New England D3 Report: Season Wrap Up

New England D3 Report Season Wrap Up:

Another lacrosse season is in the books, 2017 will go down as the season Tufts relinquished their stranglehold of New England D3 lacrosse. The Wesleyan Cardinals made a huge run winning the NESCAC Playoffs and moving on to the NCAA Final Four where they fell to a very good RIT team 22-9, finishing the campaign 20-2.

After securing the NESCAC title over Middlebury here is how Wes fared in the NCAA Tourney. New England College was the first opponent. The Cardinals jumped all over them with a 10-1 1st quarter lead and cruised to a 25-6 win.

Next it was Tufts. The Jumbos were looking to avoid losing 3 times to the Cardinals in 2017 (regular season & NESCAC Tourney). Wes was able to pull off this feat with a convincing win over the Jumbos 17-8.

With Wesleyan and Bates advancing to the NCAA Quarterfinals it was a deFacto New England title game played at Wesleyan. Bates had come away with the NESCAC regular season title, while Wesleyan were the Tournament Champions. Bates had beaten and Plattsburgh and Amherst by a combined 49-24 to reach the quarterfinal round.

It was a rematch of an early season game where Bates came away with a 15-14 win, only Wes loss to date. You would have had to expect another high scoring game as both teams had convincing wins in their first two tourney games.

It didn’t turn out that way early as Wesleyan held Bates scoreless jumping on them for a 6-0 halftime lead. But, the Bobcats chipped away behind their senior class. Charlie Fay scored 7 goals (including 3 in the final two minutes), Kyle Weber and Andrew Melvin added two each. Bates was aided by an illegal stick call in the later stages of the 4th quarter that gave them crucial man up time. But Harry Stanton scored with 38 seconds to clinch the 14-13 win for Wes. Stanton finished the day shooting 5/14 with an assist.

It is Stanton who had a monster 2017 NCAA tourney shooting 21/53 and added 5 assists. The New Canaan Ct product is only a Jr, and will have NESCAC coaches looking for answers in the offseason.

The Final Six Pack:

  1. Wesleyan 20-2. Start to finish the best team in New England this season. The depressing part for the rest of the NESCAC is they are a young team and figure to have the likes of Ghesquire, Stanton and Hawthorne return next season.
  2. Bates 16-2. Despite the disappointing ending 2017 was the best in school history. Congratulations the Bobcats
  3. Amherst 13-5. The team formerly known as the Lord Jeff’s finished the season losing to Bates in the NCAA Tourney. None the less it was a solid season; they will be looking to rebound in 2018.
  4. Tufts 13-6. Graduation losses, coaching losses, injuries all compounded Tufts drop off this season. Still one of the best teams around.
  5. Springfield 11-5. The NEWMAC Conference has made tremendous strides in the last couple of seasons. But the one thing remains the same, Springfield wins the NEWMAC.
  6. Keene St. 14-4. The best thing that can happen to the Owls is another Little East team emerges. The lack of competition hurts them in the post season.

3 stars for 2017:

1st Star: Harry Stanton, Wesleyan. The stats tell a big story with 86g, 29a on 33.9% shooting. That was good enough for 1st Team All American status.

2nd Star: Charlie Fay, Bates. Finishes amazing career at Bates with 79g, 25a. Like Stanton that was good enough for 1st Team All American. Has to be considered Bates All Time Best player. Was drafted in the 7th round of the MLL Draft by the Cannons.

3rd Star: Jake Reynolds, Springfield. Was a huge part of the Pride winning yet another NEWMAC title. Finished the season with 214 saves and 59.1 save%. He was NEWMAC defensive player of the year.

Faceoff player of the Year:

Tommy Hughes, Endicott. CCC coaches will be more than happy to see Hughes graduate. Once again he dominated the faceoff X, going 71.5% picking up 218 GBs. OBTW added 12g and 2a as he earned HM All American, should have been higher IMHO. Also, drafted by the Boston Cannons in the 10th round.

Freshmen make their mark:

Like the D1 ranks 2017 has seen many great freshman step to the fore. Here are my Top 5 Freshmen in NED3 Lax this season.

1. Matt Chlastawa, Bates: The Westfield MA product was a missing piece for Bates this season. I thought he really balanced the field and gave Bates a strong lefty presence. 53g, 32a 37.3% shooting is a nice way to start a career. Also, HM All American.

2. Colin Minicus, Amherst: Named NESCAC rookie of the year. Scored 31g, 42a on 26.5% shooting. Was HM All New England

3. Dylan Finazzo, Amherst: Solidified the FO position this season going 289/452, 156 GBs and 2a. Was HM All New England.

4. AJ Kucinski, Middlebury: Highly regarded coming out of BC High didn’t disappoint. Scored 38g and added 36a on 37.6% shooting, the quintessential QB for the Panthers.

5. Riley McNulty Coast Guard: Was NEWMAC rookie of the year, as well as 1st Team All NEWMAC. 39g, 23a on 35.5% shooting.

Thanks for taking a few minutes to check out the blog. Look forward to bringing more coverage in 2018.

@Bernasconirich