NCAA Team Reviews: Hartford Hawks

Photo credit to Steve McLaughlin
Photo credit to Steve McLaughlin

For the better part of four months, many of us watched some exciting college lacrosse, whether it was on TV, online, or in person.  There were good games, which included all of Championship Weekend, and there were bad games, such as low scoring affairs and of course, the horrendous winter weather.  I take a look back at all 69 Division I teams and how they fared this season and what to look forward to in 2016.

Check out previous recaps: NJIT Highlanders, UMass Lowell River Hawks, VMI Keydets, Manhattan Jaspers, Canisius Golden Griffins, Robert Morris Colonials, St. John’s Red Storm, Wagner Seahawks, Binghamton Bearcats, Bellarmine Knights, Jacksonville Dolphins, Furman Paladins, Lafayette Leopards, Rutgers Scarlet Knights, Mount St. Mary’s Mountaineers, Siena Saints, Delaware Blue Hens, UMBC Retrievers, Dartmouth Big Green, Providence Friars, Mercer Bears, Penn State Nittany Lions, Hofstra Pride, Michigan Wolverines, UMass Minutemen, Monmouth Hawks, Vermont Catamounts, Sacred Heart Pioneers, Holy Cross Crusaders, Penn Quakers, Villanova Wildcats, Boston Terriers, Quinnipiac Bobcats


2014 Record 6-9
2014 Conference Record 1-4 (5th in American East)
2014 Scoring Offense 10.00 Goals Per Game (34th in DI)
2014 Scoring Defense 10.40 Goals Against Per Game (T34th in DI)
2014 Goals Leader #1 Kevin O’Shea – Junior (30 Gs)
2014 Assists Leader #1 Kevin O’Shea – Junior (18 As)
2014 Points Leader #1 Kevin O’Shea – Junior (48 Pts)
2014 Goaltending Leader #38 Frank Piechota – R-Senior (.495 SV %)
2014 Face-Off Leader #11 Adam Yee – R-Junior (.557 FO %)
2014 Ground Balls Leader #11 Adam Yee – R-Junior (112 GBs)
2014 Caused Turnovers Leader #17 Chris Duffy – Sophomore (18 CTs)
2014 Quality Wins Richmond (19-11), Quinnipiac (6-3)
2014 Bad Losses Siena (11-10 4OT), Holy Cross (13-8)


2015 Record 7-8
2015 Conference Record 3-3 (4th in American East)
2015 Scoring Offense 9.80 Goals Per Game (37th in DI)
2015 Scoring Defense 11.07 Goals Against Per Game (51st in DI)
2015 Goals Leader #1 Kevin O’Shea – Senior (36 Gs)
2015 Assists Leader #1 Kevin O’Shea – Senior (20 As)
2015 Points Leader #1 Kevin O’Shea – Senior (56 Pts)
2015 Goaltending Leader #28 Ryan Vanderford – Freshman (.523 SV %)
2015 Face-Off Leader #4 Dylan Protesto – Freshman (.565 FO %)
2015 Ground Balls Leader #4 Dylan Protesto – Freshman (61 GBs)
2015 Caused Turnovers Leader #35 Torrey Martone – R-Junior (21 CTs)
2015 Quality Wins Quinnipiac (10-9 OT), UMass (15-8)
2015 Bad Losses Holy Cross (11-2), Sacred Heart (9-8 3OT)


The Hawks remain in the middle-of-the-pack in the American East Conference, finishing 4th this season and made fell to Albany in the semifinals. Kevin O’Shea carried the majority of the load for another season as the school’s 10th leading scorer in program history with 56 points. Other than O’Shea, freshmen played big roles for Hartford, including goaltender Ryan Vanderford and face-off man Dylan Protesto, who replaced fellow Penncrest (PA) classmate Adam Yee.

Hartford was on-and-off with wins and losses in the first half of the season, starting off with an 11-9 loss to Bryant before beating Manhattan and losing to Brown by large margins. But against Quinnipiac, Hartford tied the Bobcats with 58 seconds left on O’Shea’s first of the day, followed with 41 ticks left in OT by Griffin Feiner’s second. After a win over UMass Lowell, the Hawks would suffer embarrassing back-to-back losses, scoring two goals against Holy Cross and giving up 24 to Albany. Then, the stretches would start, first with four straight wins against Binghamton, followed by Siena, then UMBC in overtime, and finally UMass. In the UMBC game, the Terriers scored a man-up goal with one second left in regulation, before Matt Carroll won the game with 2:11 left in OT. But the best part of the season was over, and the rest of the season went downhill. It began with a heartbreaking 3OT loss to Sacred Heart, followed by league losses against Vermont and an OT loss to Stony Brook, a game where the Hawks lead by four at halftime and went scoreless after their final goal with 6:14 left in the 2nd quarter. But the Hawks did qualify for the American East Tournament, facing off against Albany, which was another loss to the Great Danes to end their season.

The Hawks were slightly worse than they were in 2014, but with a bunch of underclassmen contributing already and with an American East without Lyle Thompson and Mike Rooney, Hartford could be ready to kill their prey and take home an AE championship. But one negative will be losing O’Shea, one of their best players in program history. That will hurt the offense substantially, unless Hartford can dig in and find a replacement, if not multiple replacements for O’Shea.


Claude Bradshaw Defense Emmaus (PA)
Steven Boyle Midfield Shawnee (NJ)
Jake Foster Midfield Westborough (MA)
Mike Harris Attack Hyde School (ME)
Chris Friedman Midfield Episcopal Academy (PA)
Ben Fredricks Goalie La Costa Canyon (CA)
Myles Horn Attack Hebron Academy (ME)
Nolan Little Midfield/FO Downingtown East (PA)
Dylan Jinks Attack/Midfield Southern Regional (NJ)
John Belanger Midfield Kinnelon (NJ)
Alex Borja Midfield Rocky Point (NY)
Zach Elkinson Midfield Holliston (MA)
Stefan Zandbergs Defense Winchester (MA)/Bridgton Academy (ME)

The Hawks will replace eight departing seniors with 13 incoming recruits, mainly from Pennsylvania up north. Two kids to look for are Chris Friedman and Ben Fredricks. Friedman was an All-Inter-Ac midfielder for Episcopal Academy the past two seasons and helped the Churchmen reach the Inter-Ac Challenge Semifinals against Hun School this season. Friedman could provide firepower to help the Hawks soften the loss of O’Shea. Fredricks was the goaltender for California power La Costa Canyon and will have to compete for a possible spot in the offseason.