Mercy Me, It's Only Season Two
The Florida women's team is not the only second-year program
making headlines these days.
Back on Long Island, the newbie Mercy College men's team is also
announcing its presence rather loudly in the Division II world.
The Mavericks are 10-1 overall and ranked No. 6 in this week's
USILA national poll. They have sandwiched a pair of five-game
winning streaks around their only loss of the season, a narrow 9-7
loss at No. 5 ranked Mercyhurst.
And, most importantly, they are still in position to win the
championship in the highly-competitive East Coast Conference. The
Mavs actually control their own destiny with three games
While Mercy has already disposed of one ECC giant, defeating New
York Tech 16-11 last month, there are several still standing
between the second-year upstart and the league title. Following
this weekend's open date, the Mavericks must face two-time
defending national champion and No. 3 ranked C.W. Post, a tough
Seton Hill squad, and then No. 5 Dowling.
A daunting challenge, but don't tell that to Coach Steve Manitta,
who has a squad that features 26 freshmen and sophomores on its
32-man roster. Three of the team's top five scorers are freshmen,
as is starting goalie T.J. DiCarlo. Manitta sees the pieces of the
puzzle coming together.
"I am the happiest for the players," Manitta said recently. "They
have bought into what we are trying to do."
Heading into the home stretch, Mercy sits atop the ECC standings
after being picked to finish eighth in the preseason coaches poll.
The Mavs have already doubled their victory total from last year's
inaugural 5-10 campaign, and have exceeded all preseason
Regardless of whatever happens the rest of the way, Mercy has
stamped its second season as one to remember.