(Photo Courtesy of Michigan Athletics)
The 2020 college didn’t last long, and it already feels like an eternity ago since there was any actual lacrosse being played at all. But nonetheless, there was some meaningful lacrosse played in 2020.
Lacrosse Bucket takes a look some of the teams that saw some of the biggest contributions from freshmen during the 2020 season.
The Wolverines’ 2019 recruiting class was one of the best, if not the best, in program history. The class was highlighted by three Under Armour All-Americans in attackman Josh Zawada, midfielder Jake Bonomi, and defenseman Ryan Schreiber.
Zawada, Bonomi, and Schreiber were all three day one starters and consistent contributors during 2020. Zawada put together one of the best freshman campaigns in the country, leading the Wolverines in scoring with 32 points (16G/16A), while Bonomi tallied nine points (5G/4A) and also scooped up eight ground balls. Schreiber started six of the Wolverines’ seven contest, causing three turnovers and scooping up three ground balls.
In addition, Michigan also saw a significant contribution from Defenseman Dylan Gardner, who saw a lot of action at LSM. Gardner was third on the team in ground balls with 17, caused four turnovers, and tallied four points (3G/1A). Michael Cosgrove also saw quite a bit of action as a defensive midfielder during his freshman campaign, scooping up 11 ground balls and causing three turnovers.
In their first season as a DI program the Sharks leaned heavily on freshman talent on both ends of the field. And that talent served them very well, as the with freshman leading the way on both ends.
Richie LaCalandra, who was a day one starter, was a revelation at attack for the Sharks in 2020, leading the team in scoring with 28 points (11G/17A). He was also second in the NEC in points. Additionally, Sean Boll started five of the Sharks’ seven games at attack, recording 10 points (7G/3A). Five of his seven goals came in LIU’s opener against Siena.
Will Mark got the starting nod in goal for the Sharks, making 107 saves with a .527 save percentage. Tyler Emerson served as the Sharks’ secondary faceoff man, going 28-for-77 at at the dot and winning .364 percent of his draws. Also, Karl LaCalandra and Jon Vuono got multiple starts at close defense in 2020.
The UMass Minutemen saw some serious contributions from freshman during the 2020 season. Most of those contributions came at the specialist positions as Matt Knote got the starting nod in goal and Zack Hochman was the Minutemen’s primary faceoff man. Knote ended the season with a 10.61 goals-against average and .526 save percentage, while Hochman went 99-for-169 at the faceoff dot and scooped up 52 ground balls.
Mike Tobin started at midfield in the final six games of the season and tallied 11 points (6G/5A). Jake Dulac appeared in every game and made five starts at close defense, starting in the final three games of the season. He recorded 15 ground balls and seven caused turnovers. Additionally, Ryan Fitzpatrick saw action in all seven games, serving primarily as a LSM. He recorded 14 ground balls and five caused turnovers.
Attackman Dyson Williams was the Blue Devils’ most hyped recruit coming into this season. Ane he certainly lived up to the hype, finding a way to light up the scoreboard almost every game in 2020. Williams led the Blue Devils in scoring with 30 points (25G/5A),which included a seven-goal game against Richmond.
In addition, Duke also saw some significant contributions from LSM Tyler Carpenter and defenseman Kenny Brower. Carpenter saw action in all eight games for the Duke, recording nine caused turnovers, 23 ground balls, and scored one goal. Brower was a day one starter for the Blue Devils, as he recorded five caused turnovers, and scooped up 15 ground balls.
The Princeton Tigers brought in a very strong 2019 recruiting class and that talent certainly gave the Tigers a boost in 2020, as they saw freshman contributing all over the field. Midfielder Alex Slusher was a day one starter and tallied eight points (7G/1A). Tyler Sandoval was the Tigers’s primary faceoff man in 2020, going 39-of-79 at the faceoff dot, scoring one goal, and dishing out one assists.
In addition, Princeton also saw defenseman Ben Finlay and SSDM Sam English make a difference on the defensive end during their 2020 campaign. Finlay started all five games and recorded three caused turnovers, and 12 ground balls. English scooped up five ground balls and caused three turnovers.
The Big Red went 5-0 in the shortened 2020 season, and while they did lean heavy on veteran talents they had a few freshman that really helped push them over the edge this season in attackman Michael Long and faceoff man Angelo Petratkis, who were both rated as five-star recruits by Inside Lacrosse.
Long started all five games at attack for the Big Red, tallying 19 points (11G/8A). He also recorded 12 ground balls last season. Petratkis immediately helped solve the Big Red’s faceoff woes the second he stepped foot in Ithaca, N.Y. He went 46-for-75 at the faceoff dot and won .613 percent of his draws. He finished the season ranked 17th in DI in faceoff win percentage.
The Hoyas finished the shortened 2020 season 6-0. And they got some good contributions out of multiple freshman this past season, especially attackman Graham Bundy Jr., defenseman James Donaldson, and SSDM Will Godine.
A day one starter for the Hoyas, Bundy was fourth on the team in points with 13 (8G/5A). He also scooped up three ground balls. Donaldson started in all six games at close defense, recording five caused turnovers and five ground balls. Godine scooped up seven ground balls, caused five turnovers, and tallied three points (2G/1A).