2019-20 Season Preview: Fairfield Co-op
Fairfield Warde-Ludlowe Mustangs
2018-19 Record: 11-8-1
Tournament Result: As 11-seed lost in Division I First Round to 6-seed Notre Dame-West Haven 6-3
Head Coach: Carl Larouche (4th season)
Key Returning Players: James Pisciotta (F, Sr.), Ashton Lewis (F, Sr.), Rhys Davies (F, Jr.), Brendan Carney (F, Jr.), Finnegan Hoey (F, So.) Sam Swanson (D, Jr.)
Goalie Situation: Will Capalbo’s time is done with Fairfield Co-op and while it seems he held down the crease for the bulk of last season, he missed some time which gave both senior Jordan Verchin and junior John Grace major experience heading into the 2019-20 campaign. Verchin has actually seen nearly 500 game minutes over the last two seasons and led the Mustangs with a 3.10 GAA last year. Grace saw slightly more minutes last year posting a 4.60 GAA.
Key Losses: Kyle Mazza, Kevin Quinn, Will Capalbo (all to graduation)
Outlook: Since winning the Division II title in 2015-16, the Mustangs have had three straight first round exits at the Division I level and have been outscored in those games 17-5. The Mustangs return a core, however, that inspires some hope going into this season. Junior Rhys Davies (11 goals, 16 assists) looks primed to become one of the state’s better players. He’s complemented up front by senior James Pisciotta (8 goals, 6 assists) and sophomore Finnegan Hoey (6 goals, 15 assists). But that’s not all. Fairfield has some depth this year with guys like senior Ashton Lewis and junior Brendan Carney who are both coming off 17 point seasons. In net junior John Grace and senior Jordan Verchin will battle it out and on D junior Sam Swanson (13 goals, 8 assists) looks to continue to be one of the stronger two-way defensemen at the DI level. Losing leading scorer Kyle Mazza will be a tough one to get over but I think Fairfield is more equipped to bounce back this year than they have been in the past if, a big if, they can get Swanson some help on the back end.