WNE Picked as CCC Men's Lacrosse Favorite for the Fourth Year In A Row

WNE Picked as CCC Men's Lacrosse Favorite for the Fourth Year In A Row

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Winners of five of the last seven Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) Men’s Lacrosse Tournament Championships, Western New England was selected as the favorite to win another title in 2019.

The Golden Bears earned 79 points in the poll, including seven first place votes. Voting was completed last week by the league’s nine men’s lacrosse head coaches.

This year’s preseason favorites are coming off a perfect conference season in 2018 as they went 8-0 in CCC (13-7 overall) play and cruised through the conference tournament. After receiving a quarterfinal bye in the league championship, the Golden Bears defeated No. 5 seed Salve Regina, 18-5, in the semifinals. They then knocked off No. 2 seed Endicott, 10-6, in the sixth straight CCC Championship meeting between the two programs.

After being advanced directly into the Second Round of the 2018 NCAA Division III Men’s Lacrosse Championship, the CCC Tournament Champions fell to No. 2 York, 15-7, ending their season.

The Gulls will once again be in contention for the top spot in the conference as they land in the No. 2 slot in this year’s poll. They received 71 points and the remaining two first place votes. Last season, Endicott put together a 6-2 conference (7-11 overall) season and earned the No. 2 seed in the tournament. It defeated No. 6 seed Roger Williams, 8-5, in the semifinals before succumbing to WNE.

Curry, which went 5-3 in conference (10-6 overall) play last year, landed in the third slot in the poll with 63 points. The other three 2018 CCC Quarterfinal participants, the University of New England (51 points), Roger Williams (47), and Salve Regina (36), were the next three in the poll in that order. All three teams went 4-4 in CCC play last year. The two Rhode Island teams were able to earn wins on the road, knocking off the higher seeds for a spot in the CCC Semifinals.

Nichols (25), Wentworth (20), and Gordon (13) rounded out the 2019 poll in that order.

Salve Regina gets the men’s lacrosse season started on Saturday, Feb. 16 with a non-conference matchup with Clark. The remaining CCC teams start their seasons in the following weeks. The conference schedule kicks off with a single-game between Salve Regina and Endicott on Saturday, March 2. The first full conference play date is Saturday, March 23. Due to a change in the conference bylaws regarding the number of teams that qualify for conference tournaments, the top seven teams will gain entry to this year’s championship. The Tournament will begin with the quarterfinal round on Saturday, April 27, followed by the semifinals on Tuesday, April 30. The CCC Tournament Championship will take place on Friday, May 3. The CCC Tournament Champion will earn the conference’s automatic qualifier in to the 2019 NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Championship.

Click HERE to view the whole 2019 CCC men’s lacrosse schedule.

 

2019 CCC Men's Lacrosse Preseason Coaches' Poll

  Team Points (First Place Votes)
1. Western New England 79 (7)
2. Endicott 71 (2)
3. Curry 63
4. University of New England 51
5. Roger Williams 47
6. Salve Regina 36
7. Nichols 25
8. Wentworth 20
9. Gordon 13

 

2019 CCC Men's Lacrosse Previews

Contributed by each school's sports information department.

 

1. Western New England

Western New England’s CCC dominance continued last season, as the Golden Bears earned their seventh CCC Championship with a 10-6 victory over Endicott in the title contest. Now in his 18th season as head coach of the WNE program, John Klepacki owns a career record of 225-97.

Klepacki brings back a pair of USILA All-Americans in junior midfielder Nick Gamba (East Islip, N.Y.) and junior defenseman Oskar Djusberg (Abington, Mass.), who both earned honorable mention recognition last spring. Gamba, the 2018 CCC Offensive Player of the Year, compiled 55 points with 33 goals and 22 assists, while Djusberg was a top defender for the Golden Bears with 65 ground balls and 21 caused turnovers.

Western New England returns an additional four student-athletes who garnered All-CCC accolades last season, including senior faceoff specialist Hunter Cocks (Walden, N.Y.).

The Golden Bears open their 2019 season at Clark on Saturday, Feb. 23. Western New England returns to Springfield for its home opener against Keene State on Tuesday, Feb. 26, while CCC play begins at Wentworth on Sunday, March 24.


