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Alphabetical 2014 NCAA D1 Preview: Monmouth

The NCAA D1 season is now underway! During the first couple of weeks of lacrosse season we’ll be finishing up the Alphabetical 2014 NCAA D1 Previews! Like last year, we are going through all of the D1 men’s teams for 2014 (there are 67 this year!) and we are now moving on to the Monmouth Hawks, located in West Long Branch, NJ.

Monmouth is entering its first season of NCAA D1 lacrosse in 2014 and they will be led by Head Coach Brian Fisher. The Hawks will compete in the MAAC and will play out of conference opponents UMBC, Wagner, St. Joseph’s, Rutgers, Bryant, Lehigh, and Lafayette. It’s a good schedule for a first year team from a smaller school, and gives Monmouth a good challenge for year 1.

Ryan Horsch and Zach Johannes have been named captains for the inaugural run of games, and Horsch brings some experience with him on defense as he just finished up playing two years at Brookdale CC in the NJCAA, where he was a two-time all region player. Horsch was a good player in NJ high school lacrosse for Freehold Township. Johannes is also a transfer, and he comes in from NCAA D3 school Franklin & Marshall. Also a NJ native, Johannes played at Pope John XXIII in high school, and appeared in every game for F&M last year.

There some additional upperclassmen on the roster, and these guys have transferred in from Onondaga, Susquehanna, Essex CC/Howard CC, and Curry College. In all, Monmouth has nine non-freshman players on the roster. It’s a start, but it also means a lot of freshman are simply going to play a lot of minutes, which can be really hard on any D1 program.

Coach Fisher is doing a great job of getting local guys interested. 17 of the players on the roster are from New Jersey, and many others are from nearby New York or Pennsylvania. Fisher started at Monmouth in 2012, and has had some time to start building. He was an assistant at Notre Dame for 6 years before that, and an assistant at Rutgers for 5 years before ND. He looks like the kind of guy who sticks around, and if he does, Monmouth could build something.

Even against weaker teams like Wagner, Lafayette, or Manahattan, Monmouth could struggle. The vast majority of their players are brand new not only to the program, but to college lacrosse, and that will show, especially early and out of conference. Look for Monmouth to make a jump at some point this year though, and when they do, they could play spoiler in the MAAC. It’s exciting to see a new D1 team, and we wish Monmouth the best of luck! (They might need it.)

For more NCAA D1 Lacrosse coverage, check out Alphabetical 2013 NCAA D1 Preview: Air ForceAlbanyArmyBellarmineBinghamtonBostonBrownBryantBucknellCanisius,
Colgate,  CornellDartmouthDelawareDetroitDrexelDukeFairfieldFurman,
GeorgetownHartfordHarvardHigh PointHobartHofstraHoly CrossJacksonvilleJohns HopkinsLafayetteLehighLoyolaManhattanMaristMarquetteMarylandMassachusettsMercer, and Michigan.