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Alphabetical 2014 NCAA D1 Preview: Colgate

We’re back with the Alphabetical 2014 NCAA D1 Previews! Like last year, we’ll go through all of the D1 men’s teams for 2014 (there are 67 this year!) and we are now moving on to the Colgate Red Raiders, located in Hamilton, NY.

After going 8-7 last year, Colgate will be looking to improve on their lack of postseason success this time around. The Red Raiders gained national attention due to 2012 Tewaarton winner Peter Baum, who has since graduated along with many other talented players. Can Colgate recover from these losses and a tough 2013 to make a run this season? Here’s a positional breakdown of who will be suiting up in Hamilton, NY this spring.

Attack: Leading this unit is Ryan Walsh, a junior who has been an impact player since the moment he stepped on campus. Walsh was second on the team in points, with 37 goals and 11 assists. His 37 goals led the Red Raiders. Walsh’s powerful shot and size (he’s 6’4”) will help him have another productive year. Playing alongside him will be Brendon McCann, a senior who had 20 goals and 8 assists last year. McCann has been overshadowed by players like Baum and Walsh, but should see more recognition for his efforts this year. McCann is a slick player who will be a nice asset for Colgate’s attack unit. Rounding out the unit is sophomore Tyler Rigo, who played sparingly last year but figures to see more action this year.

Midfield: Jimmy Ryan, who scored 15 goals and handed out 8 assists last year, will be leading this unit again. Ryan is the impetus of the Colgate offense, which will need his leadership. Other contributors will be Matt Clarkson, a talented athlete who tallied 11 goals and assists last year, and sophomore Eric Foote (7,6). At SSDM, Aaron Darr and Parker Weintsock will be the two biggest contributors. They had 10 and 5 caused turnovers, respectively.

LSM: Captain Kevin Boyle will be the team’s starter this year. A senior, Boyle is a rangy pole who recorded 43 groundballs and 15 caused turnovers. Boyle is also talented when it comes to sparking transition, adding two goals on the year. He will be a big contributor to the Colgate defensive unit if he has a big final season for ‘Gate.

FOGO: This is an area of inexperience for the Red Raiders, as their returning leader only took 22 faceoffs last year. Of those 22, current junior Alex Kinnealy won 5. However, with such a limited sample size the Colgate faithful shouldn’t worry because as a freshman, Kinnealy went 16-34, good for 47%. Kinnealy will likely improve in an increased role, but Colgate has some freshman who can fill in if need be. This could be a good spot for some roster battles.

Defense: Senior Bobby Lawrence will lead the defensive unit for Colgate in 2014. After earning First Team All-Patriot League honors last year, Lawrence should continue to thrive in the coming season. He was the leader in caused turnovers for the team, and scooped up 62 groundballs. Matt Yeager is also a returning starter, with 16 groundballs and 5 caused turnovers last year. Yeager is the most physical defenseman on the team. Senior Derek Katchis is also returning for Colgate, and will see increased playing time from the reserve role he had last year.

Goalie: Junior Conor Murphy, who averaged 9.3 goals against last year, will be competing with sophomore Jake Danehy (15.6 GAA) and freshman Brandon Burke. There is no clear frontrunner right now, but don’t be surprised if Murphy takes control of the open position.

Overall: Colgate needs to account for many big losses in order to play at the level they are capable of. It would be difficult for Colgate to get an at-large bid, so their best way to get in to the NCAA tournament is going to be via the Patriot League Tournament. The Red Raiders have a few upperclassmen who need to step up in order for it to be a successful year in Hamilton, New York.

For more NCAA D1 Lacrosse coverage, check out Alphabetical 2013 NCAA D1 Preview: Air ForceAlbanyArmyBellarmineBinghamtonBoston UniversityBrownBryant, Bucknell, and Canisius.