Season Outlook: Men’s Lacrosse
- The expectation level surrounding the Concordia
University Wisconsin men's lacrosse team has risen, following a
successful first-year of competition as a program. The Falcons
increased their roster size and will again face difficult
competition heading into the 2012 season.
Second-year head coach Jeff Roberts returns 11 letterwinners, including two All-Midwest Lacrosse Conference performers, from a team that finished 8-6 overall a year ago. With the addition of 15 freshmen, Roberts sees his team getting better each day on the practice field.
"It was difficult at times last season having a roster with 19 players," Roberts said. "We had players who played every minute of every game, but this year our depth is going to be a key factor in our success."
Leading scorer Danny Dahms (sophomore, Calgary, Alberta) returns to guide CUW's offense after being named Second Team All-MLC last season. The 5-foot-6 midfielder scored a team-best 39 points and 30 goals. He scored in 12 contests, including a season-high six tallies in an 18-3 victory at MSOE.
Similarly, sophomore Justin Krause (Hartland, Wis.) earned MLC postseason honors after leading the Falcons in faceoffs won, 73, while recording 22 points. In addition, sophomore Ben Bobowski (Shelby Township, Mich.) returns as a defender and is one of three team captains, along with Dahms and Krause.
The Falcons' sophomores have a year of experience under their belts, but the freshmen have been transitioning nicely according to Roberts.
"Our newcomers are doing a great job of learning the system and playing hard each day in practice," he said. "They are adapting to college life and learning the importance of time management while playing a collegiate sport."
CUW's start to the 2012 season will be difficult with three-consecutive games against NCAA Tournament teams. The Falcons begin the season on Feb. 25 at 11 a.m. (CST) as they travel to Ohio Wesleyan University. The Battling Bishops advanced to the NCAA Tournament last season after putting together a 10-4 overall record.
CUW returns to Mequon for its home opener on Mar. 3 at 1 p.m. against Wittenberg University who put together a 14-2 record last season.
"I want to give my players a chance to compete against the best teams in the nation," Roberts said. "Our non-conference schedule is always going to be difficult because it prepares us for the challenging MLC portion of our schedule."
The Falcons then travel to Adrian College on Mar. 11 for a 1 p.m. (CST) MLC opener. The Bulldogs won the regular season and MLC Tournament titles a season ago, and finished their season with a 15-3 record. CUW won't have a scrimmage prior to its season opener, but competitive practices have not changed the program's goals.
"This may sound cliché, but our goal is to get better every day," Roberts said. "We want our athletes not only to be more complete lacrosse players, but also to be outstanding students, teammates and sons. We believe that as a program; stressing the importance of the spirit, mind and body."