WRITTEN BY BRYAN FONSECA
The two-time defending NEC champion St. Francis Terriers will kick-off their 2015 season on Friday evening on the road against the Connecticut Huskies.
Just last week the Terriers finished first in the preseason NEC coaches poll after receiving five out of a possible eight first place votes.
The Terriers are coming off of one of their best seasons in recent memory as they finished (11-6-4) en route to a second straight NEC crown in spite of a slow (0-4-1) start to the year.
Picking up where they left off won’t be an impossible task either as the Terriers are returning most of their championship winning team from last season.
Key returnees consist of (but are not exclusive to) All-NEC first-teamer and senior goalkeeper Jack Binks; as well as All-NEC second-teamers; senior midfielder Vincent Bezecourt, and senior forward John Makaya.
Binks recorded 10 shutouts in 21 games, a .811 save percentage, and a .077 goals against average, all of which led the conference in 2014.
Binks truly spent 2014 asserting himself as one of the NEC’s elite with clutch performances throughout the year.
Bezecourt returns as the team leading distributor after finishing last season with six assists.
This number also placed him in a tie for second in the conference.
Makaya was the Terriers leading goal scorer last season with eight, and this also placed him third in the conference.
The opposing UConn Huskies are coming off of a very respectable (10-6-3) 2014 campaign. They had their season ended after falling to the University of South Florida Bulls in the second round of the American Athletic Conference postseason tournament.
However, the Huskies are losing many key players from a successful 2014 year, including their top goal-scorer Cyle Larin who finished with nine, and their top goalie Scott Levene with whom the team went (8-1-2) when he was in goal.
The team will now rely on many new freshmen to step-up, as well as one of their leading returnees in Kwame Awuah.
The junior midfielder scored two goals last season and was the team’s leading passer with five assists.
Senior goalkeeper Jacob Wagmeister is set to take the reins in net after seeing plenty of action in 2014 which was highlighted by a shutout performance. The Huskies were (2-5-1) with Wagmeister in goal last season, and he averaged 1.69 goals against.
This game between the Terriers and Huskies will take place on Friday, August 28 in Storrs, Connecticut at 7 p.m.
You can watch it here: http://www.uconnhuskies.com/collegesportslive/?media=501540