September 21, 2012 by John Chagaris
Welcome to Drexel University, home of the Dragons. We here at The Triangle’s sports section understand that freshman year can be a confusing time; making new friends, adjusting to life on your own and finding your bearings in a new city can be overwhelming. Don’t fret, young one, we are here to simplify one of the most important aspects of becoming a well-rounded Drexel student: Drexel sports.
The most popular sport at Drexel is men’s basketball, hands down. Even before the season begins, the anticipation is palpable on campus. During the season, campus is always buzzing. And why not? Head coach James “Bruiser” Flint was quoted last year saying that the Dragons were the best college basketball team in the city.
The Drexel men’s basketball team started last season on ESPN’s Midnight Madness. The Dragons were picked as the early-season favorites to win the Colonial Athletic Association and to represent the conference in the NCAA Tournament. Drexel got off to a slow start, losing four of the first six games. After that stretch, the Dragons lost only one more game the rest of the season to capture a conference title. In the CAA tournament, the Dragons won their first two games to advance to the finals. The Dragons faced Virginia Commonwealth University, which just a year earlier made it all the way to the Final Four in the NCAA Tournament. VCU beat Drexel 56-59, thus making the Dragons ineligible for an automatic bid in the NCAA Tournament. Even after the CAA Tournament loss, many experts were picking Drexel to make it into the NCAA Tournament by means of the selection committee. But alas, the selection committee snubbed Drexel for the second year in a row. Drexel instead participated in the National Invitation Tournament and lost in the quarterfinals.
This year the Dragons will surely continue on the same track as last year’s campaign. They only graduated one senior, and their younger players, most notably sophomore Damion Lee, emerged in the second half of the season. Junior Frantz Massenat and seniors Derrick Thomas, Chris Fouch and Daryl McCoy are all one year older and are primed to lead this team to an NCAA Tournament bid. However, their window to win may be closing. The team will graduate key players after this coming season, leaving a significant leadership void.
Another team to watch is the Drexel men’s lacrosse team. Last season the Dragons finished 8-8 and lost in the finals of the CAA Tournament. They narrowly missed the NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Tournament. Last season they graduated six seniors, including star goalie Mark Manos. This year the team selected seniors Garrett McIntosh, Aaron Prosser and Chris Walsh to be their new captains, ushering in a new era for the team.
In the fall and spring, Drexel offers men’s and women’s crew. The crew team is one of the best in the country, competing in invitationals across the United States. Last season the men’s team completed one of its most successful seasons of all time, capped off by an invitation to the prestigious Henley Royal Regatta in Thames, England. Both men’s and women’s crew begin their fall season Sept. 29.
In the spring, softball will be an interesting team to watch. The Drexel softball team narrowly missed the CAA Tournament last season after losing its final game. Now the softball team has a new coach, Miranda Ervin, who stresses defense and team play, something the softball team has been missing for a few years.
Right now, both the men’s and women’s soccer teams are in season, and they are doing very well. The men’s team is 3-2-1, and the women’s team is 6-1-1. The women will begin a stretch of conference games starting Sept. 21, while the men will start their stretch of conference games Sept. 22 at home.
Drexel has many other teams such as women’s basketball, field hockey, men’s and women’s tennis, and men’s and women’s squash, to name a few. Our advice to you is to get involved and go to a game. You won’t regret it.