#LMRanks: NCAA Division III Men's Breakdown – 11-20
|Can Drew Simoneau and the Golden Flyers put together another unbeaten Empire 8 slate? (John Strohsacker)|
We kick off our look at the NCAA Division III season with a rundown of the teams that lie just outside of the top 10. There's plenty of talent here, so don't be surprised if they make some noise in 2014. The breakdowns continue next week, so keep up at LM's College Preview.
No. 11 Nazareth Golden Flyers
2013 Record: 15-5 (7-0 Empire 8)
Top Returner - M Drew Simoneau (Jr.)
Sophomore Luke Wooters (64g, 29a) wouldn't be a bad pick either, but Simoneau was a beast on faceoffs (65.4%, 240 GBs) and could score (9g, 2a) when necessary. He's the key for Nazareth.
X-Factor - G Scott Brown (So.)
Brown won the starting job as a freshman, but he needs to improve on his numbers (9.83 GAA, 50.9 sv%) if the Flyers want to reach their potential.
No. 12 Lynchburg Hornets
2013 Record: 14-6 (7-2 ODAC)
Top Returner - D Jon Gill (Sr.)
The defense will be stressed this season while some newer offensive pieces find their legs, but Gill is a rock. Junior goalie Adam Davey (7.69 GAA, 57.4 sv%) will be another important cog.
X-Factor - A Austin Stewart (Soph.)
With three of the top four scorers graduating, a lot of the offensive responsibility will fall on Stewart's (31g, 6a) shoulders.
No. 13 Washington & Lee Generals
2013 Record: 16-5 (7-2 ODAC)
Top Returner - A Cameron Dabir (Jr.)
The face of the Generals' talented junior class, Dabir (43g, 18a) has improved in each of his first two seasons. He is the only player returning with double digits in assists.
X-Factor - M Garrett Paglia (Jr.)
A nightmare matchup out of the midfield, Paglia (25g, 7a) should increase his goal production if he can improve his shooting accuracy (22.3%), which was one of the worst on the team.
No. 14 Stevens Ducks
2013 Record: 13-5 (6-1 Empire 8)
Top Returner - A Michael Maroon (Jr.)
Feeding the Ducks' prolific — and since graduated — midfield line, Maroon (20g, 32a) led the team in assists last year. He'll be expected to reprise that role while scoring more goals on his own.
X-Factor - G Matthew Deiner (Jr.)
Deiner's 2013 numbers (9.94 GAA, 50.9 sv%) need to improve behind a young offense that likely will be less productive than in years past.
No. 15 Denison Big Red
2013 Record: 13-3 (7-0 NCAC)
Top Returner - LSM Austin Campbell (Sr.)
Campbell led the team in ground balls (59) and caused turnovers (30) while also posting four goals and two assists. Depending on how far the Big Red goes, he could be a player-of-the-year candidate—following in the footsteps of Dickinson's Brandon Palladino, the 2013 winner.
X-Factor - A Nick Caravana (Jr.)
One of the many casualties to the injury bug in 2013, Caravana had 15 points (8g, 7a) in eight games before going down. His return will add to a potent front line looking for redemption.
No. 16 St. Mary's Seahawks
|A version of this article appears in the February issue of Lacrosse Magazine. Join US Lacrosse today to start your subscription!|
2013 Record: 12-7 (4-2 CAC)
Top Returner - A Ben Love (Sr.)
The Seahawks' top finisher, Love (38g, 2a) will provide St. Mary's a dangerous one-two punch paired up with junior Matt Tarrant (31g, 5a). They combined for six goals in the CAC tournament upset of Salisbury.
X-Factor - G Joey Casey (Soph.)
Casey stepped into the starting job from the jump, making 15 saves in the season-opening win against Roanoke, but got the hook after six games. He'll have to mentally bounce back from that.
No. 17 Ithaca Bombers
2013 Record: 12-6 (5-2 Empire 8)
Top Returner - G Scott Sidnam (Soph.)
Establishing himself as one of the best goalies in the country during his rookie season, Sidnam (6.99 GAA, 61.1 sv%) hopes to lead the Bombers to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2008.
X-Factor - Finishing Games
The Bombers were leading going into the fourth quarter against Cortland, Cabrini and Nazareth (Empire 8 final) — and managed to lose all three. Ithaca needs to get over that hump.
No. 18 Wesleyan Cardinals
2013 Record: 13-5 (6-4 NESCAC)
Top Returner - A David Murphy (Jr.)
The Cardinals have never been a high-scoring bunch, but having a playmaker (18g, 17a) returning gives Wesleyan a solid foundation on which to build. He'll have three 20-goal scorers surrounding him.
X-Factor - M Sam Stanton (Sr.)
Stanton (67 GBs, 14 CTs), the shorty nonpareil, and goalie Mark Simmons (6.62 GAA, 51.7 sv%) return, but there are holes to fill on close defense. That could be problematic with Wesleyan's zone.
No. 19 Widener Pride
2013 Record: 11-6 (6-2 MAC Commonwealth)
Top Returner - G Mac Nestler (Sr.)
Defense has always been the name of the game at Widener. Nestler (5.96 GAA, 64.9 sv%) will keep it that way in 2014.
X-Factor - A Robert Clemens (Sr.)
The Pride has several players who can score, but dishing the rock is a necessity. Clemens (4g, 27a) understands the art of the pass. He'll also be expected to score more this year.
No. 20 Gettysburg Bullets
2013 Record: 9-7 (5-3 Centennial)
Top Returner - A Robby Maddux (Jr.)
The big dog on the Bullets' attack line, Maddux (35g, 11a) will have plenty of players to feed and/or score around him, especially senior Martin Manilla (24g, 24a) and sophomore Jameson Smith (25g, 17a).
X-Factor - D Alex Lanza (Sr.)
Is Lanza ready to become the next link in the chain of fantastic Gettysburg defensemen? Senior goalie Jon Maddalone (9.88 GAA, 47.3 sv%) should also be ready for the big stage.