2019 NCAA Conference Predictions: Independents

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Photo Credit: Fred Goode/Inside Lacrosse

We are just about three weeks away from the start of the 2019 NCAA season as February 1st marks opening day. The first game of the NCAA season will be Utah vs Vermont to kick off what should be an exciting season. 

Over the next few weeks I will be giving my own personal conference by conference predictions for this upcoming 2019 season. Going in alphabetical order we move on and take a look at the Independents that don’t currently have a conference. 

Now since these schools don’t have a conference I am going to list them by what I predict their record will be. 

Utah (8-7)

The Utah Utes are coming into their first year as a DI program. What Coach Holman and his staff have been doing over the past few years to build Utah Lacrosse is very impressive. They have been able to recruit and get get some pretty good transfers as well. One of the biggest names on their squad this year will be former Robert Morris star attackman Jimmy Perkins. He transferred to use his redshirt-senior season out in Salt Lake City. Perkins will be one of the faces of this team as a veteran leader. So, while we know very little about Utah we can say that they will be pretty decent in year one with some of their freshman and transfers that they have brought in. 

Cleveland State (7-8)

Cleveland State is coming off of a 2018 season where they went 4-10 as they look to be much improved in 2019. The Vikings are coming into their third season as a DI program in 2019. Some of their key players on the offensive side of the ball will be sophomore attackman Michael Wilson, junior attackman Jack Frickleton, and junior midfielder Nick Wendel. In goal to anchor the defense it looks like sophomore Stephen Russo will be the starter again this season. On defense junior Skyler Jimenez, sophomore Michael Harris, and others look to lead on that end of the field. At the faceoff dot junior Danny Tesler will be taking the majority of the draws for the Vikings.

Hampton (5-7)

The Pirates keep building and building as they enter their fourth year as a DI program. The strides have been small but they are strides nonetheless. The Pirates had a lot of youth last season and they do return a big chunk of key players. On offense sophomore midfielder Pierce Johnson, sophomore midfielder Elliott Johnson, junior midfielder Jonathan Napier, and others look to lead the offense. At the faceoff dot junior Aaron Brown looks to be the main guy and take the majority of the draws again this season. Senior Darren Almodiel and sophomore Juwan Woodson look to be two of the leaders and main contributors on the defensive end of the field. To anchor the defense in goal looks to be junior Kevin Mondy Jr as the starter but sophomore Paxtin Powell may get a shot as well.

NJIT (at least 2 wins)

So the Highlanders haven’t released their 2019 schedule yet but I do think that they can get at leas two wins in their fourth year as a program. They have never won more than one game in a season thus far. They return some good senior leadership on offense in senior attackman Aaron Foster, senior attackman Cole Robillard, and senior midfielder Ryan Darrow. On defense junior Luke Binder looks to be one of the leaders on that end of the floor. Anchoring the defense in goal looks to be sophomore Alexander Hunt as he was the backup last season. At the faceoff dot will be junior Adam Gonzales as he looks to improve off of a good sophomore campaign.