(Photo Courtesy of Hobart Athletics)
Welcome to the Fall Snapshot series. Throughout the fall I will be taking an early look at all 75 DI men’s college lacrosse teams and giving a snapshot of where each is heading into the 2023 season.
Head Coach: Greg Raymond (10th season, 2014-current)
Hobart 2022 Record: 7-6 (4-3 NEC)
Key Departures: Ryan Archer (A), Derrek Madonna (M), Tommy Mott (A), Dan Ryan (LSM)
Key Returners: Anthony Datellas (A), John Herlihy (M), Bradley Simas (M), Michael Christiansen (D), Marucs Trujillo (LSM), Adam Shea (FO)
Transfer Additions: N/A
Last year could very much be defined as an up and down season for Hobart. They started the year with and upset of Lehigh and finished the regular season on a five-game winning streak, which they expanded to six with a shocking 21-5 win over Bryant in the NEC Semifinals. However, the Statesmen also lost five games from March 1st through April 2nd and each of those losses came by an average margin of 2.6.
A 14-7 loss to Saint Joseph’s in the rain is how Hobart’s season and time in the NEC came to a close as they will be moving to the Atlantic 10 conference, along with Richmond, High Point, Saint Joseph’s, St. Bonaventure, and UMass.
The immediate prospect of what should be expected from Hobart as they head into the 2023 season and starting the A-10 era, which puts the Statesmen in a tough conference top to bottom, is up in the air. This squad has key losses that suggest a possible “rebuilding year.” However, they also return multiple key players and talented depth guys from a year ago that paint a picture where Hobart cane be in the race for an A-10 title in 2023. No matter what, there is a lot to like and also a lot to be skeptical about concerning what to expect from Hobart this coming spring.
Can This Offense Sustain?
Under the tutelage of Stephen Brundage, the Hobart offense has consistently been one of most productive in college lacrosse. The Statesmen averaged 14.0 goals per game a season ago. That number was 12.2 in 2021 and 19.6 during the shortened 2020 season. Hobart loses a combined 138 points (78 goals) with the loss of Ryan Archer, Derrek Madonna, and Tommy Mott who were the Statesmen’s top-three point getters during the 2022 season.
Archer proved to be the quarterback. Madonna was the team’s best shooter. Mott was a balanced playmaker with a burst of speed that made even more dangerous. The loss of these three are huge for this Hobart offense heading into 2023 and are the largest holes this team has to fill.
Anthony Dattellas (20G/10A), John Herlihy (25G/4A), and Bradley Simas (22G/1A) are the team’s top-three returners and help create a solid core that this offense could build around. Chad Bach and Alex Rosa are two other returners that should be expected to take on more responsibility and production, along with plenty of others.
Does The Defense Take a Step Forward?
Defense hasn’t been a strong suit for Hobart in recent years, despite having some really good individual playmakers. In 2023, the Statesmen defense will be led by a new face in Chris Fisher, who comes to Geneva after a year at St. John’s. And while there will be a new voice on the sidelines, much of the talent from last season returns and with that improvement should be expected.
The two biggest pieces returning on the back end for the Statesmen are defenseman Michael Christiansen (15GB/11CT), who comes back for a fifth-year, and goalie Kevin Holtby (136 saves, 49.5%). Those two were the face of the Hobart defense in 2022 and should be again. Combined with LSM Marcus Trujillo (15GB/12CT) and close defenders Nolan Firth, Maxwell Horton, and fifth-year returnee Mark Synott – all of whom saw starting action last season – Hobart has an array of talented options when it comes to the number of poles that could be impact players next spring. As far as their stable of D-middies is concerned, that is a different story as it’s the one area on the back end where improvement is needed the most.
How Healthy Will Hobart Be?
Maybe the biggest and most important question is just simply how healthy Hobart will and can be for a full season. This program has dealt with a number of injuries not only last season, but over the past few years that at times has hindered just how deep they could go. The Statesmen will certainly want to stay as healthy as they can next spring to give them as many productive options as possible.
The prospect of Hobart staying healthy may be even more important when you consider their move to the Atlantic 10 Conference, where they will join Richmond, High Point, Saint Joseph’s, St. Bonaventure, and UMass. It’s a who’s who of teams that have been competing at the top of their respective leagues and will be a gauntlet of a season for all involved.
Potential Breakout Player
Troy Barthelme, A, Senior
The 6-foot-7 attackman has peaked the interest of many since his high school days in the MIAA at St. Paul’s (Md.). At Hobart, he hasn’t quite gotten to showcase his full potential just yet. After missing out all of last season due to injury, Barthelme could very well step back into the fray and asset himself as big weapon on this offense. That is especially true with the amount of talent to be replaced.
Hobart brings in 15 players with its 2022 recruiting class, per the Lacrosse Bucket Recruiting Database. It is a midfield-heavy class with five players listed at that position, two of which (Julian Race and David Peterkin) hail from north of the border.