February 7, 2012

Season Preview: MD2 Preseason Top 10 Outlooks

by Jac Coyne | LaxMagazine.com | Coyne Archive | Twitter

Junior attackman Brian Scheetz will lead Mercyhurst's repeat hopes.
© John Strohsacker/LaxPhotos.com

1. Mercyhurst

2011 Record: 14-2 (8-2 ECC)
Key Player: After a spectacular sophomore campaign, junior attackman Brian Scheetz (21 goals, 33 assists) will be the catalyst for the Lakers' repeat hopes.
X-Factor: Zach Nash played every minute last year in goal. Mercyhurst will have to find someone quickly to fill that large void.

2. Adelphi

2011 Record: 16-3 (9-1 Northeast-10)
Key Player: Whether he's running in the midfield or on attack, senior Joe Vitale (40g, 30a) is a match-up nightmare.
X-Factor: Gordon Purdie has rebuilt the Panthers, but he couldn't have done it without assistant coach Joe Catalanotti, who was named the IMLCA outstanding assistant.

3. Limestone

2011 Record: 15-2 (5-0 Conference Carolinas)
Key Player: Senior attackman Shayne Jackson (32g, 50a) was named LM's Division II Preseason Player of the Year, but fellow attackman Riley Loewen (54g, 20a) is just as good.
X-Factor: The Saints' offense gets the pub, but senior goalie Steve Gartelman (6.57 goals against average) will determine how far this team advances.

4. C.W. Post

2011 Record: 16-2 (9-1 ECC)
Key Player: If senior attackman Eddie Plompen (54g, 18a) receives the ball in space, it's over. He's a premium finisher.
X-Factor: The Pioneers' recent success has been helped by dominant faceoff men. They still need to find one for 2012.

5. Le Moyne

2011 Record: 12-2 (10-0 Northeast-10)
Key Player: Grad student Tyler Sennett (16g) is one of the few proven offensive players returning.
X-Factor: Dan Sheehan and the Dolphins won't talk much about last year's NCAA tournament snub, but they'll be a motivated bunch.

6. Dowling

2011 Record: 11-3 (7-3 ECC)
Key Player: Entering his final season, senior Vito DeMola (46g) is one of the premier attackmen in the ECC, as well as the country.
X-Factor: The Golden Lions need to be better away from home. All three of their losses came on the road in 2012, including a stunner at Chestnut Hill.

7. NYIT

2011 Record: 10-4 (7-3 ECC)
Key Player: As senior goalie William McGee (9.21 GAA, .568 save percentage) goes, so go the Bears. When he's on, NYIT wins.
X-Factor: Don't let the 18-man freshman class fool you. This team is immensely talented and ready for a run at the ECC crown.

8. Mercy

2011 Record: 11-3 (7-3 ECC)
Key Player: Having junior T.J. DiCarlo (7.58 GAA, .636 sv pct), the top goalkeeper in Division II, will keep the Mavericks in every game.
X-Factor: If sophomore John Lionetti can match his faceoff numbers (63.7 percent) from 2012, Mercy could ride its strength up the middle to the NCAA tournament.

9. Merrimack

2011 Record: 11-6 (6-4 Northeast-10)
Key Player: Middie Corey Lunney seems like he has been around forever, and he's still just a junior. He'll be the straw that stirs the drink again.
X-Factor: All five of the regular season losses came by two goals or less, so finishing will be the key in 2012.

10. Pfeiffer

2011 Record: 10-6 (2-2 Conference Carolinas)
Key Player: Senior Justin Rose (26g) gives Pfeiffer a rugged scoring threat out of the midfield.
X-Factor: The Falcons were one of the few South region teams to make Limestone work (twice). Can they get over the hump?

This article appears in the February issue of Lacrosse Magazine, the flagship publication of US Lacrosse. Join US Lacrosse and its 400,000-plus members today to start your subscription to LM.


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