Nick Gamba, WNE

2. Endicott

The Endicott men's lacrosse team will look to regain its place atop the CCC behind the strong play and leadership of the league's reigning Defensive Player of the Year and Short-Stick Specialist of the Year, Hayden Souza (West Hartford, Conn.).

Endicott also returns CCC All-Conference selections Nick Arcadipane (Groveland, Mass.), Grant Garrity (Duxbury, Mass.), Patrick Dean (Westhampton, N.Y.), Jack Sutherland (Sudbury, Mass.), Andrew Fithian (Marshfield, Mass.), and Derek Yannone (Lynnfield, Mass.) to the fold in 2019.

Meanwhile, the senior class of Dean, Tom DeSilva (Massapequa, N.Y.), Matthew Faucher (Western Springs, Ill.), Garrity, Cam Goodrich (Raynham, Mass.), Teddy Hannon (Duxbury, Mass.), Justin Horine (Fairfield, Conn.), A.J. MacDonald (New Fairfield, Conn.), Chris Reilly (Westwood, Mass.), Souza, Kenneth Speak (Melbourne, Australia), and Yannone will be looked upon to guide the squad throughout the season.

The Gulls open up their 2019 season at Stevens on Saturday, Feb. 23.


Hayden Souza, EC

3. Curry

The 2019 Curry men's lacrosse team returns all three of its first line midfielders from last season, all of whom registered 30 or more points. The Colonels will look to top returning point returners in 2018 All-CCC Second Team selection senior Devin Newell (Medford, Mass.), who finished top 10 in the conference in goals, assists, and points. Curry will also look for production from 2018 All-CCC Second Team selection in sophomore Andrew DeLeary (Wakefield, Mass.), senior MJ Urbano (Wakefield, Mass.), also a Second Team All-CCC selection. Junior Jake Stebbins (Colchester, Vt.) rounds out the top point recorders as he finished with 34.

A strong ground ball game from senior captain Zach White (Milford, Conn.) (148), a First Team All-CCC selection and leadership from senior goalie Josh Teller (Milford, Conn.) will help the Colonels improve a season in which they finished 10-6 overall and 5-3 in league play, earning the number three seed in the CCC Tournament. The captains who will lead this year’s team will be White, senior Dylan Cromwell (Fairhaven, Mass.), Newell, and Stebbins.  

In addition to the key returners, the squad also has a solid group of first-year students who will be looking to crack the lineup this year. The program has also benefited from three transfers who could all contribute in their respective areas. Across the board, fans of Curry men’s lacrosse should expect to see some new faces, or familiar faces in new positions this spring.


Zach White, CC

4. University of New England

The University of New England and seventh-year head coach Charlie Burch bring back 10 of the top 11 point-getters from the 2018 squad that went 4-4 in conference games. Senior attacker Alex Zadworny (Florence, Mass.) topped the group with 47 goals and 32 assists on the way to First Team All-CCC honors, the second recognition of his career. Junior long-stick midfielder Adam Race (Cazenovia, N.Y.) is a two-time selection onto the All-CCC First Team; in addition to seven goals and four assists, he led the Nor'easters with 42 caused turnovers and totaled 77 ground balls. Junior attacker Garett Bozek (Nashua, N.H.) and senior attacker Mitch Mullin (Cumberland, Maine) tallied 35 and 34 goals, respectively, last season.

Alex ZadwornyUNE

5. Roger Williams

The Roger Williams men’s lacrosse team seeks to claim the program’s first-ever CCC Championship. After clinching the No. 6 seed on the final day of the regular season, the Hawks advanced to the CCC Quarterfinals against third-seeded Curry. In the playoffs, the Hawks avenged an 13-11 loss to the Colonels with a 12-10 victory to advance to the CCC Semifinals. Unfortunately, RWU succumbed to Endicott 5-8 in the semifinals.

This year’s team has a strong balance of returning veterans and newcomers, with 13 first-year players and 16 upperclassmen. The Hawks will rely on this balance to provide strong depth throughout the season. Roger Williams returns three 2018 All-CCC players, including two-time All-CCC First Team defender Shawn Errasti (Duxbury, Mass.).


