So far the 2015 college lacrosse season has had to deal with a lot of weather issues, causing delays in action but there has been no delay in some of the freshmen emerging as go-to players for their teams. With the talent being spread through more teams in Division I, there is a lot of opportunity for underclassmen to make their presence felt.
This weekend is that start of March, traditionally the start of the spring sports season, and a few teams are going to rely on their freshmen to produce in order for wins.
Connor Fields – FR – Attack – Albany
Albany has a big tilt this weekend with Cornell. Albany’s schedule has been thrown off due to the weather and the offense had to do without Lyle Thompson for much of their first contest. Fields will be relied on to produce more than his game out in the Danes uniform. Against Drexel, he went for three goals, three assists to lead his team in points through Week 1. With Cornell coming up, his game will have to take a step forward in order for the Danes to come away with a win against the Big Red.
Patrick Frazer – FR – Midfield – Johns Hopkins
Hopkins already has four games marked off on their schedule and a wealth of freshmen talent on the field playing. Tinney and Stanwick are two that you would assume needing to play big, but here is why the Jays need Frazer. He is the leading scorer from the midfield for the Jays at a goal a game. With the focus being primarily on other youngsters in the midfield, his production spreads the defense from being bottom heavy again their attack. If he can continue to produce, the Jays can open up the offense.
Stephen Quinzi – FR – Attack – Georgetown
Bo Stafford needs help producing for the Hoyas and Quinzi is his compliment to scoring from the attack. Quinzi and the Hoyas have lost two games already with Hofstra coming to town. If Stafford and Quinzi can operate with more efficiency, those two and three goal losses could turn into victories for Coach Warne and his Hoyas.
Trevor Baptiste – FR – Midfield/FO – Denver
All eyes are on Denver to see if the Championship Trophy can move west of the Mississippi River and Baptiste has the keys to the ship. So far on the season, he has gone 53-73 from the X. His ability to keep the offense moving changes the game strategy against all opponents. To his credit, he has even gone on for two points on one goal, one assist. With Carolina on the schedule, there is an offense that can produce just as well as Denver can. The battle could come down to an extra possession or two, which make Baptiste’s performance rather important compared to UNC’s veteran group.
Ryan Hillburn and Jack Willson – FR – Attack – Boston
Boston University is sitting at 2-2 on the season so far, with Vermont up next this weekend. They started with two wins and now have lost two games. These two are leading the team in scoring and against Vermont they could get their team above .500 again with big performances. Wilson scores, while Hillburn assists for most of their points. In their wins, they have produced, while they have been limited significantly in their losses. For the Terriers to go to 3-2 on the year, they need to have big weekends.
As most of the East Coast wishes to welcome Spring with March on the horizon, take the opportunity to watch some of these new faces become the next generation of stars in the college lacrosse landscape.
– Brian Davies