and beating #1 Keene State 9-8 in the final. Overall the Warriors finished 2013 with a 10-8 record. Heading into 2014 head coach Justin Axel has his team focused. According to Coach Axel, “the team has had a very focused off-season and is working very hard to earn their 3rd consecutive NCAA appearance.” The goal of the Warriors in 2014 is to go deep into the NCAA tournament.
Looking to lead Eastern Connecticut State will be Mike Devine, Tyler Fresen, Mike Jordan and Chris Brown. Devine is a senior midfielder who is a preseason honorable mention All-American selection this spring. He was a honorable mention All-American selection in 2013 as well as a 1st team All Little East selection. Devine finished last spring with 36 goals and 17 assists. Another preseason honorable mention All-American selection is senior midfielder Tyler Fresen. Fresen was also a honorable mention All-American selection in 2013 as well as a 2nd team All Little East selection. He scored 31 goals and had 26 assists in 2013. Jordan is an attack who lead the team in scoring last spring with 68 points on 47 goals and 21 assists. While Brown a three year starter on defense will man the back line for the Warriors. He started 17 games last spring while picking up 49 groundballs and 19 caused turnovers. Coach Axel is also looking to newcomer Tyler Vallie. Vallie is a fogo/defensive midfielder. According to Coach Axel, “ (Vallie) is an incredible two-way midfielder.”
In the Little East Coach Axel believes the favorites are Keene State and his Warriors. His point is well taken considering those two teams have faced off in five straight conference finals. A dark-horse in the Little East this spring could be Plymouth State. Coach Axel told us that they return a solid group that is very determined.
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