Shawn Errasti, RWU

6. Salve Regina

Head coach Patrick Cooney enters his 16th season at the helm of the Seahawks. The team will return four All-CCC players, Brendan Kelly (Long Beach, N.Y.), Mike Mongelli (Roslyn, N.Y.), and Ethan Robson (Lincoln, R.I.), and CCC Rookie of the Year Pat Leary (Wakefield, Mass.). Robson and Mongelli will be joined by senior Dakotah Jones (Mattapoisett, Mass.) as captains of the 2019 squad, leading a mix veterans and newcomers as they look to build upon the team’s run to the CCC Semifinals last season.


Mike Mongelli, SRU

7. Nichols

The Nichols men’s lacrosse program opens the 2019 campaign on Friday, Feb. 22 at St. Joseph’s (Maine). The Bison are led offensively by seniors Casey Campanale (Shrewsbury, Mass.) and Jack Campanale (Shrewsbury, Mass.), and sophomore Brendan Coates (Grafton, Mass.). Casey collected 17 goals and 22 assists in 2019 while brother Jack racked up 19 goals and 15 assists. Coates, meanwhile, potted 26 goals in his first season in Dudley. Senior Brian McKinley (Nashua, N.H.) returns to man the crease for head coach Eric Gobiel after posting career-bests in save percentage (.612) and goals against average (8.04) last season. Junior Hugh O’Donnell (Charlestown, Mass.) (64 GB) and senior Matt O’Connell (Woburn, Mass.) (36 GB) anchor the defense.


Casey Campanale, NC

8. Wentworth

Returning its top three scorers from a season ago, the Wentworth men’s lacrosse team looks to contend for a spot in the CCC Tournament this year, after missing out the previous two seasons. Leading the way on offense is senior midfielder Jacob Eldred (Goffstown, N.H.), who was a Third Team All-CCC selection a season ago after leading the team with 49 points (26 goals, 23 assists). Joining Eldred as offensive returners are a pair of attackmen in junior Kyle Doner (Lindenhurst, N.Y.) and sophomore Ben Coakley (Flemington, N.J.) both of whom concluded last season with 42 points. Doner led the team with 28 goals to go along with 14 assists, while Coakley had a 20-goal, 22-assist first season with the Black & Gold. All three helped Wentworth score 17.43 points per game, the team’s highest average since the 2013 campaign. Senior midfielder Peter Andersson (Madison, N.J.) returns to the Leopards after winning nearly 52 percent of his face-offs during his junior campaign. Andersson also scooped up 39 ground balls and caused 10 turnovers. Defensively, Wentworth posted its lowest goals against average (9.43) since the 2013 season and caused 120 turnovers. Senior Kilian Ryan (Saranac Lake, N.Y.) returns to help anchor the Leopard defense after causing a team-high 16 turnovers as a junior and also scooping up 29 ground balls. Jake Berry (Beverly, Mass.) returns for his junior campaign after a sophomore season which saw him cause nine turnovers.

 
Jacob Eldred, WIT

9. Gordon

Led by first-year head coach Brian Lane, Gordon men’s lacrosse returns senior Austin Early (Palmyra, Va.) to the attack, who had a hand in 41 goals last year after netting 25 and handing out 16 assists. Netminder Jay Gallipo (Dover, N.H.) will take his place in the cage after turning away 164 shots a season ago in 870 minutes played. Joining him in the backfield are defensemen Noah Johnson (Portsmouth, R.I.) and Tyler Pauls (Littleton, Colo.), who last year registered 47 ground balls and 48 caused turnovers, respectively, while Billy Biegun (Wappingers Falls, N.Y.) resumes his position as the Scots’ face-off specialist.

The Scots start off their season on the road as they travel to New England College on Feb. 23 at 1 p.m.


Austin Early, GC

 

 

ABOUT THE COMMONWEALTH COAST CONFERENCE

The Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC), founded in 1984, is an NCAA Division III athletic conference comprised of nine full member and one associate member institutions throughout the New England region. Its membership aims to provide student-athletes with a positive experience in their pursuit of excellence through high academic standards, quality competition, and a meaningful student life. The conference administers championships in 18 intercollegiate sports.

 

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