Matty Beccaris wants a championship.
The LIU Post attack from North Babylon made the NCAA Division II tournament each of the last three seasons, and believes his team is capable of winning the big prize in his final year.
“I definitely wouldn’t sell us short,” Beccaris said. “I think we have more talent than we would need to win it, it’s just doing it as a team. I’m sure you’ve seen this in games, but one player isn’t anything when you face a good team.”
Beccaris led Post (14-3, 8-0 East Coast Conference) last season with 64 points (44 goals), second in the ECC, on the way to the NCAA quarterfinals. He’ll have plenty of help this season, beginning with fellow North Babylon native Ryan Slane, an attack/midfielder. Beccaris said they met at age 10 in a town lacrosse league and have become like brothers.
“When I first came in, I didn’t know much about stick skills, and watching the way Matty played, I would try to mirror him,” said Slane, a scorer in his own right with 50 points last year.
Midfielder Anthony Berardis, a preseason All-America first-teamer alongside Beccaris, and goalkeeper Adam Winne, who went 14-3 with an 8.19 GAA, also are primed for standout years.
“It’s not too much different, just new faces,” Beccaris said. “We’re just trying to get that ring.”
Adelphi (15-3, 9-2 Northeast-10)
Sal Tuttle figured it was just an ordinary call from his family. The Adelphi attackman from Farmingdale instead got the best news of his career: He had been selected by the Rochester Rattlers in the eighth round of the 2016 Major League Lacrosse draft.
“I was actually caught off guard,” Tuttle said. “I had no idea because I couldn’t speak to anybody due to eligibility. I can finish my senior year and once I’m done with that, I can go to the Rattlers.”
Tuttle, Adelphi’s top scorer the past three years, had 82 points (47 goals) last season. The Panthers, ranked No. 5 in a preseason coaches poll, lost to Merrimack in the first round of the NCAA Division II tournament. Tuttle believes senior-heavy Adelphi is in for a better year.
John English, a midfielder from Lindenhurst, and goalkeeper John McGrath of Huntington should be leaders.
New York Institute of Technology (12-4, 7-1 ECC)
Attack Shawn Murphy (Holbrook, Sachem North) leads NYIT’s offense. Murphy was second in team scoring last season with 75 points (42 goals).
NYIT, ranked No. 6 in a preseason coaches poll, is strong defensively with Jon Lynott (Massapequa) and goalie Alex Seltzer (Plainview). Lynott was named Inside Lacrosse Preseason Defenseman of the Year, and Seltzer should be fully healed after injuries limited him last season, coach Bill Dunn said.
Dowling (5-8, 3-4 ECC)
Dowling returns seven starters, headlined by Bayport products Frank Gluchowski, a senior defenseman and third-team USILA All-American, and senior attack Brian White. Gluchowski picked up 46 ground balls and caused 21 turnovers in 11 games last season. White had a team-high 58 points (29 goals) and added 19 ground balls.
The Golden Lions were ranked No. 17 in a preseason coaches poll after finishing under .500 for the first time since 2000. Coach Tim Boyle is optimistic his team is on the rise.
Molloy (11-4, 5-3 East Coast Conference)
East Coast Conference Rookie of the Year Ryan Toomey, a sophomore goalie from Hicksville, and senior midfielder Peter Clark of Rockville Centre return in major roles for a team that graduated the top two scorers in program history.
Toomey went 10-4 with a 9.65 GAA, and Clark was third in team scoring with 34 points (26 goals).
The Lions, with new coach Bernard Dell’Aquila, were ranked No. 19 in a preseason coaches poll. They lost to LIU Post in the ECC semifinals last year.
Farmingdale State (8-8, 3-3 Skyline Conference)
Coach Sean Chamberlain said he expects a strong season after his team reached the Skyline Conference semifinals last year, losing to Montclair State.
Dylan Bates, a senior defenseman from Wading River, is expected to lead the Rams. Chamberlain said Bates, who had 41 ground balls last season, is a smart, athletic player. Michael Cegielski, a sophomore attack, scored 38 points in 14 games last season. Chamberlain said he expects similar success based on Cegielski’s field vision and ability to finish.
U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (7-7, 3-4 Landmark)
USMMA has skill on both sides of the ball with sophomore attack Pat Coll and senior defenseman Gus Sawicki. Coll was second in scoring last season with 36 points (25 goals), and Sawicki picked up 15 ground balls.
The team is entering its final season in the Landmark Conference and will move to the Skyline Conference in 2017.
Goalie Kevin Young will lead the team in goal, and captain Rob Tirrito (Centerport, Chaminade) also should be a key player.
Nassau Community College (13-1, 2-0 NJCAA Region XV)
Nassau’s attack has a new leader in sophomore J.T. Forkin, a Long Beach product who played seven games for Syracuse last season. Forkin, ranked by Inside Lacrosse as the No. 20 prospect for the high school class of 2013, is a talented lefthander with strong passing skills and a knack for scoring, Nassau coach George Powers said.
Powers believes his team can make a deep playoff run behind Forkin and an experienced defense, which includes Nick Capuana (Massapequa).
Suffolk County Community College (7-6, 0-2 NJCAA Region XV)
Suffolk is strong in goal with the return of sophomore Connor Ryan, who had a 12.97 GAA in nine games last season. Fellow sophomores Casey Hickey and Robert Saporito round out a list of young, talented returning starters. Hickey scored 33 points (15 goals) last year, and Saporito added six points and 14 ground balls.
Coach Greg Taylor said he expects to build off last season’s success and believes more players will emerge as leaders.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Matty Beccaris, LIU Post, A, Sr.: The North Babylon product led Post last year in scoring with 64 points (44 goals). Inside Lacrosse named him a first-team Preseason All-American.
J.T. Forkin, Nassau Community College, A, Soph.: The Long Beach native joins Nassau after appearing in seven games for Syracuse last season. Inside Lacrosse ranked Forkin as the No. 20 prospect in the high school class of 2013.
Jon Lynott, NYIT, D, Sr.: Inside Lacrosse named Lynott (Massapequa) Preseason Defenseman of the Year. He picked up 44 ground balls and caused 30 turnovers in 16 games last season.
Ryan Toomey, Molloy, G, Soph.: The goalkeeper is the reigning East Coast Conference Rookie of the Year. He went 10-4 with a 9.65 GAA last season.
Sal Tuttle, Adelphi, A, Sr.: The Farmingdale product was selected by the Rochester Rattlers in the eighth round of the Major League Lacrosse draft. He led Adelphi last season with 82 points (47 goals).