BETHLEHEM, Pa. --- Moravian College is looking back at the 2015-16 athletic campaign with the No. 6 story in Top 10 Stories – the men's lacrosse team posting the first 10-win season and reaching the postseason for the first time in program history.
The Greyhounds, playing their first varsity season since 2010, posted a 10-6 record and were selected to the 2016 ECAC Division III Mid-Atlantic Championship Tournament, falling to Lebanon Valley College, 10-6, in the first round.
Moravian entered the season with 19 freshmen on the 27-player roster as Head Coach Dave Carty built a team in the year leading up to the return to the varsity level.
"We expected to be competitive with our schedule but we weren't sure how we would stack up against some of the better teams," commented Carty. "Our guys didn't play like freshmen and it showed in our record."
The Greyhounds opened the season with three straight victories before falling to rival Muhlenberg College on March 9. Moravian won two more before its second setback of the spring to Bryn Athyn College on March 19. The Hounds then went on a five-match winning streak including a pair of two-goal wins over Wilkes University and King's College.
"After we beat King's, we felt we had a good chance at 10 wins since they were in the MAC Playoffs recently, and we knew they would have a full roster of seniors and juniors," stated Carty.
Moravian had a tough end to the season competing as an independent. The Greyhounds dropped a pair of matches to future Landmark Conference opponents as well as a double-overtime loss against Immaculata University.
The Hounds were 10-5 at the end of the regular season and that was enough to reach the ECAC Division III Mid-Atlantic Championship Tournament. Moravian made the trip to Lebanon Valley on May 11 for the program's first-ever postseason appearance."Reaching the ECACs is the first step in our young team's development," Carty explained. "The guys know what to expect when we play better teams now and we need to raise our level of play."
Coach Carty is set to return 23 student-athletes in 2017, and looks forward to the challenge ahead. Two of those returnees will be sophomore attack Mark Laratta, who scored a single season school record of 42 goals in 2016, and sophomore goalie Kurt Dick, who set school marks with 10 wins and an 8.97 goals-against average in his debut season.
"Since we will be in the Landmark, we need to really up our game if we want to have a winning record and establish ourselves in the conference," Carty said. "We need to be more fundamentally sound on defense and hit more of our shots on offense. We'll still be competing with only two recruited classes against established programs, that's a tough situation. The big thing we have going in our favor is that our guys have proven they are tough and competitors, I think there will be a team or two in conference who will be surprised how physical we're going to be."
Story number five of the countdown will be released on Thursday, August 11.