Review & preview: St. Mary's

A look at the 2013 season for the Seahawks and a glimpse into 2014

June 19, 2013|By Edward Lee, The Baltimore Sun

Here is the fifth installment of a series that checks in with the eight Division III programs in the state to give a glimpse into the past and the future. Teams are scheduled to appear according to the chronological order in which their seasons ended. Tuesday’s visit was with Goucher. Wednesday’s visit is with St. Mary’s.

REVIEW

The good: The Seahawks enjoyed a solid campaign in 2012, going 10-6 overall and 6-2 in the Capital Athletic Conference. But they had even greater success this past spring with a 12-7 overall record and a 4-2 league mark. The crown jewel of their season was a 13-11 upset of 10-time national champion Salisbury in the conference tournament final that catapulted the program to its first appearance in the NCAA tournament. “I think we got better from the year before,” coach Chris Hasbrouck said. “I think we grew as individuals, and I think we’re buying into the system and we certainly improved on last year. Winning the conference was the next step for us.”

… After compiling a 2-3 record in one-goal games between 2009 and 2012, the team went 5-3 in one-goal decisions this past spring. The ability to either close out contests or rally from behind was a sign of the players’ maturity and progress, according to Hasbrouck. “I’d much rather be 7-1 in those one-goal games,” he joked. “You have to be in the game. You just want to give yourself an opportunity to win. … It’s a character-builder for us. I think we’re learning how to win and we’re learning how to win close games.”

… Several individual players had standout seasons in their senior campaigns. Attackman Patrick Mull led the offense in assists (37) and points (56), defenseman Justin Harty caused 30 turnovers and scooped up 37 ground balls, and faceoff specialist Albert Mitchell won 59.5 percent (203-of-341) of his draws and collected 125 ground balls. But the decision to replace freshman goalkeeper Joey Casey with senior Scott Marsh late in the second quarter of an eventual 11-6 loss to then-No. 12 Denison on March 13 may have been the most significant personnel move. Marsh, a walk-on who hails from Crofton and graduated from South River, registered a 7.47 goals-against average and a .622 save percentage and stabilized the defense with his play. “The kid just played outstanding from that point on,” Hasbrouck said. “Very, very consistent for the rest of the year. And that’s what we needed from our goalie. With the way we play and the goals we can score and the way we play defense, we need that keeper to be consistent day-to-day, and we’re going to be looking for that next year as well.”

The bad: St. Mary’s made its debut in the NCAA tournament a memorable one as the team took a 5-2 advantage on Lynchburg in the fourth quarter. But the then-No. 13 Hornets scored four unanswered goals to escape with a 6-5 decision that disappointed the players and Hasbrouck. “Lynchburg’s a great team, and that’s one of those games where they played hard for 60 minutes, and we were up 5-2 with a few minutes gone in the fourth quarter. That’s something that we have to do better at,” he said. “We have to be able to finish those games. We will use that as motivation. We had a moderately successful season. It was a good step to make the conference tournament, win the conference and then make the NCAA tournament. But we are extremely disappointed. There’s not one player on this team that is satisfied with the way the season ended, and I know they are using that.”

… The team’s longest losing streak of the season was a three-game stretch in which the squad dropped contests to Washington College on March 5, Muhlenberg on March 9 and Denison. After the setback to the Big Red, players and coaches alike made a commitment. “After that moment, what we started to say was, ‘We’re going to leave it on the field. There’s no regrets. When you walk off, I want you to be able to look at everybody and know that you gave your best effort,’” Hasbrouck recalled. “It was those two things that I really started to harp on in practice and games. We were going to fight for every ground ball and our shooting percentage was going to be decent.”

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