Conference play begins! Detroit gets things rolling at 11 (in a game that was moved to accommodate finishing before bad weather).
Manhattan has traditionally been one of the country’s worst teams, and with a 2-5 record this year (the wins are both 14-13 affairs, over Wagner and Hartford), it’s probably no exception to the rule. The Jaspers have one of the country’s worst offenses, bar-none the worst defense, and play really fast. That’s typically a recipe for getting blown out, like, a lot.
More thanks to a fast pace than any ability to score efficiently, there are some pretty prolific players already in 2017. Sophomore attackman Parker Giarratana has more than a quarter of the team’s total goal output with 18, and has contributed six assists, as well.
In fact, other than freshman midfielder CJ Scharf (three goals, 10 assists), just about everybody on the team is slanted heavily toward scoring than setting up teammates. Senior midfielder Matt Garvey has nine goals and three assists, freshman attack Trevor Pelletier has eight goals and three assists, freshman midfielder Reid Martin has eight goals and one assist, and freshman attack Brandon Grinnell has seven goals and five assists (the most balanced Jasper).
This is a very young offense, as you can see by the fact that only one leading scorer is a senior, one is a sophomore, and the rest are freshmen.
Sophomores Nicholas Clayton and Dylan DeMuro start on close defense, along with junior Frank Merrill. Sophomore William Ratchford is the primary SSDM, at least in terms of production in the form of ground balls.
This unit causes almost no turnovers, which would be fine except for the fact that they give up a ton of goals. A raw defensive efficiency of .419 is horrible, and worse so when you consider that they’ve done it against a very weak slate of opponents.
Goalie Michael Zingaro is the recipient of a ton of work, and he’s saving shots at just a .493 clip (when anything below .500 is quite bad indeed). He’s allowing nearly 15 goals per game – not as bad as it sounds, given the pace they play, but still not great, Bob.
Manhattan actually has a pretty decent faceoff game, led by junior Joseph Bressingham, who’s at .556 this Spring. He gets a ton of ground balls himself, which is one of my unofficial metrics for a good faceoff specialist, rather than one who’s just helped by wing play.
Manhattan has a decent ride, with opponents clearing just .867, but their own clear is downright terrible, at .831 on the season. They turn it over a ton before they even get to the offensive end, which explains quite a bit of the struggles on either end of the field.
This team is very bad. Detroit is far from elite, but they aren’t down to this level, by any stretch. They’re fully capable of playing down (and often up, to be fair) to their competition, which is the biggest question mark here.
Gotta get this published before the game starts, so quick take: Detroit 14, Manhattan 7.