Patriot League 2022 Preview – Lacrosse Bucket

(Photo courtesy of Navy Athletics)

Last season was unique for the Patriot League. Not only did the league decide on an alternate schedule that split the conference into two divisions, but it also went back and forth on what the postseason would look like. Eventually, the conference tournament was shortened due to Loyola testing positive for COVID, allowing Lehigh to capture the title.

Normalcy returns to the Patriot League this season and expects its top teams to be among the best in the country as usual.

Here’s a look at how the Patriot League fared this past season:

*Patriot League Tournament Champions

north

  1. Army West Point – 7-5 (5-2)
  2. Boston U – 6-5 (4-2)
  3. Colgate – 3-7 (2-4)
  4. Holy Cross – 2-4 (1-3)

south

  1. Lehigh-10-2 (8-0)
  2. Loyola-10-6 (4-3)
  3. Navy – 7-3 (5-2)
  4. Bucknell – 2-6 (1-4)
  5. Lafayette – 0-12 (0-7)

Army, Boston U. and Colgate made the postseason from the north while Lehigh, Loyola and Navy advanced from the south. Lehigh and Loyola were scheduled to play in the title game before the Greyhounds were forced to retire.

Let’s now turn the focus to the 2022 season.

Army West Point Black Knights

Last season: 7-5 (5-2)

Important departures: none

Key return: Brendan Niern (A), Marcus Hudgins (D), Wyatt Schupler (G)

Transfer accesses: none

Defense is a staple of West Point Lacrosse and that’s not going to change in 2022 as they return two of their top poles from a year ago in Marcus Hudgins (36GB/23CT) and Jack Weigand (21GB/8CT) goaltender Wyatt Schupler, who made 132 saves with a 0.569 percent save a year ago to anchor the nation’s fifth-best defense as it conceded 9.27 goals per game. But the most decorated player on this roster lies on offense in senior attackman Brendan Niece. The star-studded attacker has enjoyed his most productive season game-by-game. With 57 points from 26 goals and 31 assists, Nietner averaged 5.18 points per game, 2.36 goals per game and 2.81 assists per game.

Boston & Terrier

Last season: 6-5 (4-2)

Important departures:

Key return: Vince D’Alto (A), Louis Perfetto (A), Timmy Ley (A), Roy Meyer (LSM), Patrick Morrison (D)

Transfer accesses: Connor Calderon (FO, Maryland), Jax Popovich (FO, Richmond)

After faltering late in the season despite a strong start in 2021, the Terriers return with a heap of talent. Attacking duo Vince D’Alto and Louis Perfetto lead this offensive. The two together for 77 points a year ago. Also, Timmy Ley returns after a 34-point season in which he missed the last four games to further bolster that offense. LSM Roy Meyer and defenseman Patrick Morrison have had breakout years and highlight the returners in that backend. The transfer pairing in Connor Calderone and Jax Popovich should help get where they relegated a year ago with 41% as one of the worst teams in the conference.

Bucknell bison

Last season: 2-6 (1-4)

Important departures: Tommy Spoko (A)

Key return: Alston Terry (A), Dutch Furlong (A), Harry Wellford (M), Travis Talarico (D)

Transfer accesses: none

The Bison went 5-1 in 2020 and finished last season 2-6. And as is usual with a Frank Fedorjaka, this squad has a lot of catching up to do. Alston Terry returns to take the lead on offense after a 24-point season a year ago. At the back end, where the Bison were averaging 13.25 goals per game a season ago, Travis Talarico is returning after two strong seasons as the top pole, including last year when he finished second on the team in ground balls (28) and caused Turnover (11). Terry, Talarico, and the returners that surround them on each end give the Bison a very solid core coming into the season.

Colgate Raiders

Last season: 3-7 (2-4)

Important departures: Mike Hawkins (A), James Caddigan (A)

Key return: Brian Minicus (A), Will Sidari (D), Thor Adamec (LSM)

Transfer accesses:

Colgate prevailed in the Patriot League quarterfinals with a 7-1 run over Boston U. and then lost 13-9 to Lehigh in the semifinals. Before entering the postseason, they put on a strong effort against Army with a 13-11 loss. That late-season run yielded just one Raiders win, but showed the potential this team has in 2022. Colgate returns almost everyone on defense including defender Will Sidari (18GB/7CT) and LSM Thor Adamec (27GB/8CT). And on offense, Brian Minicus will return after scoring 15 goals and 25 assists a year ago when he showed he could be one of the better attackers in the conference. With the return of this talent, 2022 could be a special one for Colgate.

holy cross Crusaders

Last season: 2-4 (1-3)

Important departures:

Key return: Dean DiNanno (A), Will Spangenberg (A), Chris Conlin (D), AJ Fox (G)

transfer additions: None

If ever there was such a thing as a head coach, it was JL Reppert who experienced it at Holy Cross last season. Reppert was hired 36 days before the start of the regular season, and the Crusaders season was called off early for “violating team standards and the college’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols.” Goalie AJ ​​Fox is arguably the Crusaders’ most influential returnee. He started all six games and made 85 saves with a .541 percent save rate anchoring that defense. That included a 17-save game against Sacred Heart and a career-best 18-save performance against Syracuse. Dean DiNanno (8G/6A) and Will Spangenberg (5G/7A) ​​are two of their top five scorers returning.

