2010 Season Preview

January 15, 2010

The Kennesaw State Owls are extremely optimistic on their chances of competing for a Southeastern Lacrosse championship in 2010. A strong foundation has been established during the past four season’s in preparation for this year’s KSU squad. Talented transfer players, quality freshman recruits, six out of conference MCLA games and a new synthetic turf field all add to the expectation the Owls have for this spring. The coaches have installed the phrase of “raise the bar” as a motivating goal for the team to improve on last year’s 11-2 effort. The Owls feel they have a real opportunity to advance into the Southeastern Lacrosse Conference playoffs. Possibilities exist that KSU could earn a spot in the national Men’s Collegiate Lacrosse Association tournament held in Denver, Colorado. In 2009 the team received many accolades for players and coaches. The team is most proud of being recognized by the University as “best club sport team” on campus for the second consecutive year. KSU experienced success during the fall season playing difficult opponents each week. The Owls anticipate flying high in the national polls. With dedicated work by the players, avoiding injuries and our strong supporting fan base, “clearing the bar” is within in our reach!

The Kennesaw State University defensive unit was a very strong, cohesive group in 2009. The team only allowed opponents an average of six goals against them per contest. Defensive coordinator, Mark Stopher was content last year with the team’s effort. He expects even a stronger defensive unit with talented additions in 2010. Returning goalies Noah Rosenblum and Kyle Hansen will battle for time in the cage. The starting close defense will use a rotation with Tom Mudrak, Steve Magerherio, Murray Webb, Rory Keown and James Faucette. Playing long stick midfield for the Owls will be 2009 SELC Honorable Mention selection Zach Statham. He will be relived at times by Tyler Schrampfer and Spencer Heitt. Adding depth to the punishing KSU defense will be Zach Harrell, Scott Mathews, Mike Perez and goal keeper Anthony Tsirigos. This defensive unit will keep the Owls in every game and make it very difficult for opponents to score goals this season.

The Owls midfield picked up a number of skilled and experienced players for the 2010 season. The KSU midfields will look a little different this year. Depth and scoring ability are improved immediately with the addition of Tennessee Wesleyan transfers Mark Tortorello and Andrew Congleton. First Team SELC midfielder Charles Roland returns for this senior year and will be teamed with the high scoring Justin McKay. Isom White will be counted on to anchor the second line along with Casey Newton, Dan Rubenstein or Alex Herrmann. Positions will change as each midfielder finds his role on this year’s squad. Justin Griffth, Keith Lamb, Jack East, Anthony Winters, Robb Dreher, David Pendas, Ethan Bouchard and Will Kanstios will challenge each other for playing time. The spots open within the KSU squad are on the third line and short stick defensive midfield positions. Depth at these positions is a luxury that the Owls have not possessed in previous seasons.

In 2010 the spotlight is on Scott Schulze. He was chosen as a 2009 MCLA All-American, voted “Offensive Player of the Year” by SELC coaches and earned a spot as a First Team SELC attack man. It is no secret that he is a catalyst to the powerful attack of the Owls offense. Tim Minick will again be the big finisher from his position on the crease. Freshman standout Trent Dean is pushing Elliot Mitchell for the third spot on the attack unit. Jon Slutzky, Tyler Yelken and Eric Wells are all in the mix and will add the needed depth to the potent KSU offense. Accurate shooting will be the key for the Owls offense to be successful. The coaches expect the attack unit to be on target by improving their shooting percentage from last year.

Different preseason polls are predicting big things for the Owls this spring. KSU Coach Ken Byers was voted by his peers as the 2009 SELC “Coach of the Year”. He has built the ground work for another successful campaign this year. Support from the administration has been demonstrated by the addition of our new “Owls Nest” facilities. The Kennesaw State lacrosse program is based on a “student first, athlete second” philosophy and the team strictly enforces this policy. According to Coach Byers, “our opponents know about the KSU program and our team is ready to take it to the next level”. This season the Kennesaw State University Owl Lacrosse Club is ready for the “bar to be raised”. 2010 is expected to be another exciting lacrosse season for the high flying KSU lacrosse Owls. Come out and cheer them on!