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Alphabetical 2014 NCAA D1 Preview: Providence

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 Providence Friars, located in Providence, RI.

Photo Credit: Tommy Gilligan

Chris Gabrielli took over the Providence Friars program in 2013, and the team instantly took a step up as they went 8-8, having gone 2-12 the season before. Gabrielli brought in great assistant coaches, changed the tone of the program, and had the Friars competing right away. For more on the culture change at Providence, check out our interview with Head Coach Chris Gabrielli from this past Fall.

Providence has a similar slate of games to their 2013 schedule in terms of toughness. The Big East offers some stiff challenges and some potential wins, and their out of conference games are ALL in New England, with many of them considered winnable. In fact, the only games that Providence plays outside of New England are against Big East foes, and NONE of those schools are in New England (other than Providence). That is somewhat bizarre. All that is to say the Friars can definitely go .500 or better if the talent is there.

While JT Weber and Daniel Textor are gone, Providence does return their top two scorers in Sean Wright and Andrew Barton. Overall, 7 of the Friars’ top 10 scorers from 2013 return, with each of the returnees notching at least 8 points. There is a good mix of veterans to lead the group, and talent is spread through attack and the midfield with Greg FitzMaurice, Kevin Blair, Brendon McGuire, Robert Stack, and Robert Caffrey. Offensively the Friars return a good deal of talent, and four really solid scorers. Providence also has some potential impact freshman in the midfield, and some younger guys who could see increased time at attack. There is solid depth in both positions.

Ryan Shaw took the vast majority of the face offs for Providence last year. He returns as a senior, and could be helped by freshman Colin McKendry or an improved Jake Newman. The other specialty position, goalie, is up in the air. Jack Donnelly started all 16 games last year, but he transferred to Hopkins. Peter Badgley saw a little time last year, and Albany back up Max Huber transferred in this year. Tyler Himes and James Jurgen will be the other two keepers vying for time.

Defensively, Ryan Martin returns after starting every game in 2013, and Griffin Goudreau returns and he is a monster who started all but one game last year. Zach Rogers saw a lot of time last year and he returns as a senior. Jak Wawrzyniak transferred in from Stony Brook and saw a lot of time last year. He should see even more time in 2014, and can score, pick up GBs, and throw checks. Providence has a lot of younger guys on the D roster as well. If they can work some of those guys in to the rotation and avoid injuries, it’s a very solid group.

Overall, Providence needs to find a goalie (or two) who can step in full time. They could also use some improvement when it comes to face off wins. But other than that, a good chunk of their core returns, and this team has some potential to have a winning record this year. The Friars won’t be sneaking up on anyone in 2014, but they might not need to. A good battle might just be enough!

For more NCAA D1 Lacrosse coverage, check out Alphabetical 2013 NCAA D1 Preview: Air ForceAlbanyArmyBellarmineBinghamtonBostonBrownBryantBucknellCanisius,
Colgate,  CornellDartmouthDelawareDetroitDrexelDukeFairfieldFurman,
GeorgetownHartfordHarvardHigh PointHobartHofstraHoly CrossJacksonvilleJohns_HopkinsLafayetteLehighLoyolaManhattanMaristMarquette,
MarylandMassachusettsMercerMichiganMonmouthNavyNorth Carolina,
Notre DameOhio StatePennPenn State, and Princeton.