Previewing The 2023 MAAC Tournament

(Photo Courtesy of Manhattan Athletics)

The 2023 MAAC Tournament will get underway on Saturday, April 29 with the quarterfinals. The semifinals and title game will be on Thursday, May 4 and Saturday, May 6.

Manhattan will play host to this year’s semifinals and title game as they earned the top seed.

The Bracket

The Teams

No. 1 Manhattan (10-4, 7-2 MAAC)

Year one of the John Odierna era has been a good one for the Jaspers. After making it to the MAAC title game each of the past seasons and winning the league a year ago, Manhattan has stayed on track as one of the top dogs in the conference. And they did so amongst an expanded MAAC.

Star Player: Joseph Persico, Goalie

The graduate student was given the arduous task of filling the void left in between the pipes by the graduation of program great Brendan Krebs. Persico has taken he challenge and thrived, making 152 saves with a 58.2% save percentage thus far to anchor a defense which has allowed an average of 7.7 goals per game (6.8 versus MAAC competition). He ranks first in the league and fourth nationally in save percentage.

X-Factor: Liam McDonough, Faceoff

A graduate transfer from UMass Lowell, McDonough arrived in the Bronx and proved to be an immediate impact for this Manhattan team. Having gone 32% and 30% each of the past few seasons as a team at the faceoff dot, McDonough has elevated the Jaspers’ game at the dot as he has gone 128-for-236 (54%). With that, Manhattan is going 48% as a team this season.

Player to Watch: Kelly DuPree, Attack

The duo of Kyle Gucwa (24G/25A) and Liam Walshe (18G/5A) have led this Manhattan offense through the year but DuPree has proved to be a budding star as of late. The sophomore has started each of the last five games and put up nine points (7G/2A) in those contests. He has 16 points on the year with a five-point (4G/1A) game against Canisius and a hat trick performance versus Marist headlining his efforts thus far.

No. 2 Mount St. Mary’s (8-7, 7-2 MAAC)

The Mount is amidst its best season since 2019 in its first year back in the MAAC. A seven-game winning streak has been the highlight of the year for the Mountaineers and helped them gain the No. 2 seed in the conference tournament.

Star Player: Jared McMahon, Attack

A grad student, McMahon has been the leader of the Mountaineers offense this spring. He has notched 46 points off 32 goals and 14 assists as the top point-getter and goal-scorer for an offense that has averaged 11.7 goals per game overall this season and 13.22 against MAAC competition.

X-Factor: Connor Beals, Faceoff

Following a season in which he went under 50% on the year as the primary faceoff man for the Mountaineers, Beals has taken a massive step forward as a senior in 2023. He has gone 185-for-291 (63.6%) thus far and has also scored three goals a collected 72 ground balls.

Player to Watch: Mitchell Dunham, Defense

The leader of the Mountaineers’ defense this season out in front of the cage, Dunham has caused 30 caused turnovers and grabbed 68 ground balls. Being able to impact in transition and on the offensive end when needed, the junior has also dished out six assists.

No. 3 Marist (7-7, 6-3 MAAC)

Facing a tough non-conference slate, Marist lost each of its first four games of the year. The Red Foxes then later lost their first two games of MAAC play. However, since that second league loss (at Quinnipiac) on March 25th, the Red Foxes have been as advertised as one of the top teams in the league. Marist beat Siena and Manhattan during its 5-1 stretch to end the year.

Star Player: JoJo Pirreca, Attack

Having been in Poughkeepsie since 2019, the graduate student is a known commodity among this program. He has started every game since his freshman year. Continuing to be an impact player, Pirreca has led the offense this season with 50 points off 33 goals and 17 assists.

X-Factor: Rope Unit

Despite the graduation of 2022 MAAC LSM of The Year JT Roselle, Marist has remained strong in the middle of the field with Ryan McDaniel (21GB/3CT) and Anthony Filippetti (19GB/9CT) serving at the LSM spot while Keenan DeRaeve (3G/1A/23GB/11CT) has been the Red Foxes’ top SSDM. This unit has been strong and proven to be impactful on the back end as well as in transition.

Player to Watch: Jake Deacy, Attack

The sophomore has been very strong down the back stretch of the regular season, netting 14 of his 22 goals on the season in the Red Foxes’ final six games. He started in five of those contest. Watch him to be one of multiple players who could step up big time in the postseason.

No. 4 Siena (7-6, 5-4 MAAC)

It’s been an up and down season for the Saints. However, wins over Manhattan and Mount St. Mary’s to end the regular season have them coming into the postseason with arguably the most momentum of any team in the MAAC.

Star Player: Christopher Yanchoris, Goalie

Yanchoris has continued to be a strong anchor for the Saints’ defense in his third season starting in between the pipes. He had made 156 saves with a 51.3% save percentage thus far. Against MAAC teams, he has made 114 saves with a 54.3% save percentage and ranks second in save percentage in the league.

X-Factor: Man-Up Offense

Siena is first in the MAAC and sixth nationally in man-up offense as they have cased in on 51.6% (16-for-31) of such opportunities. 14 of those scores came against conference competition as the Saints have gone a league-best 63% in such situations through those nine league games.

Player to Watch: Christian Watts, Midfield

The graduate student has continued to be one of the best goal-scorers in the MAAC this season as he leads the Saints with 30 goals on the year. He has also dished out six assist to notch 36 assists heading into the postseason.

No. 5 Sacred Heart (5-9, 5-4 MAAC)

The Sacred Heart Pioneers are in the postseason for the first time since 2019. A three-game wining streak (LIU, Wagner, Quinnipiac) to begin the month of April helped put the Pioneers in the position to keep their season alive.

Star Player: Jake Ward, Attack

Ward has followed up a phenomenal freshman season with and even better sophomore campaign as he has led the Pioneers with 35 points off 28 goals and seven assists.

X-Factor: Alex Pazienza

Having made 183 saves with a 53% save percentage, Pazienza is third in the conference and 15th nationally in save percentage.

Player to Watch: Will Moulton, Attack

The freshman from Alabama has come on strong as a crucial role player as of late, notching each of his four goals and three assists (seven points) since the month of April began.

No. 6 Quinnipiac (7-6, 5-4 MAAC)

Star Player: John DeLucia, Attack

A four-year starter for the Bobcats, DeLucia is amidst his best season in Hamden as he leads the team with 48 points off 28 goals and 20 assists as the leader of the offense.

X-Factor: Demitri George, Faceoff

Perhaps nobody in the MAAC has shown the ability to flip momentum or take over games quite like George has throughout his career. He has gone 209-for-367 (56.9%) thus far in 2023. He also has three goals and one assist, and has grabbed 111 ground balls.

Player to Watch: Ryan Downing, LSM

The freshman has proven to be an impact all over the field this spring, having score two goals, assisted on another, grabbed 22 ground balls, and caused 13 turnovers.

Tanner’s Picks


Marist vs Quinnipiac: Marist

Siena vs Sacred Heart: Siena


Manhattan vs Siena: Siena

Mount St. Mary’s vs Marist: Mount St. Mary’s


Mount St. Mary’s vs Siena: Mount St. Mary’s


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