2009 Season Review

August 06, 2009

In 2009 the Kennesaw State University Lacrosse team achieved it highest success to date producing a record of 11 wins and 2 losses. The team continued on its vision as being one of the more respected programs nationally and within the South Eastern Lacrosse Conference. Many accolades were bestowed upon the team, players and coaches during the season.

The team made an unbelievable run of eleven straight victories before being beaten out for a playoff spot by two nationally ranked divisional opponents. The SELC consistently remains a difficult conference with the many talented rich squads KSU must face each season. Early on in the season Coach Byers knew the team had arrived with victories over in town rival Georgia State and nationally ranked Savannah College of Art and Design. The victory over SCAD was KSU"s first in four tries. During the season KSU broke through into the national rankings and remained there for several weeks. At times last year the Owls held positions within the MCLA top ten and finished the season ranked number 12 in the poll and number 23 in the poll of national coaches. 2009 was truly a break through year for KSU.

Throughout the season the team played with great enthusiasm and enormous effort. There were a few contests that were very memorable from the 2009 season. The Georgia State game was a true turning point for the KSU squad. The Owls hung a demoralizing 18-4 defeat against the rival Panthers in front of a record crowd at home. Another game that identified that the program had arrived was the 13-11 victory over Coach Mike Cummings and his nationally ranked team from SCAD. Additionally, the Owls played extremely well on a road trip to Florida. They beat the University of North Florida 15-4 and beat Eckerd College 15-9. The season ended with tough losses to divisional rivals, Emory and Tennessee Wesleyan. The success of the 2009 season can never be diminished or downplayed by all those who participated.

For the first time in the program"s history the Owls have received two of the highest awards given by the Southeastern Lacrosse Conference. Sophomore Scott Schulze was chosen as an SELC First Team Attackman and the SELC"s “Outstanding Offensive Player of the Year”. He produced 34 goals and 19 assists. Schulze was also chosen as an honorable mention All-American by the MCLA panel of coaches in May. Along with Schulze, KSU"s Charles Roland was recognized for his outstanding midfield play and named as a First Team SELC All League selection. KSU"s defense was represented by defenseman Zach Statham earning honors on the SELC defensive unit as an honorable mention selection. Finally, head coach Ken Byers was awarded the coveted “SELC Coach of the Year” award. Both the “Offensive Player of the Year” award and “Coach of the Year” award were voted on by the coaches of the SELC. Having KSU receive both of these awards last season made it very memorable for the team and university.

Off the field the Kennesaw State Owls retained possession of the “Best Collegiate Sports Club” trophy. The team was again chosen for this honor among 14 other KSU club sport teams. The team was very happy to achieve this recognition from the University for the second consecutive season. Many facets go into being awarded this as a “club sports team” and the team"s leadership has much to do with its success. Team President Zach Statham has done an exemplary job building the foundation for the club. The 2009 season has set the bar high for the future squads at KSU. It was a season to remember!

“Our program is exactly where it needs to be” advised Coach Byers. The university has installed a new synthetic turf field with lights and continues to support the program in the biggest ways. Coach Byers stated, “With our new field and abundance of talented recruits, KSU will be in the national spotlight. We will challenge for the 2010 SELC Championship.” Last season was amazing for the KSU Owls and only the sky is the limit. Watch the Owls fly high in 2010. As always the entire KSU lacrosse program wants to thank our loyal fans for their commitment and dedicated support. See you on the field!