The Cortland Red Dragons (12-7) were ranked 33 by the NCAA RPI had a very good season rolling through the SUNYAC conference making their 18th straight DIII playoff appearance and 34th overall. The Red Dragons lost in the first round of the playoffs to the later crowned champions, Wesleyan University. Cortland has also made an NCAA DIII finals appearances in 5 of the last 12 years. Cortland had 3 players named to the USILA All-American Honorable Mentions List (Midfielder- Joey Panariello and Attackman- Devin Phelps and Terrence Haggerty) and 2 players were nominated to play in the USILA Senior All-Star Game (Attackman- Thomas McNaney and Defenseman- Justin Siracusa). In addition, Head Coach Steve Beville was named 2018 SUNYAC Coach of the Year proving that Cortland is an all-around team taking control over the SUNYAC. To support the Red Dragon’s case more, Cortland led the SUNYAC in goals by almost 100, assists by 70, and goals per game by 3. However, they were towards the bottom of the ranks in the SUNYAC in defense but their powerful offense was more than capable of making up for their lax defense. Individually, Cortland has the leading goal scorer in the conference and 3 of the top 7 (Haggerty-54, Panariello-34, and Phelps-28). They also have the top 2 assist leaders in the conference and 3 of the top 4 (McNaney-37, Phelps-33, and Riley-22). In addition, they have the top 3 point scorers and 4 of the top 5 in the conference (Phelps-61, Haggerty & McNaney- 58, Panariello- 47). To continue Cortland’s success, they have 5 recruits coming in the fall all from New York but predominantly Long Island. SUNY Cortland is the 48th Regionally ranked Northern University with roughly 7,000 undergraduates enrolled, mostly from New York at about $21,000 in-state and $30,000 out-of-state a year. The primary majors at Cortland for Education, Sports and Fitness Management, and Kinesiology and exercise science. Representing the Red Dragons at the Legit Showcase is Nick Acquaviva, a 2nd year assistant coach for Cortland who has previously been the assistant coach for Lycoming College (2012-2013) and Pfeiffer University (2014-2016).Nick is 5th all-time in DIII men’s lacrosse in minutes played (3,865), and 24th All-time in saves (789). The Dragons are the SUNY team to watch in the near future.
The Haverford Fords (7-8) had a solid season, finishing 4th in a very competitive Centennial Conference and finishing the year as the 38th ranked team according to the NCAA DIII RPI rankings. The Fords made the Centennial Conference semifinals, losing to #3 ranked Gettysburg who ended up coming in 2nd place in the conference. Haverford was led by the Centennial Conference athlete of the year Ben Frost and Goalie Dylan Slack how was 4th in the conference in saves (173) and 2nd in save percentage (59%). The Fords have 3 recruits coming in the fall, all from New Jersey to boost the Fords to be on top of the CC. Besides athletics, Haverford College is a private liberal arts school in Haverford, PA ranking 18th amongst national liberal arts colleges with about 1,270 undergraduates enrolled costing approximately $70,000 a year. The most popular majors at Haverford are biology, economics, and psychology. Representing Haverford at the Legit Showcase is assistant coach Brian Santoleri who just finished up his 2nd season there. Brian was previously the assistant coach at Moravian College and is currently employed by the Victory Event Series on top of coaching at Haverford. Haverford is looking to remain competitive in a tough conference and hopefully break through to become a team to be feared in the Centennial Conference.
The Skidmore Thoroughbreds (8-8) finished 60th in the NCAA RPI rankings and .500 on the year in a very tough and competitive Liberty League consisting of the #1 ranked RIT. A few bright spots of their season was senior midfielder Jack Curry being awarded a Nike Scholar All-American athlete. In addition, the Thoroughbreds won their last 3 games and won 4 of their last 6 so they have momentum entering the 2019 season. Along with their win streak ending the year, they have 4 recruits coming in the fall, 2 from Long Island and 2 from New England. Skidmore is a private liberal arts college in Saratoga Springs, New York that costs about $52,500 a year and consists of about 2,700 undergraduates enrolled. The most popular majors out of the 43 offered are business management and a variety of art programs. Representing Skidmore at our Legit Showcase is Marcel Godino, the assistant coach for Skidmore and just finished up his 1st year as assistant coach. Godino was a 4 year player at Manhattan College and then began his coaching career as the assistant coach for Bard College’s men’s lacrosse team. He was at Bard for 2 years and is eager to continue his journey as the Skidmore assistant coach.
