The Division 1 lacrosse teams from New England returned a lot of talent for the 2020 season, and they have high expectations.
What can help put some of them over the top, however, is a great freshmen class.
As every club has started its season, and most teams have at least a couple games under their belts, some first-year players are making an impact in their collegiate debuts.
Here are some freshmen that are taking advantage of the opportunities they’ve earned.
Bryce Ford, M, Fairfield
Ford is one half of a set of twins playing for the Stags (Dean Ford is also a midfielder for the team). He has started all of Fairfield’s first three games and is tied for third on the team in points (9) behind five
goals and four assists.
He was named the CAA Rookie of the Week after he totaled six points, four ground balls, and a pair of caused turnovers in a pair of games against Merrimack and Georgetown.
Logan Soelberg, M, Yale
The team that has reached two consecutive NCAA Tournament championship games has a lot of returners, which would typically make it difficult for newcomers to crack the lineup. Soelberg, however,
has earned his share of runs out of the midfield, and he shined in the team’s second game of the season, a 12-10 victory over top-ranked Penn State.
Against the Nittany Lions, Soelberg tallied a goal and an assist, and he picked up a ground ball; all three were the first in his collegiate career.
Mike Tobin, A/M, UMass
Much like the UMass freshman goalie Knote, Tobin didn’t factor much in the 17-4 season opening loss to Army. Since then, however, Tobin has been a contributor on offense. He scored in each of the next three games (his first collegiate goal came against Ohio State and tied the game at one in the second quarter), and he has added an assist in each of the past two games to give him two multi-point games.
John DeLucia, A, Quinnipiac
The Bobcats might not be racking up wins, but DeLucia has been a bright spot in the team’s season thus far. A top-scoring option in high school, DeLucia set a Guilford High School points record with 351 career points.
He continues to be a scoring threat in college, scoring at least one goal in each of the team’s first four games. He has three multi-goal games, including scoring a hat trick in the team’s tough 10-9 loss to
UMass-Lowell. Through four games, DeLucia has eight goals on 13 shots on goal Additionally, he has picked up 11 ground balls.
Matt Knote, G, UMass
The Minutemen had large cleats to fill between the pipes after the graduation of All-American Sean
Sconone. Head coach Greg Canella turned to the freshman Knote, and the results have been good so far.
His 10.57 goals against average (which would be even lower if it weren’t for his 15 goals allowed in 52 minutes in his debut) is 30th in Division 1; he’s one of only three freshmen in the top 30 in goals against average. In both of UMass’s two wins, Knote has allowed fewer than 10 goals and had double digits in saves; this includes a 16-save effort in the team’s 9-7 victory over Ohio State.
Allyn French, FO, Merrimack
While many players on Merrimack are two-time NCAA Division 2 champions, French is in a unique position to the team that he hadn’t played in Division 2, and he does not have a collegiate championship to his name.
He has stepped in nicely in his first season, however, winning 36 of his 66 face-offs (.546 winning percentage), and his 12 ground balls are tied for the most on the team. In the team’s first Division 1 win,
a 14-12 victory over Michigan, French scored his first collegiate goal.
Jackson Canfield and Tim Manning, D, Vermont
In two games, the Catamounts have only allowed an average of 8.5 goals against. Canfield and Manning
have started both those games, despite being newcomers.
Canfield leads the team with five caused turnovers, and he’s also picked up five ground balls. Manning
has two caused turnovers and two ground balls.
Dean DiNanno, A, Holy Cross
The Crusaders started the 2020 season with four wins in the first five games, and DiNanno is playing a
large role in the team’s success. He has started all five of the team’s games and is tied for third in points, with 12 points on eight goals and four assists.
He has scored at least one goal in each game thus far. He scored three goals and added one assist in the team’s 10-9 victory over Vermont in the third game of the season.
Conor Foley, A, UMass-Lowell
The former Bay State League Co-MVP leads the Riverhawks with 20 points. He has a point in every game this season, and while his multi-point efforts in the first three games are impressive, it’s the fourth and fifth games of the season that are turning heads; Foley has seven points in each of those games.
In the team’s 16-15 victory over Siena, Foley scored three goals and added four assists. In the next game against UMass, Foley scored two goals (his third multi-goal game) and added a career-high five assists.