D3 Top 20 Countdown: Dickinson, Tufts

Over the next few weeks, we will be previewing the Top 20 teams in Division III according to Inside Lacrosse’s Face-Off Yearbook rankings. Two teams will be featured each day so be sure to check out the front page for all of the updates as we countdown to the 2014 season. Click here to see a full archive of the Top 20 Countdown.

No. 6 Dickinson

Photo via Wikipedia

2013 Record: 18-1, 8-0 Centennial
Last Game: NCAA Quarterfinals, L 11-9 vs. Salisbury
Scoring Average: 13.37 goals per game, 7.53 goals against
Leading Returning Scorer: Brian Cannon, Sr. – 48 goals, 20 assists, 68 points

Dickinson is coming off a great season in which the Red Devils capped an unbeaten regular season with a run to the NCAA Quarterfinals where they fell to perennial power, Salisbury. This was a team that beat Roanoke by 10, St. Mary’s by 14, Washington College twice, and beat Franklin & Marshall 16-2 in the Centennial Conference championship. Returning for this high-powered team are top scorers Brian Cannon and Brian Gleason (30 goals, 23 assists) on the attack, but they will need to replace Matt Cherry’s 15 goals and 35 assists somewhere on the roster. Senior Will Scott scored 19 goals with nine assists in 13 starts last year and will be leaned upon more in 2014 as they look to fill that 50-point gap.

Dickinson’s schedule in 2014 looks to be tough once again, featuring Roanoke and St. Mary’s again. Added to the slate will be Cabrini and Denison before the Centennial schedule gets underway with games against Gettysburg and WAC right in the middle on April 9 and 12, respectively.

No. 5 Tufts

Photo via Tufts.edu

2013 Record: 13-5, 7-3 NESCAC
Last Game: NCAA Quarterfinals, L 14-5 vs. RIT
Scoring Average: 14.10 goals per game, 9.67 goals against
Leading Returning Scorer: Cole Bailey, Jr. – 30 goals, 42 assists, 72 points

Tufts shocked the world back in 2010, coming out in brown uniforms and running Salisbury out of M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore for National Championship. That group of seniors is now gone, but in its place is a talented team coming off a run to the NCAA Quarterfinals. Back in the fold is junior attackman Cole Bailey, who led the team in scoring last season, and senior midfielder Beau Wood (47 goals, 20 assists) who handled most of the scoring from that unit. Four of the top-five scorers from last season will be back, including Bailey’s attack running mates Chris Schoenhut (46, 6 ) and John Uppgren (23, 11). In goal, Patton Watkins (14 starts, 10.23 GAA) and Alex Salazar (7 starts, 9.20 GAA) are back in the fold and will compete for minutes between the pipes.
The NESCAC will be one of the toughest leagues in the North, per usual, and that part of the schedule will always be a nightmare for a team’s winning percentage. The Jumbos will open the season with NESCAC rival Middlebury before launching a non-conference schedule that includes Stevens, Stevenson, and Western New England.