St. Mary’s went from capturing the Capital Athletic Conference tournament crown in 2013 to getting bounced by Frostburg State from the first round of the league tournament in 2014. So why is coach Chris Hasbrouck already looking forward to next season?
The Seahawks graduated five starters, including their leading scorer, their top defenseman and their starting goalkeeper. But the team returns seven of its top 10 scorers, three defensemen who got considerable game experience, and a goalie who opened the 2013 campaign as the starter.
Those pieces are the foundation for some hope, according to Hasbrouck.
“I really do feel like we’re kind of positioned for the long run,” he said. “Taking the season into the account and the schedule we played, I really do feel that we’re built for the long run. I think we’ve got the depth and certainly the talent to compete at a very high level. We feel really good about the kids we brought in and the work they’re putting in.”
Entering the 2014 season as the reigning conference tournament champion didn’t make life easier for St. Mary’s, which drew many opponents’ attention. But Hasbrouck said a 7-10 overall record and a 3-4 mark in the Capital Athletic Conference won’t deter the program from aiming high.
“The goals are going to be the same,” he said. “We want to make the conference tournament and we want to compete for the conference championship. It’s just becoming much more difficult year in and year out.”
As poor as this past spring was, Hasbrouck said, the players and coaches are eager to make amends.
“I think our motivation is going to be extremely high this summer and this fall,” he said. “They’re looking forward to getting back on the field, that’s for sure.”