Mens lacrosse continues to soar

March 31, 2009

This article is originally from KSU Sentinel.

By Justin Hobday

The lacrosse team’s breakout season continued with two wins on the road against Eckerd University and the University of North Florida on March 28-29.

“This weekend was a terrific success,” said head coach Ken Byers. “Not many times do we ever go on the road and come back 2-0.”

The wins improve KSU’s record to 11-0 with two more games remaining. Their final two opponents may be the toughest yet for the Owls, who will try to lock up a postseason berth.

Due to their excellent performances, the Owls currently hold a No. 5 national ranking on the poll, and they were recently featured as the team of the week by after defeating the then ranked No. 14 SCAD Bees.

“It’s a big deal,” said team captain Zach Statham. “The last two years we have been really working on the program, and now to be finally recognized and to have a good team that wants to win, it means a lot.”

The Owls’ defense has been a strength for KSU all season long. Only two teams have been able to score more than six goals on the defense, and the Owls held opponents to five goals or less in seven straight games.

Justin McKay and Tim Minick have been the leaders on offense for the Owls all season long. Both McKay and Minick have 19 points on the season, followed closely by Charles Roland and Scott Schulze. Schulze leads the team with a six points per game average.

“Our defense has been really solid this year and then we have also had a lot of goals scored with Schulze as our leading scorer,” said Statham. “[Schulze] was out for a couple games, but now he is back and he put up like 16 points over the weekend.”

The season now comes down to the Owls’ final two matches. A win at Tennessee Wesleyan on April 4 will guarantee the Owls a postseason spot. Otherwise, a win over Emory would likely force a three-way tie that would be decided on goal differential.

“In our division we have three very strong teams with Emory, Tennessee Wesleyan and us,” said Byers. “This is the first year that I think we are really going to break through.”

Regardless of how the season ends, coach Byers is already extremely proud of his team’s work ethic.

“The culture of our team has really changed a lot. In the early part of the year we wrote down a lot of goals and expectations that I require the players to go by,” said Byers.

Byers went on to say that the goals and expectations for the team were not just on the field, but also off the field.

“This team over my past four years is the most disciplined and most committed team, and I think that is attributed to the commitment of the players,” added Byers.

Following the April 4 meeting with Tennessee Wesleyan, KSU will travel to take on Emory in the regular season finale for the Owls.