The best players from D3 can play at the highest level. The proof is in guys like Stephen Berger and Eric Martin in the MLL, and these 8 excellent players currently tearing it up in the LXM PRO. I won’t just pick 10 Presseason First Team All-Americans. No way. This is more like my D1 list of Ten Players to Watch, where I’m more interested in picking out ten truly interesting guys to watch, and each for their own reasons.
Let’s take a look at what D3 in 2013 has to offer…
10) Callum Robinson – Defense – Stevenson
How can I put a freshman on my list as the #10 guy? It’s hard… unless of course the freshman is a 21 year old beast of an athlete from Perth, Australia… and that’s exactly what Robinson is. The Mustangs have a tough returning defense, and if Robinson fits in and finds time, it could be a truly outrageous group down in Maryland.
9) Chris Williamson – Goalie – Bowdoin
There are some pretty lofty expectations floating around Brunswick, ME this year, and if the Polar Bears hope to match, or exceed, them, Williamson will have to be rock solid. Bowdoin has talent and athleticism, and if they can ride a hot goalie, the possibilities are endless.
8) PJ Hart – F/O M – RIT
RIT is good almost every single year. The talent, depth and hunger almost never leaves Rochester, and with one or two final pieces, the Tigers could finally make that Championship run they’ve been working towards. I know Krossover says F/Os don’t matter, but I don’t buy it. If Hart wins big face offs in big games, RIT could be in great shape yet again.
7) Jimmy van de Veerdonk – Midfield – Oneonta
Most of the guys on this list play for a national title contender, or at last program that is hoping to make big strides in the Top 20 this year, but Oneonta is a bit different. With van de Veerdonk, it’s about what one player can do for his team, and 2013 could be a big year. If you want to see a stud player elevate everyone around him, watch Oneonta, and pay close attention to Jimmy.
6) Cole Bailey – Attack – Tufts
If Cole Bailey can show up and be a force in his sophomore year, he and Beau Wood could tear up NESCAC defenses all year long. He is the younger, less experienced member of this dynamic duo, and for me, that makes Cole the one to watch. Wood should deliver no matter what, but if Bailey has a big year, the Jumbos will be super serious.
5) Joe Lisicky – Defense – Lynchburg
Some think Lisicky is the best defender in the country, and has been for a while, so he’s not new, but he’s interesting. Can the best “defender in the nation” lead Lynchburg to a deep run into the NCAAs, or further? I’m not sure he can, at least not all by himself, but I’m excited to see LC try. With guys like Ohrem, Gill and Voumard helping out, it becomes even more realistic.
4) Ryan Clarke – Midfield – Salisbury
SU graduated so much talent last year, you’d think there would be a drop off, but there won’t be, because SU simply reloads. Clarke should be the man for the Gulls (although that is never set in stone) and could very well be the next Salisbury players to make it in the pros. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. There are still college titles to be won for this guy.
3) Ian Deveau – Midfield – Colby
Much like Bowdoin, there is some serious chatter coming out of Colby College. If the Mules want to make good on that noise, Deveau will need to be dominant in almost every game. He certainly can play as well as anyone, but if teams key on him even more, will the rest of the Colby team be able to step up? Definitely a player to watch on a team that is supposedly on its way back up.
2) Bennet Cord – Attack – WAC
Remember when Washington College was an annual title contender? You might not, but I do. And since I miss those days so much, I’m putting Cord in my top 3. If he can put the team on his back (d’oh!), the Shoremen could be flying high.
1) Mike Kaminski – Goalie – Cortland
The Red Dragons are looking like one of top teams early on once again. Kaminski provides a great backstop to a talented team, and the road to the NCAAs is likely to go through Cortland, and Kaminski, in 2013. If MK is on point, Cortland will be tough to knock off.