2018 Conference Previews: Midwest

Editors note: The following preseason previews were compiled from information submitted by each team captain/coach in response to an NCLL Preseason Questionnaire. Teams that did not respond with information could not be included in the previews.



University of Michigan


Mascot: Wolverines

Team Officers: Steven Lengieza

Founded: 2012

2017 Record/Notable Wins & Achievements:

We went 8-4 in the 2017 spring season, beating Ohio University and Cincinnati giving us a 2-1 record for our conference. We made it to the Elite Eight and lost to Penn State, leaving us at 7th for the year. During Fall Ball we went 8-2 beating our rivals OSU.

Top Returning Players:

Our top returning players include midfielder Tahmeed Tureen, 20 goals from Huron High School, defender Ben Fu, 69 ground balls from Loomis Chaffee and attackman Alec Goldberg, 15 goals from Westchester.  Alex Reber, defenseman, is our top incoming freshman from Malvern Prep.

Transfers/Incoming Freshmen:

We have two freshman goalies looking to replace our goalie from last year, Derek Van De Bovenkamp.

2018 Outlook:

This year, player and coach, Steven Lengieza, is looking to lead the team to the playoffs and finish inside the top 5. With all of our key players returning and the incoming freshmen we are a better team than last year.


 Ohio University 

Mascot: Bobcats

Team Officer: Corey Cotsonas

Founded: 2006

2017 Record/Notable Wins & Achievements.
4-3 record, wins over WVU, Louisville, UC. 2017 Fall Ball Results, 3-0 Record, 11-7 W vs. WVU, 5-4 W (OT) vs. OSU, 4-3 W (OT) vs. Michigan

Top Returning Players:

Senior Tanner Pfeffer – A (Seneca Valley, PA)
Junior Steve Kidwell – M (Dublin Jerome, OH)
Junior Andrew Kaylor – M (Olentangy, OH)
Senior Logan Malson – D (Hudson, OH)
Junior Tanner Held – D (Olentangy, OH)

Top Transfers/Incoming Frechmen:
Matt Barker – M (Upper Arlington, OH)
Joe Boyko – A (Grand Island, NY)
Evan Cook – D (Lakota West, OH)

Seniors Lost To Graduation:
Jon Blohm – A (Turpin, OH)
Jason Caputo – M (Lakota West, OH)
Ben Hoskins – D (Peters Township, PA)
Zach Hegerty – D (Thomas Worthington, OH)
Jake Philpot – A (Turpin, OH)
Isaac Brown – G (Cleveland Heights, OH)

2018 Outlook:

The Bobcats are returning starters at every position, only losing 6 seniors from the previous year. OU is led on attack by 4-year starters Tanner Pfeffer and Corey Cotsonas. Firepower returns at the midfield position with Cam Happel and Andrew Kaylor, along with the team’s 2017 leading goal scorer Steve Kidwell. Defensively, the Bobcats return Senior Defenseman Logan Malson and Junior Defenseman Tanner Held, both starters from the previous year. Junior Alex Myer returns as the starting goalkeeper.

The Bobcats clash with conference rival Ohio State on February 24th at Xavier University. Ohio University then travels for a tournament in Michigan to face Midwest conference opponents Michigan and UC at the end of March. The team looks to defend home field against Miami and WVU this spring.



 Bowling Green State University

Mascot: Falcons

Team Officer: Nick Mendenhall

Founded: The team was re-founded by Steve Miller in 2012.

2017 Record w/Notable Wins & Achievements:

8-2. In the first two games reviving an old rivalry, BG won both against Toledo in close match ups. As every game has been for the past 4 years BG vs Akron proved to be exciting with BG winning in overtime. Achievements: BG played its first NJCAA opponent in Ancilla College and won 20-10. 2017. IN the Fall we beat Marshall and lost to OSU Grey in Columbus. 2-1 in MadCity Tournament in Madison, Wisconsin.

Transfers/Top Incoming Freshmen:

Jack Schmelling – sophomore – midfield – Olentangy Orange
Joey Ciriello – freshman – LSM/defense
Quinn Dilts – freshman – midfield – Culver Academy
Luke Rapp – junior – goalie – Westerville South
Brad Peters – sophomore – midfield – Olentangy Orange
Nick Vaiano – senior – attack – Oceanside, NY
Dan Conde – freshman – defense – Oceanside, NY
Kelton Wene – freshman – midfield – Loveland

Top Returning Players:

Nick Mendenhall – defense – Strongsville – 2018 – 30 ground balls
Justin Swartz – midfield – Toledo Central Catholic – 2018 – 18 goals, 19 assists
Chuckie Moore – defense – Dublin Coffman – 2019 – 29 ground balls
Brodie Besinger – goalie – Alder – 2020 – .489 save %, 68 saves
Danny Arcaro – attack – Olentangy Orange – 2020 – 15 goals, 18 assists
Spencer Lonseth – attack – Toledo St Johns – 2018 – 25 goals, 18 assists
Simon McDaniels – attack – Hilliard Darby – 2019 – 17 goals, 10 assists
Nick Golden – FOGO – Marysville – 2020 – 70% faceoffs won
Stephan Klema – defensive midfield – 2018 – 58 ground balls


Losses To Graduation:

BG lost 5 seniors last year. Jeremy Love was a reliable midfielder. Xhuljo Harunaj was a physical defender. Kyle Howe was a midfielder turned LSM that found his calling with a long pole. Zach Calogeras was a 4 year starting LSM.

