2009 Kennesaw State University Lacrosse Preview

February 08, 2009

The Kennesaw State Owls enter the 2009 lacrosse season with a different perspective. The team realizes that each and every game is important. Nothing can or will be taken for granted. Prior to last season everything came too easy but the team"s battle cry this season is “right here, right now.” With more experienced players returning and a coaching staff that has built much from last season. The Owls feel they have a real opportunity to advance into the Southeastern Lacrosse Conference playoffs. Four different players earned SELC awards and they are expected to perform at a high level this season. Many local recruits will be given the opportunity to contribute this spring. The team experienced success during the fall and is looking forward to regular success against MCLA opponents. Only time will tell how high the KSU Owls will fly this season.

Kennesaw State"s attack unit returns a wealth of talent. Leading the charge is 2008 SELC “Rookie of the Year” Scott Schulze. His 22 goals and 13 assists led the Owls offensive production in 2008. The teams “Most Improved Player” in 2008 was Tim Minick. He is expected to compliment the attack from his position on the crease. Battling each other for the third spot on attack will be returning sophomore Brian Broe and the highly recruited, sharp shooter Manny Savas. Both are talented players and will see extensive time on offense. Adding depth to the attack unit are Jonny Slutzky and Chris Lanquist. These players are good athletes and should add some scoring punch. The success of the offense will rest with the production of the attack. Accurate shooting will be the key for the Owls offense to be successful.

The Owls midfield has sufficient depth and experience to compete with any team in the league. Headlining the midfield will be SELC honorable mention player, junior, Charles Roland. His 15 goals and 8 assists were solid numbers in 2008. Hard running Justin McKay had a terrific year as a freshman and will be teamed with James Nassur. The second line has a lot of potential that will add to the offense. The speedy Isom White will be counted on heavily. Running along side him will be freshman Robb Dreher and returning sophomore Will Kanstios. The third line should be improved with the quality of athletes now playing for the Owls. Freshmen Drew Greeson and Justin Kratzer will be teamed with returning veterans Alex Herrmann and Dean Dobson to balance the field. Other midfielders that will help KSU this spring include Mitch Kruse, Scott Hearn, Louis Lim, Brian Witt, Mike McCabe and Elliott Mitchell. Positions will change as each midfielder finds his role on the squad. Depth at this position is a luxury that KSU has not possessed in previous seasons.

Kennesaw State University returns many of their talented defenders for the 2009 season. Leading the defense is 2008 Honorable Mention goalie Kyle Hansen. A terrific addition for the Owls this season is Noah Rosenblum a transfer from Williams College. Second team SELC player Zach Statham returns to patrol the long stick midfield position. Matt Byrne performed well again last year and will be moved to the crease this spring. Jim Faucette, Murray Webb, Dan Bittinger and Tyler Schrampfer will be used in a rotation on close defense. Michael Jaeckel and Zach Harrell will supplement the backline and relieve the starters when needed. Scott Mathews will pull double duty as a defender and net minder. This defensive unit will keep the score low and make opponents pay for any goals scored this season.

Head Coach Ken Byers has emphasized to the players the commitment and dedication needed to succeed to be successful in the SELC. As a program KSU has been acknowledged as a team that is building for the future. According to Coach Byers “We are getting better everyday. Last year"s efforts will be beneficial to us this season.” Assistant Coach Mark Stopher returns to the sideline this season for input and guidance. Support on campus and from administration continues to be very positive. The team is financially sound. Lacrosse at KSU is an attraction for more talented recruits each year. A playoff spot is a goal each and every year. This year just might be the one! The Kennesaw State lacrosse program is based on a “student first, athlete second” philosophy and the team strictly enforces this policy. Everything seems to be in place for the Kennesaw State University Owl Lacrosse Club to continue the success of the past three seasons. Come see “the fastest game on two feet” and cheer your KSU Owls on to victory.