BEVERLY, Mass. – The nationally ranked Endicott men's lacrosse team opens up its 2016 season against nationally ranked Bates this Wednesday, at home, at 5 p.m. Here's a look at the full schedule and the upcoming season for the Gulls.
RETURNING CAST (2016 Roster): Endicott returns three-time All-American goalie Cameron Bell (Falmouth, Maine), and Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) All-Conference selections Ben Katzen (Blauvelt, N.Y.) and Fabian Brunner (Niskayuna, N.Y.) on defense in 2016. Last season, the Gulls' defense ranked first in total clears (377) and second in goals against average (9.85) in the CCC.
Offensively, several student-athletes will be stepping into new roles alongside a core group of key returners and leaders including captain Mitch Tapley (Falmouth, Maine), Colin Bannon (Westport, Conn.) and Will Jennings (Danvers, Mass.). In 2015, Bannon led the Blue and Green offensively with 80 points in his sophomore season courtesy of 41 goals and 39 assists. Bannon also ranked third overall in the CCC in points, first in assists, and seventh in goals en route to claiming All-CCC first team honors last spring.
At the "x", junior face-off midfielder Tommy Hughes (Coram, N.Y.) will be looked upon to earn the team plenty of possessions like he did a season ago. Last spring, Hughes paced the conference in face-off wins (292) and ground balls (145) to earn All-CCC first team accolades as a face-off specialist for the Gulls. Nationally among all other face-off specialists in 2015, Hughes ranked No. 28 in ground balls per game (7.25) and No. 76 in face-off winning percentage (0.565). Sophomore short-stick defensive midfielder Nicholas D'Elia (Stanford, Conn.) will also help Hughes on the wings to maintain possession.
MARK YOUR CALENDAR (2016 Schedule): The Gulls will play eight home games this season against the following opponents – Bates (2/24, 5 PM), Stevens (2/28, 12 PM), Middlebury (3/8, 5 PM), Amherst (3/22, 7 PM), Gordon (3/30, 4 PM), Western New England (4/9, 3 PM), Wentworth (4/16, 12 PM, Senior Day), and the University of New England (4/26, 7 PM).
PRESEASON PLAUDITS: Endicott will enter the 2016 season ranked in all three national polls (No. 17 NIKE/Lacrosse Magazine, No. 19 USILA, and No. 20 Inside Lacrosse). The Gulls were also tabbed to finish second in the CCC Preseason Coaches' Poll and are currently ranked No. 5 in the New England Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (NEILA) Division III Preseason Poll.