We’re breaking down each and every NCAA D1 team one by one to get prepped for the rapidly approaching season. Welcome back to the Alphabetical 2013 NCAA D1 Previews! We move another spot down the list and the Providence Friars, located in Providence, RI, are up for Preview!
Providence went 2-12 last year under Chris Burdick. In 2013, they bring in Chris Gabrielli as the HC, and he brings with him a staff of proven assistants, like John Galloway. Things are changing for Providence, which is good, but when will we start to see a real difference?
Under Burdick, the Friars played a very conservative, and patient, brand of lacrosse. This resulted in plenty of close games (especially in 2012), but very few wins. A 9-6 loss at the hands of Yale is no better or worse than a 10-5 loss to Lafayette in this case, because at the end of the day, it just adds up to a lot of losses. Providence did garner two wins last year, one was over Wagner, and the other was a shocker over Villanova 15-11 to cap their season. It was one of the few times I can remember Providence playing loose and fast.
Best Providence video I could find. Note to Providence in 2012: Put up videos.
Hopefully, Gabrielli brings some consistency to Providence in his first year. If the Friars can find a good balance between playing loose and structured, they can instantly improve. The first five games on their schedule can all be considered winnable, and then they run into some stiffer tests like Georgetown, Syracuse, Siena, Bryant, Yale, Notre Dame, Brown and Villanova.
Andrew Barton, Jake Nolan, JT Weber, and Sean Wright all return, and that is over 90 points returning in their midfield and attack. Add in some big, talented freshman, like Jack Yeatman, and Providence should be good to go if they want to score some goals. Ryan Shaw can win draws, and that can add some fuel to the fire as he improves each year.
The defense returns a good deal of experience and Zach Rogers and Ryan Martin should do well to lead a pretty solid defensive core of players. A question remains in goal with the departure of Christian Dzwilewski, but John Galloway should be able to find a stud out of the four goalies on the roster. Junior Tyler Himes seems like an early favorite, based solely on 2012 numbers and time played.
Providence’s biggest games are early on in the year this season. It’s not because they play the highest ranked teams then, in fact they don’t. It is because for a team to go from bad (2-12) to good (winning record), they must first start winning the games “they should”, and then move their way up the food chain. A big win over a Top 20 team is always great, but true improvement needs consistency. So watch Providence early. If they win consistently in their first five games, things have changed already.
Click HERE to see Alphabetical 2013 NCAA D1 Preview posts for Air Force, Albany, Army, Bellarmine, Binghamton, Brown, Bryant, Bucknell, Canisius, Colgate, Cornell, Dartmouth, Denver, Detroit, Drexel, Duke, Fairfield, Hartford, Harvard, High Point, Hobart, Hofstra, Holy Cross, Jacksonville, Johns Hopkins, Lafayette, Lehigh, Loyola, Manhattan, Marist, Marquette, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mercer, Michigan, Mount St. Mary’s, Navy, UNC, Notre Dame, Ohio State, UPenn, Penn State, and Princeton!