David Fradkin, Transcript Reporter
Ohio Wesleyan men’s lacrosse team is coming off one of their best seasons in the program’s history in 2015. This year, they are ranked 11th in the preseason USILA Division III coaching polls for the upcoming season.
The Battling Bishops finished with an overall record of 18-1. They lost to Gettysburg in the quarterfinal of the Division III NCAA tournament.
The Bishops won the NCAC conference and recorded their first undefeated regular season finishing 14-0.
A total of nine OWU seniors are returning from last year’s team, one of which is senior captain and defender Jordan Carlson.
“I know that we can be as good if not better this year. We have a lot of guys from last year’s team [who] were contributing to our success,” Carlson said.
The team is looking to recover after losing 10 seniors who were major contributors to last year’s team, including some who were All-American and All-Conference players. But Carlson said he was optimistic that the incoming freshman class can fill that void.
“This year’s freshman class is very talented and a lot of them are going to be playing for us at some point this season,” Carlson said.
Players express their excitement for the season to begin when they play Augustana College on Feb. 20 at home in Selby Stadium. The next game will be on the road at Otterbein on Feb. 24.
“The team’s goals for this year are the same as they are every year,” said junior defenseman Justin Smith. “We want to win the NCAC regular season, win the NCAC tournament, make the NCAA National Tournament and win a National Championship.”
This year, the team will have six coaches. Head Coach Mike Plantholt returned along with assistants Trey Keeley and Jesse Lawrence.
Joining the coaching staff is Keith Long, Ryan Sullivan and Tommy Minkler. Minkler was a senior and starting captain on last year’s team.