Thursday, February 10, 2011

2011 Team Preview #28: Trinity (CT)

Anson McCook

Coach: Paul Assaiante, 15th Season
Location: Hartford, Connecticut
Conference: NESCAC
2008 Ranking: 13
2009 Ranking: 19
2010 Ranking: 14
2011 Projected: 22

Trinity (CT) has missed the tournament for 2 consecutive seasons and is obviously looking to get back to the success that they found during the 2008 season. This will probably be a tough year for the Bantams as they lost 2 of their top 4 from last year's team and I'm not sure if they found replacements. I heard last summer that they may be getting an international player who would step into the top of the lineup this Spring, but I'm not sure if that panned out. The same thing has done in the Bantams the past 2 years and that's the lack of an out of conference schedule. It's a problem that they have somewhat addressed for this season, but the problem is not totally cured. The last two seasons, the Bantams went to California, got a couple of wins, but not enough to mean anything, and then came home and lost to the top 3 teams in the NESCAC. The problem wasn't that they were a weak team, it's just that they didn't have any wins on their schedule to get them ranked high enough to qualify for Pool C. They added fellow Pool C competitor Redlands to their schedule, and this is a winnable match for them this year. At the top of their lineup, they still have former Middlebury starter Rich Bonfiglio, as well as senior Anson McCook, who is one of the most underrated players in the country. Their lack of depth will really hurt them though, and this is the difference between now and their 2008 team that was so strong. The thing to remember is they are only 3 years off entering the NESCAC tournament as the #1 seed, but that seems like a very long time ago for this program. They finished 14th last year, but it didn't really seem like they made much noise for the majority of the Spring until they won the NESCAC first round against a deflated Bowdoin team when both of them weren't really playing for anything. Their recruiting has not been up to par with the top 3 in NESCAC, or even Bowdoin for that matter. They have been dependent on transfers, as 3 of their top 4 from last year's team did not begin their college careers in Hartford. I don't really know what to make of this program in 2011, but I'm predicting it will be a rough year for them. Their in-season match against Bowdoin is one of my matches to watch and a must-win for Trinity. Other matches to watch are the previously mentioned Redlands match, Brandeis, Bates and Pomona-Pitzer. This is certainly not a top 15 team this year and I think they are a long shot for the top 20. This team is slipping, but they have to be careful to not slip too far.