Here is the fourth installment of a series that checks in with the seven Division I programs in the state to give a glimpse into the past and the future. Teams are scheduled to appear according to the chronological order in which their seasons ended. Wednesday's visit was with UMBC. Thursday's visit is with Mount St. Mary's.
The good: The Mountaineers nearly achieved the dubious feat of being the first reigning Northeast Conference tournament champion to fail to qualify for the following tournament. But Mount St. Mary’s rebounded from a 0-3 start in the league to beat Sacred Heart and Wagner, finish in fourth place, and earn a berth in the
The bad: The win against Delaware gave the team a shot in the arm, but the Mountaineers couldn’t sustain those good vibes. They couldn’t hold onto an 8-7 lead against
Personnel changes: Graduation saps the Mountaineers of just two starters, including defenseman Brendan Rooney (21 groundballs and 10 caused turnovers). Gravante thinks that freshman Kyle O’Brien (14, 6) is ready to join junior Kevin Downs and sophomore Shane Pierce as starting defensemen. “I think he’s the man for the job,” Gravante said of O’Brien. “We’ve got some redshirted freshmen on the bench who could do a great job for us. It’s just a matter of them improving over the summer. But I’m excited to see how that defense pans out. I think Kyle O’Brien would be a great candidate to go in for Brendan Rooney.” … The first midfield of senior Bryant Schmidt (29 goals and seven assists), junior Daniel Stranix (16, 9) and senior Anthony Golden (11, 2) is back. So where does Ososki fit in? Gravante said Golden is versatile enough to play either attack or midfield. “[W]e’re not worried,” Gravante said. “It’s better to have too much than not enough. We’ll sort that out. We’ll experiment in the fall with these kids, and we can make that decision as we go.” … Burns returns, but he will face stiff competition from junior