Lafayette leopards

Last season: 0-12 (0-7)

Important departures: Noah Mendoza (D)

Key return: Peter Lehman (A), Charlie Cunniffe (A), JP Robinson (D), Tommy McGee (D), Ryan Ness (G)

Transfer accesses: none

Lafayette is entering the season on a 27-game losing streak that dates back to March 2019. Last season it was a youth movement that broke through this team and these players now come into 2022 with a wealth of experience. Peter Lehman is the name to know on this squad as he started this team a year ago aged 24 points from 20 goals and four assists and earned Patriot League Rookie of The Year honors. That youth can also be seen at the back end, where JP Robinson (14GB/11CT) and Tommy McGee (20GB/10CT) return as sophomores as the Leopards’ top two Poles.

Lehigh Mountain Hawks

Last season: 10-2 (8-0)

Important departures: Matt Douglas (D)

Key return: Tommy Schelling (A), Christian Mule’ (A), Cole Kirst (A), Mike Sisselberger (FO), Teddy Leggett (LSM), James Spence (G)

Transfer accesses: none

The Mountain Hawks, who snagged the Patriot League AQ last season, should be fighting for it again this season. Mike Sisselberger is back after taking the spotlight a year ago and going to point 225 to 283 (0.795%). His performance not only topped the nation, but also topped the record books for the best single-season win ratio in both Patriot League and NCAA history. His 160 ground ball and 21 ground ball performance against Lafayette broke program and conference records. While Sisselberger will again be the X-Factor on point this season, the Mountain Hawks will also see Impact players like Tommy Schelling (24G/24A) back on offense and goaltender James Spence to anchor things defensively .

Loyola greyhounds

Last season: 10-2 (8-0)

Important departures: none

Key return: Kevin Lindley (A), Aidan Olmstead (A), Bailey Savio (FO), Ryan McNulty (LSM), Sam Shafer (G)

Transfer accesses: Mustang Sally (SSDM, Richmond)

Loyola prevailed 5-5 before the penultimate weekend of the regular season. They would then win 4 straight, only to have a positive COVID test take away their conference title chances. Still in the NCAA tournament, a Sam Shafer saving for the ages sent them past Denver and then lost to Duke in overtime in the NCAA Quarterfinals. It was a wild ride that showed how good this team was and is. Loyola returns with virtually everyone including Kevin Lindley and Aidan Olmstead to settle things on offense and LSM Ryan McNulty and Sam Shafer to highlight that defense.

Midshipmen of the Navy

Last season: 10-2 (8-0)

Important departures: Christian Daniel (A), Nick Franchuk (D), Andrew McKenna (D), Spencer Rees (G)

Key return: Patrick Skalniak (M), Jon Jarsoz (M), Jacob Jarsoz (FO), Jackson Bonitz (D)

Transfer accesses: none

Navy has some parts to replace, including goalie Spencer Rees. But Joe Amplo played against a good number of young players last season and this group looks like they could take the lead here in 2022. Jackson Bonitz has already established himself as an all-conference pole, having made 10 turnovers and 25 grounds balls a season ago, and guys like Jon Jarosz (12G/5A) and Dane Swanson (5G/3A) are making big ones in midfield Make contribution. The current sophomores, along with juniors like Patrick Skalniak, form a strong core of this team.

Patriot League 2022 Predictions

Here’s a look at how I can see the Patriot League this season and who I’d pick for the conference’s Offensive and Defensive Player of the Year now.

final score:

  1. Loyola
  2. Lehigh
  3. Army West Point
  4. marine
  5. boston u
  6. Colgate
  7. Bucknell
  8. holy cross
  9. Lafayette

Loyola is hands down the best team in the Patriot League and I really think we could see them play Memorial Day weekend. Behind it should be the usual names Lehigh, Army and Navy. This next crop of Boston U., Colgate and Bucknell could cause some trouble for the top tier I think and really wreak havoc if they put all the pieces together.

Offensive Player of the Year: Brendan Niern, A, Army West Point

Defensive Player of the Year: Jackson Bonitz, D, Marine

About Cindy Johnson

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