The Union College Dutchmen (9-6) came off a decent season, placing 5th in a very competitive Liberty League and ending the season ranking 45th according to the NCAA RPI ranks. Union made it to the Liberty League quarterfinals where they lost to the 19th ranked team, St. Lawrence, in a highly anticipated rematch from the season prior. The Dutchman was led by goalie Sam Bebout who was a scholar All-American, a USILA DIII All-Star, finished 2nd place in the conference in goals against and 5th in the conference in saves. The Dutchman also had the leading assist man in the conference in Jordan Cooper who was also a Scholar All-American. Besides athletics, Union College is a private liberal arts college in Schenectady, New York and ranked the 36th national liberal arts college with about 2,200 undergraduates enrolled. In 2017, Union’s cost was about $70,000 a year and the most popular majors are engineering, biology, psychology, and economics. Representing Union at the Legit Showcase is assistant coach and defensive coordinator Derek Witheford. Derek just finished up his 4th season on the team and played college lacrosse at Union so he is familiar with the campus, community, and team.
The Washington and Lee Generals (15-5) destroyed Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) going undefeated in conference play and was the 18th ranked team according to the NCAA RPI rankings. The Generals are led by A.J Witherell who was named the ODAC player of the year and a 1st Team All-ODAC player. In addition, he led the conference in points and was 2nd in goals scored and is eager to get back for his senior year. The Generals also had 2 honorable mentions in Kyle Gifford and Jack Hodgson. Senior defenseman Gifford, was also awarded a 2018 scholar All-American this past season which led to Washington and Lee finishing 13th in the Learfield Directors Cup which is the ranks for the best overall college athletic program. 13th is the highest rank ever for Washington and Lee, the future is looking bright for the Generals, especially with their big recruiting class coming in the fall of 11 young studs. Representing the Generals at the showcase is assistant coach and defensive coordinator Eric Koch. He just finished up his 4th season and led their defense and goaltending to the 2nd highest save percentage in the conference. Besides lacrosse, Washington and Lee ranks 10th amongst National Liberal Arts Colleges with approximately 2,000 undergraduates enrolled and costs about $63,500 to attend. The primary majors are business administration, Economics, and Political Science. The Generals are the team to watch in the ODAC Conference and all of division 3 lacrosse.
The Wesleyan Cardinals (19-3), now on top of the DIII lacrosse world after winning the NESCAC division title and more importantly, the national championship this past year. The Cardinals are entering the 2019 season as the 4th ranked team, according to the NCAA RPI rank with 11 recruits (predominantly from the tristate area) coming next fall. The Cardinals were absolute weapons this past season rankings 3rd in total goals scored and 1st in all of DIII in goals against average. The numbers were spearheaded by 2 of the top 3 goal scorers in the NESCAC conference, Ronan Jacoby (66 goals; 1st), Harry Stanton (60 goals;3rd), and the conference assist leader, Carter Hawthorne (66 assists; 1st and 92 points; 4th). As we always hear, “Defense wins championships.” and the Cardinals had a lights out goalie this season, Otto Bohan ranking 2nd in saves with 191 and 3rd in save percentage with 54.3%. Wesleyan also has a great fan base to play for, ranking 1st in home game attendance out of all of DIII. Wesleyan University is a private University in Middletown Connecticut costing $70,000 per year with 45 majors + about 20 minors, the most popular majors being psychology and biological sciences. Wesleyan ranked 21st nationally in Liberal Arts Colleges with about 3,000 undergraduates enrolled. Representing the Cardinals at the Legit Showcase are Tommy Martone and Bill Els. Tommy started coaching at Wesleyan in 2018 as the defensive assistant. Prior to this position, he coached at Albertus Magnus as the defensive coordinator and was a 3 year starter at the University of Hartford. Bill Els started coaching at Wesleyan in 2018 as the goalie coach. He previously coached at Connecticut College and while he was there, he went to the NCAA tournament and secured a top 15 NCAA ranking in 2012. After this, the was the defensive coordinator and goalie coach at RPI where they were ranked in the top 15 and reached the DIII championship in 2016.
