GREENVILLE, N.C. -- East Carolina is coming off the best season it has had in the MCLA era with a record of 8-3 and will now look to make the next step to the SELC playoffs in 2019.
The team finished 2-2 in its division, just one win shy of a SELC playoff bid. ECU embarks on their 2019 campaign playing a 13-game regular season that includes four teams ranked in the final MCLA Division I Under Armour Weekly Coaches Poll (Clemson, Liberty, Northeastern and South Carolina).
Back-Loaded Home Slate
Five of the final seven games of the regular-season schedule will take place at East Carolina. The Pirates will close the 2019 season with home contests against New Haven (March 19), Coastal Carolina (March 30), N.C State (April 5), West Virginia (April 14) and Elon (April 17).
New Era, Same Grit.
Five players have been honored as team captains and will be leading the way for East Carolina in 2019: senior defensemen Phil Zukoski, senior attackman Jared Blum, junior middie Ben Lombardi, junior middie Keegan Maloney and junior SSDM Dan Hannon.
“These guys have earned it on and off the field," said first-year coach Joseph Manna. "We’re excited about this group of leaders. They all have a tremendous amount of respect for the game as well as for this this program."
Manna is joined on his staff by former college teammate Max Tague, former Appalachian State standout Will Nassif and former Pirate net-minder Marcus Harrison.
Players to Watch
Garrett Hess - Faceoff Specialist, Jr.
Hess had an incredible 2018 campaign as he was selected to the all-conference third team. A multiple sport athlete for the Pirates, Hess also competes on the ECU Olympic weightlifting team that placed third at nationals this past October.
Jack Kiewel - Attack/Middie, Sr.
Kiewel is a versatile impact player. The coaching staff is still unsure what Jack’s natural hand is. Kiewel is joined by senior middies Brian George and Brandon Kelly. The combination of depth and experience on the offensive side is something that may give the Pirates an advantage down the stretch.
Dan Hannon - SSDM, Jr.
2018 was season to remember for Hannon, to say the least. The Massachusetts product steps his game up when duty calls. Hannon is a spark plug who gave the Pirates an edge with some crucial last minute transition plays in many tight games last season.
Alex Oats - Goalie, Fr.
The young gun had a very successful fall ball. It seemed like every time the Pirates needed a big save, Oates held it down. Although he is a freshman, Oats has been playing high level lacrosse for a while. His IQ, combined with his athleticism, adds another level to the Pirate’s transition game.
2019 East Carolina Schedule
|Feb. 2||EAST TENNESSEE STATE #||7 p.m.|
|Feb. 8||at Auburn||7:30 p.m.|
|Feb. 9||vs. South Florida ^||12 p.m.|
|Feb. 16||UNC-CHARLOTTE||3 p.m.|
|Feb. 22||at Clemson *||7 p.m.|
|Feb. 23||LIBERTY||7 p.m.|
|March 3||at South Carolina *||7 p.m.|
|March 19||NEW HAVEN||7 p.m.|
|March 22||vs. Northeastern $||7:30 p.m.|
|March 24||vs. Pittsburgh $||12 p.m.|
|March 30||COASTAL CAROLINA||7 p.m.|
|April 5||NC STATE *||7:30 p.m.|
|April 14||WEST VIRGINIA ||11 a.m.|
|April 17||ELON *||7:30 p.m.|
* - indicates SELC Northeast division contest
# - indicates a scrimmage
^ - indicates contest played at Auburn, Ala.
$ - indicates Battle for Battle contest