2019-20 Season Preview: Notre Dame-Fairfield
Notre Dame-Fairfield Lancers
2018-19 Record: 7-12
Tournament Result: As 13-seed lost in Division I Quarterfinals to 5-seed Fairfield Prep 4-0
Head Coach: Richie Minnix (1st season)
Key Returning Players: Aaron Martino (F, Sr.), Brian Essing (F, Jr.), Kevin Barrett (F, So.), Dan Finizio (D, Sr.), Ray Ferguson (D, Jr.)
Impact Newcomers: Matt Newtown (F, Jr. Fairfield Co-op), Patrick Benvenuto (F, Jr. Fairfield Prep), Eryk Fancher (F, Jr. BBD), Nick Piselli (G, Sr. NDWH)
Goalie Situation: Kacy Adams has graduated after a great, understated career. He’ll certainly be remembered for shutting out and upsetting Hamden in the first round of the state tourney last year. Junior Reagin Gallagher, last year’s backup, is back to battle for the starting job. He’s joined by NDWH transfer, senior Nick Piselli. Piselli looks for a new start with ND-Fairfield and comes in talented enough to win the job.
Key Losses: Justin Lasella, Kacy Adams, Nate Stiles, Tommy Kuryla (all to graduation)
Outlook: After winning the Division III State Championship with LHK last season, Richie Minnix has made the jump to DI and the Notre Dame-Fairfield Lancers. Minnix inherits a group that is coming off a first round upset win over Hamden in last year’s state tournament. They lose the graduated goalie Kacy Adams who was great in his time in a Lancer sweater as well as the always responsible defense of Justin Lasella. But the cupboards are not bare for Minnix who returns a strong forward group led by senior Aaron Martino, junior Brian Essing and sophomore Kevin Barrett. Add in a bunch of transfers and the rebuild process begins. Nick Piselli comes over in his senior year after being relegated to backup duties last year at NDWH. He looks to battle for the starting job. Junior forwards Matt Newtown comes over from Fairfield Co-op, Patrick Benvenuto joins the Lancers after leaving Fairfield Prep and one of the most underrated additions comes in the form of junior Eryk Fancher who was really good for BBD last year. The main problem that Minnix faces is the fact that those three forward transfers will have to miss the first half of the season. Add in the fact that the Lancers will need to fortify their D (they do return senior Dan Finizio and junior Ray Ferguson) and there will be struggles out of the gate. At the end of the day, Minnix revitalized a struggling Lyman Hall program and brought them to the glory land. I believe in this guy and I think in the not so distant future, the state will be singing a different tune when it comes to Notre Dame-Fairfield.