The Belmont Abbey College Crusaders (14-4) finished the season 13th according to the NCAA RPI rankings and defeated the 1 seed Limestone to the Conference Carolinas championship this past season. The Crusaders were led by defenseman Anthony Cesario (2nd team), attacker Adam Wiedemann (3rd team), attacker Liam Osborne and midfielder Kyle McGinley (honorable mentions). Wiedemann finished 3rd in the conference in points with 67, tied for 1st in assists with 29, and 5th in goals with 38 and Osborne finished 3rd in goals in the conference with 41. The Crusaders also had 2 DII All-American scholar athletes in seniors Kyle McGinley and Adam Wiedemann To further help Belmont Abbey, the Crusaders have 8 recruits coming in the fall mostly from New York but have a mix from all across the east coast. Besides lacrosse, Belmont Abbey is a private catholic liberal arts college in Belmont, North Carolina ranking 8th amongst southern regional colleges. There are about 1,500 undergraduates enrolled and Belmont Abbey is about $33,000 a year with the most popular majors being business administration, education, and sports management. Representing Belmont Abbey is assistant coach and defensive coordinator Joe Perruzzi who just finished up his 2nd season with the team. He was previously the assistant coach at Ohio Wesleyan College, defensive coordinator at Kenyon College, and assistant coach at Community College of Baltimore County-Essex. Perruzzi also played college lacrosse at Belmont Abbey where he was a 3 year starter. The Crusaders are a team to watch in DII in the upcoming season.
The Florida Southern College Moscie’s (8-7) ended middle of the pack in a competitive Sunshine State Conference ranking 25th according to the NCAA RPI rankings. The Moscie’s were led by 4 second teamers, Lucas Claude, Daltion Simpson, Kevin Dyer and Kevin Horowitz and 2 honorable mentions in Austen Lison and Alex Dagen. Lucas Claude was the backbone to the team this year finishing 3rd in the conference in goals with 42 and 6th in points with 53. To push the team to the next level in the near future, there are 4 published recruits coming in the fall, 3 of them from New York. Besides lacrosse, Florida Southern is a private college in Lakeland, Florida ranking 19th amongst southern regional colleges, with about 2,500 undergraduates enrolled. The average cost per year is about $47,000 and the most popular majors are business administration and nursing. Representing Florida Southern College is 2nd year assistant coach Matt Maccario. Prior to this, he was a graduate assistant coach at DeSales University and the defensive coordinator at Wheeling Jesuit and is very eager to get back out there and hopefully have a breakout year in a tight conference.
The Lynn University Fighting Knights (9-6) came off a solid season in the Sunrise State Conference finishing 5-2 at home proving they own their home turf. Lynn finished as the 31st ranked team in the NCAA RPI rankings led by Sophomore FOGO Dryden Brous who was awarded to the All-American 3rd team and Mikey Urso who was 3rd in the conference in assists. As a team, the Fighting Knights finished 2nd in goals in the conference, 1 behind the conference leader. To continue Lynn’s success, the Knights have 6 recruits coming in the fall predominantly from the east coast. Besides athletics, Lynn University is a private liberal arts school in Boca Raton, Florida ranking 95th amongst southern region universities. There are about 2,100 undergraduates enrolled, approximately $50,000 a year, and the most popular majors are business management and administration, law enforcement, and firefighting and related protective services. Representing Lynn at the Legit Showcase is volunteer assistant coach, Brendan Schroeder who just completed his 2nd season at Lynn. Prior to this, he was an assistant coach at VMI for a year and he played college lacrosse at UMass. Hopefully, the Fighting Knights can take their strong efforts at home to this upcoming season.
The Newberry College Nighthawks (4-11) just finished their inaugural season as the 20th DII sport their school has to offer. Since this was their first season as a team, they are starting completely fresh and could be a great opportunity for possible recruits to start on a clean slate with an organization that is in the same, fresh start as the players. The Nighthawks finished 57th in the NCAA RPI rankings and have 1 recruit from Maryland coming in the fall. Besides lacrosse, Newberry College is a private liberal arts college in Newberry, South Carolina ranking 17th amongst regional college south with about 1,110 undergraduates enrolled. Newberry is about $37,000 a year and the most popular majors are Business Management and Nursing. Representing Newberry at the Legit Showcase is head coach, Nick Cotter. Cotter spent the past 3 seasons at Saint Leo University in Florida as the assistant coach and played his collegiate lacrosse at Dowling College.