BABSON PARK, Mass.—Coming off a share of its second conference title in four seasons, the Babson College men's lacrosse programs enters the 2019 campaign with depth and experience on the field and a new direction on the sidelines.
CHANGE AT THE TOP
First-year head coach Rocky Batty, who was hired in July, inherits a team that returns 29 players after going 9-7 overall before suffering an OT loss to Springfield in the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Tournament semifinals. No stranger to the area, Batty spent 10 years as the head coach at Wellesley High School prior to his two-year stint as an assistant coach at Boston University.
THE SPIRIT OF '79
In his first season at the helm, Batty and his staff will pay homage to Babson's 1979 squad, which won the program's first conference championship and earned Babson's only NCAA Tournament berth to date, by selecting a player to were No. 79 for the year. The first player to don the new jersey will be senior Niall Dillon (Duxbury, Mass.), who will make the change after wearing No. 1 for each of the last two seasons.
YOUNG DEFENSE COMES OF AGE
After giving up almost 13 goals per game over the first eight games of last year, the Beavers' young defense jelled and posted a 7.25 goals against average over the final eight contests of the year. Sophomore Jack Tague (Fairfield, Conn.), who led the squad with 50 ground balls and 18 caused turnovers, and junior Dylan Herrmann (Mahwah, N.J.), who forced 13 turnovers, both started all 16 games, while first-year John Antaya (Duxbury, Mass.) contributed 29 ground balls and 14 caused turnovers in 15 games. Junior Luke Talman (Del Mar, Calif.) owns 27 starts over his first two seasons, classmate Thomas Calvert (Melrose, Mass.) chipped in with 16 caused turnovers, and graduate student Jack O'Donoghue (Scituate, Mass.), who was lost to injury in last year's season opener, earned All-America honorable mention honors in 2017.
PACKING A PUNCH
The Green and White brings back five of its top six scorers, highlighted by all-conference senior Samuel Mishkind (Chappaqua, N.Y.), who became the program's first 40-goal scorer since 2011 last spring. Mishkind's 41 goals and 45 points were both career highs, while first-year Mason O'Hanlon (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) joined him on the all-league squad after putting up 22 goals and 11 assists for 33 points as a rookie. Dillion (17 goals, 12 assists, 29 points) enters the year just seven points shy of 100, junior Owen Allen (Franklin, Mass.) scored 16 goals last season following a 40-point rookie campaign in 2017, and junior Brendan Duffy (Duxbury, Mass.) contributed eight goals and 10 assists for 18 points despite appearing in just 11 contests.
STRONG BETWEEN THE PIPES
The Beavers bring back three goalies led by junior Christopher Aranalde (Rockville Centre, N.Y.), who was named to the All-NEWMAC second team last spring. A two-year starter, he boasts a 10.28 goals against average and a .522 save percentage, and finished with a career-high 131 saves in 14 starts a season ago. Sophomore Mac Mowat (Bellevue, Wash.) came on in relief to help Babson defeat Springfield in early April, won his first collegiate start against MIT late in the year, and ended the season with a .605 save percentage in 132 minutes of action.
CONTROLLOING THE MIDFIELD
The Green and White has an experienced group of versatile midfielders that is looking to build on last year's success, led by all-conference sophomore Quinn Schomp (Duxbury, Mass.), who was named to the all-conference team after scooping up 25 ground balls and forcing five turnovers. Classmate Will Messner (South Kingstown, R.I.) scored six goals to go along with 26 ground balls, junior Matthew MacCune (Braintree, Mass.) scored five goals, and the duo of senior Brett Bottomley (Mercer Island, Wash.) and junior James Rovegno (Duxbury, Mass.) are both looking to contribute after missing time with injuries in 2018. Additionally, junior long stick middies Owen Peterson (San Diego, Calif.) and Tyler Patterson (Millstone Township, N.J.) combined to pick up 23 ground balls to go along with nine caused turnovers last spring.
Along with its usual seven-game NEWMAC slate, the Beavers will face three of the top six teams in the Liberty League, in addition to non-conference tilts against Bowdoin, Bates and Endicott.
NEWMAC COACHES CAST THEIR BALLOTS
The Green and White was picked to finish third when the league released its preseason coaches' poll last week. Defending tournament champion Springfield collected six of nine first-place votes to edge last year's tournament runner-up, Coast Guard, in the poll.