Previewing The 2022 CAA Tournament

(Photo Courtesy of Delaware Athletics)

The 2022 CAA Men’s Lacrosse Tournament will get underway on Thursday, May 5th with the semifinals. The championship game will be played on Saturday.

Drexel will play host for this year’s tournament.

The Bracket

The Teams

No. 1 Delaware (9-5, 3-2 CAA)

For the second year in a row, the Delaware Blue Hens come into the CAA Tournament as the top seed. The Blue Hens enter this week on a three-game winning streak, having beaten Towson, Drexel, and Fairfield. Can they keep it up and win the CAA for the first time under Ben DeLuca?

Star Player: Mike Robinson, Attack

After making a name for himself last season as a goal-scoring machine, Robinson has only continued at the same high-level pace. The Ontario native leads the Blue Hens in goal with 41 on the season, while also assisting on 10 goals. Robinson draws a ton of attention from defenses and has only been held to less than two goals one against a CAA team: vs Drexel.

X-Factor: Goalie Position

Anchoring a top-25 defense this season has been a pair of really good goalies. Matt Kilkeary is the clear-cut starter and has been for the past three games. But freshman Paul Reidy has also started seven games this season and been impressive, as well. Kilkeary has made 72 saves with a 51% save percentage whole Reidy has made 66 saves with a 48% save percentage. No matter who is in cage, Delaware’s goalies have some of their biggest assets this season, as usual, and especially so with their sub-50% mark at the faceoff dot.

Player to Watch: Owen Grant, Defense

Like his teammate on the other end of the field, Robinson, Grant came into the season with all the hype after what was a stellar campaign a season ago. And all Grant has done is live up to the hype, proving to be one of the best poles in the CAA once again. He has caused 26 caused turnovers, scooped up 36 ground balls, and put up eight points (5G/3A) as someone who can and will make an impact on the back end and in transition.

No. 2 Towson (6-8, 3-2 CAA)

Sitting atop the conference until last week, the Tigers come into the postseason following an upset loss against the Hofstra Pride on Saturday. In a sense, it marks the return to normalcy for the Tigers as they are back in the postseason for the first time since 2019.

Star Player: Koby Smith, Defense

A fifth-year player, Smith has become a household name amongst college lacrosse fans and the face of the franchise, in many respects, for the Tigers over the years. He has only continued to impress this season, causing 14 turnovers, grabbing 18 ground balls, scoring eight goals, and dishing out two assists. Smith is as dangerous of a pole as you’ll find in college lacrosse.

X-Factor: Max Constantinides, Faceoff

The X-Factor for this Towson team, especially amongst CAA competition, has lied at the faceoff X this season. A freshman, Constantinides has gone 128-for-273 (46%) overall at the dot this season. But that doesn’t tell the whole story. Since jumping into CAA play he has been much improved, going 76-for-131 (58%) against conference opponents. That included a 72% mark against Drexel.

Player to Watch: Midfield Unit

This spot is usually reserved for one player, but that entire midfield unit is an area of intrigue for this Towson squad. Headlined by Kyle Berkeley (21G/17A), the Tigers can and will run six, seven, and even eight deep at the midfield spot and it has yielded success for that offense thus far.

No. 3 UMass (8-5, 3-2 CAA)

An up and down season it has been for the Minutemen. They fell to Army and Yale (in OT) by one, but came out on top of both Vermont and Brown. And in CAA play, they opened league play with an overtime win over Delaware before falling to Towson and Fairfield. UMass enters the postseason on a two-game winning streak (Hofstra, Drexel) as they look to continue their bounce-back season.

Star Player: Kevin Tobin, Midfield

Struggling with injuries this season, Tobin has only played in all but two games and only started in the final seven. But he has still be the top offensive weapon for this UMass squad, tallying 25 goals and 19 points for 44 points. Tobin has constantly showed up and showed out when it mattered most.

X-Factor: Caleb Hammett, Faceoff

A redshirt freshman, Hammett has been stellar for the Minutemen this season. Taking over as the primary option at the dot after the first game of the year, he has gone 149-for-246 (60%). He leads the CAA in faceoff winning percentage and is eighth nationally.

Player to Watch: Sam Eisenstadt, Defense

The Minutemen have the top defense in the CAA and 12th-best defense in college lacrosse, allowing 10/15 goals per game. Eisenstadt is one of the leaders of that effort, leading the Minutemen in caused turnovers (12) while also grabbing 25 ground balls.

No. 4 Drexel (6-7, 2-3 CAA)

The reigning CAA champions, the Dragons come into the conference tournament as the fourth seed after faltering to Delaware and UMass in each of their past two contests. The Dragons have been in six one-goal games this season, going 2-3 in such games.

Star Player: Ross Blumenthal, Goalie

Coming into the season, it was Blumenthal that headlined this Drexel team. Starting all but three games when he was out due to injury, the graduate student has continued to lead this Dragons squad and anchor a solid defense. He has made 99 saves with a 53% save percentage thus far.

X-Factor: Man-Down Defense

The Dragons have been a very good man-down unit this season and it has been a crux they have leaned on. Holding their opponents to a 13-for-42 mark (31% success rate), the Dragons have the 15th-best man-down unit in college lacrosse and the best in the CAA. Brennan Greenwald and Sean Quinn, who play bigger than their size to form a two-headed monster at close, have helped spearhead that effort this season.

Player to Watch: George Grippo, SSDM

For a second season in a row, Grippo has looked like the best defensive midfielder in the CAA. He has caused 10 turnovers, grabbed 26 ground balls, and dished out two assists as he headlines that rope unit and makes an impact on the back end, as well as being a catalyst in that early offense to help Max Semple and company go to work.

Tanner’s Picks

Semifinals

Delaware vs Drexel: Delaware

Towson vs UMass: UMass

Championship

Delaware vs UMass: Delaware

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