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Big East Lacrosse 2023 Conference Preview

The Big East is one of most interesting conferences in college lacrosse. With teams like Georgetown and Denver sitting at the top, the conference has the potential to bring home a national championship. However, the lower half of the Big East has been lackluster in recent years. With multiple new coaches at the helm, expect the Big East to be on the rise for years to come, starting in 2023.

Every week we will be taking a look at every NCAA Division 1 Lacrosse conference and breaking down each team along with identifying their main focus for the upcoming season. This week we are taking a look at the Big East.

Georgetown


2022 Season Record

(15-2)

2022 Season Recap

The Georgetown Hoyas had an outstanding 2022 season full of team and individual success. The Hoyas went 15-2 with a 5-0 record in conference play, capturing the Big East Championship. The Hoyas had nine different players named to the USILA All-American team including Owen McElroy and Will Bowen who each earned Player of the Year awards respectively. The biggest letdown to the 2022 season was Georgetown’s heartbreaking 10-9 loss to the University of Delaware in the opening round of the NCAA tournament.

2023 Expectations

With such an outstanding season in 2022 that ended in a first round loss, the expectations for the upcoming season are the same if not much higher. The team returns a wealth of talent while also continuing to dominate the transfer portal. Returning Hoyas, Graham Bundy Jr. and Will Bowen were both named First Team USILA All-American selections and have been named captains for the 2023 season. Fully expect them to lead the charge for another impressive season. The additions of players like Syracuse transfer Tucker Dordevic and former Dartmouth goaltender Danny Hincks, should only raise this team’s potential. In 2023, expect for the Hoyas to dominate the Big East and make a run in the NCAA lacrosse tournament. 

Denver


2022 Season Record

(9-6)

2022 Season Recap

The University of Denver put together a decent season in 2022, but did not live up to the team’s expectations. The Pioneers finished 9-6 overall and faced some tough losses early in the year to teams like Jacksonville, North Carolina, and Duke. However, Denver bounced back and played well down the stretch of the season in Big East conference play going 4-1 with their only loss coming against Georgetown. The Pioneers’ season came to a close during the conference semifinals in a 15-14 loss to Villanova. Despite an early end to the season, the Pioneers still had seven players named All-Big East selections including three players earning First Team accolades. Denver’s star player, Jack Hannah, was named to the USILA All-American team as well.

2023 Expectations

For 2023, expect a strong run from the Pioneers’ senior class. Five of the seven Pioneers named to the All-Big East Teams were juniors during the 2022 season. Furthermore, these players offer a mix of offensive and defensive personnel, showing the balance of talent across the field. Given the returning talent in players like JJ Sillstrop and Jack DiBenedetto, this team should see similar success in Big East conference play along with picking up a couple out-of-conference wins this college lacrosse season.

Villanova


2022 Season Record

(9-6)

2022 Season Recap

The Villanova Wildcats put together an exceptional season in 2022 that exceeded the expectations of many. The Wildcats went 9-6 on the regular season with all of their out-of-conference losses coming from Ivy League opponents who ultimately made the NCAA tournament. The Wildcats made it all the way to the Big East Conference Final where they faced off against Georgetown in a tight 12-14 loss to end their lacrosse season. Villanova had five players named to the All-Big East Team and two named to the USILA All-American Team in Matt Campbell and Chet Comizio.

2023 Expectations

After what Villanova displayed last year, expect to see the Wildcats return in 2023 looking to make a similar run. The Wildcats were close in nearly every game they lost last season with multiple losses decided by two goals or less. Expect returning players such as Campbell and Comizio to be instrumental in turning the corner for the Wildcats to earn some extra wins. Given how they performed last year and the talent returning, Villanova looks like a strong contender for the No.2 spot in the Big East with the capability of competing for a conference championship. 

Marquette


2022 Season Record

(4-11)

2022 Season Recap

Marquette University had a disappointing season that featured multiple close games resulting in losses. The Golden Eagles went 4-11 overall on the season while going 2-3 in conference play. Despite opening the season with a triple overtime victory, Marquette would go on to drop their next 6 of 7 games including a double overtime loss to Drexel. Fortunately, in conference they managed to gain victories over Providence and St. John’s before their season was ended at Georgetown’s hand in the semifinals of the conference tournament.

2023 Expectations

For the 2023 season, the expectations are more of the same. The Golden Eagles return some good talent including 2022 Big East Freshman of the Year, Bobby O’Grady, along with a couple other All Big-East selections. However, the talent throughout the upper half of the conference might be too hard to handle at this point. Aside from gaining a couple extra wins out-of-conference, Marquette is expected to be at the bottom half of the Big East again this year.

Providence


2022 Season Record

(6-8)

2022 Season Recap

Like others in the Big East, Providence had an underwhelming 2022 lacrosse season. The team finished below .500 with a 6-8 record and went 1-4 in conference play with their only conference victory coming against St. John’s. Despite a handful of wins outside the conference, the team struggled overall and could not get the results they were looking for on the field. To cap off a frustrating season, Chris Gabrielli resigned as head coach. Fortunately, attackman Matt Grillo was awarded with Second Team All-Big East honors to take some momentum into the 2023 season.

2023 Expectations

Despite a lackluster season, the expectations for the Friars this upcoming season are high due to the hiring of new head coach, Bobby Benson. Benson was the Offensive Coordinator at the University of Maryland for the past two years and is coming off of a 2022 National Championship. The hiring of Benson signals that Providence is looking to bring back a winning culture to the program and they believe Benson is the man for the job. Fully expect to see Benson bring that championship mentality to Providence to get the Friars performing at a high level.

St John’s


2022 Season Record

(2-12)

2022 Season Recap

St. John’s has been a team that has struggled in recent years and 2022 was no different. St. John’s finished 2-12 overall and went winless in conference play. The season was full of lopsided losses that lacked consistent offensive and defensive production. Following the close of the season, Jason Miller resigned after 16 seasons at the helm of the program.

2023 Expectations

Fortunately, the St. John’s Athletic Department brought in a new young head coach in Justin Turri. Turri, a two-time All-American and national championship winner as a player, has been tasked with leading the resurgence at St. John’s after spending the last four seasons as the offensive coordinator for the Michigan Wolverines. Michigan had one of the top offenses this past season and Turri and his new staff are expected to bring that recipe to Queens, NY. Expect to see a stronger, more disciplined team at St. John’s in 2023 with the ability to pick up some more out of conference wins.