The unanimous choice as the Big Ten’s Freshman of the Year, Epstein racked up 10 goals and four assists in the conference tournament, including seven goals and two assists in the No. 10 Blue Jays’ 18-17 overtime loss to No. 1 Penn State in Saturday’s title game. He leads all Division I freshmen in goals (45) and ranks second only to Army West Point attackman Brendan Nichtern in points (67).
The Patriot League tournament’s Most Valuable Player earned that distinction after setting a conference record for overall goals (12), overall points (18) and single-game goals (eight) in powering the No. 11 Greyhounds to their first league tournament title since 2016. With career totals of 177 goals and 125 assists, Powers is the first player in program history to reach marks of 150 goals and 100 assists and is the second player to score 300 points.
Outlook: The Orange own a 19-5 overall record and a 3-0 mark in the NCAA tournament in this series, but the Greyhounds – who are the No. 8 seed in the postseason – are 26-6 at home since 2016. The anticipated matchup between redshirt junior defenseman Nick Mellen (26 ground balls and 17 caused turnovers) and senior attackman Pat Spencer (40 goals and 54 assists) might be worth the price of admission alone.
NO. 9 JAMES MADISON (16-3) VS. NO. 14 STONY BROOK (15-4)
Outlook: This first-round matchup pits the 2018 reigning NCAA Division I champion in the Dukes against a team in the Seawolves that pushed finalist Boston College to overtime in last year’s quarterfinal round. Both sides are running hot as Stony Brook has won its last 11 games and James Madison is riding a nine-game streak.