This year’s team, for example, is loaded with juniors who have seen regular action since their freshman season. Now that class is a strength, and their dominance in certain games has opened the door for younger players to get their cleats wet.
“Those juniors have been playing a ton and a lot have been starting since freshman year,” said Quirk, who ranks eighth on the active wins list for Division 3 college coaches. “Honestly, a big thing in our philosophy is playing younger guys (so) by the time they’re sophomores and juniors you can really see their experience. Like (Saturday), we played Nichols and beat them pretty good (26-8). We played our starters and upperclassmen, then got a ton of freshmen and sophomores three quarters of run.
“We get our guys experience and never have a rebuilding year. That’s been a big impact and how this program has sustained itself.”
Five players from Endicott’s junior class are among the top six scorers on the team. Freshman attack Colin Bannon currently is tied with junior attack Kyle Weber for team lead in points with 26. Bannon powers the team with 20 goals while Weber has 18 goals and eight assists.
Juniors Harrison Cotter (19 goals, 6 assists, 25 points), Jeremy Morgan (17-7-24), Josh Tordik (6-17-23) and Pinciaro (15-7-22) also come in above 20 points.
Endicott has only been giving up eight goals per game because of a stout defense, which is led by sophomore goalie Cameron Bell. He took over the starting job early in his freshman season and ended up being named USILA Honorable Mention All-American.
Bell has excellent defensive players in front of him, including senior captain Peter Erickson. Junior defenders Ian Knechtle and Chris Cooney and senior Breck Merritt have also been outstanding for the Gulls.
Then, of course, there is freshman midfielder Tommy Hughes, who had the difficult job of taking over the faceoff duties from Sam Ozycz. All Hughes has done is win more than 60 percent of faceoffs and scoop 88 ground balls.