2018 Outlook:

BG looks to top its record from last year and make it back to the conference championship. The team will look a little different with a large group of incoming freshman that will play big roles during the season. Big games against conference rivals Akron, Kent, and Toledo should be close as always and fun to watch.



Cleveland State 

Mascot:  Vikings

 Founded: 2013

Top Returning Players:
Adam Sandor – (Senior Midfielder/Westlake HS/Westlake, OH) returns to the club team after playing his junior year under Coach Sheridan and the Division 1 team now at Cleveland State. Sandor still holds the record for most points in a single season (51 points through 8 regular season games).
Jake Bechtel – (Senior Attackman/Westlake HS/Westlake, OH) returns to the team after he was out with injury all of last season.
Dan Baylor – (Junior Defensemen/CVCA HS/Bedford Heights, OH) was 1st in leading the team with 53 groundballs.
Donnie Bastulli – (Junior Midfielder/West Geauga HS/Chesterland, OH) as he recorded his first career point and goal last season against Ohio State.

2017 Notable Wins & Achievements:
With having a roller coaster type season, the Vikings were able to make another appearance in the postseason. They were unsuccessful in advancing against the Conference Champion Kent State. The Vikings played for the first time ever Wayne State and collected their first conference win against them.

Top Newcomers/ Freshmen:
Ryan Sandor (Westlake HS/Defensemen)
Trevor (Westlake HS/Goalie)
Kyle Messina (Mentor HS/Midfield)

Losses to Graduation:
Anthony Estremera – Graduated and was one of 2 founders of the CSU Lacrosse Team
Jon Cropper – Transferred out
Josh Han – Graduated who was one of the top defensemen in program history

2018 Outlook:
Entering the 2018 season, our standard is always to gain exposure with stronger opponents. We plan to play a program high of 12 regular season games with some MCLA opponents in the mix. Our rivalry continues with teams like Akron and Case Western in hopes to be dominant again in Northeast Ohio.

Eastern Michigan Lacrosse’s growing pains continue going into the spring of 2018. Even with many players having sacrificed their primary position in order to supplement another role on the team; EMU finished 3-1 last fall with wins over Ferris State University (12-4) , Lake Superior State University (8-4) and Wayne State University (13-6)! One of the most noteworthy changes is Sophomore Lukas Krauss (last years starting defensemen) going back to his roots and stepping back in net for the first time in 2 seasons.

Regardless of these trials, EMU seems poised to press on with 7 returning starters from last year’s team. On attack: first year starter Eli Kusky (Freshman) looks to make a statement joining two veterans and last years top 2 leading goal scorers Steven Learst (Senior) and Andrew Miller (Junior) At midfield: first year starter Kyle Granger (Sophmore), first year starter Nathan Homrich (Sophomore) with second year starter and third year starter Matt Ross (Junior). On the defensive side of the ball: Second year starter Jerry Jackson (Junior) at LSM; Second year starter Garrett Bitzer (Sophmore), fourth year starter Wes Meyer (Senior) and first year starter Zach Mlady (Freshman) Rounding out the starters as goalie: Lukas Krauss(Sophmore).


Kent State University

Mascot:Golden Flashes

Team Officer:Adam Belica

Founded: 1979

Top Returning Players:

Loaded with seniors, we are returning all 3 of our All-Americans who are now seniors. Captain Adam Belica from Buffalo, NY (Orchard Park High School) who had 35 goals and 20 assists last season, defenseman Ryan Krantz (North Olmstead), and goalie Ryan Kevern (Stow, OH). Other key contributors look to be returning attackman Shane Breckenridge from Canton Hoover, midfielders Joe Wesner, Parker Deuley, and Joe Gabel look to lead the team from the midfield. Defense has a solid rotation of players including Jacob Behrens, Sam Bresnahan, LSM Ben Bishop, Jack Warren, Aron Olaffoster, Ryan Quinn, Ryan Krantz, and Jacob Karmia. Both other goalies are returning along with Kevern. These goalies are Tim Matozzo and Nayan Jaitly.

2017 Record/Achievements:

13-2, beating BG and sweeping rival Akron. Won Midwest Conference Championship beating Cleveland State and Penn State Altoona. Advanced to elite 8 in Maryland where we were eliminated by Kutztown. Lost to WVU and Oakland at a Cedar Point tournament. Good turnout at alumni game victory.

Top Newcomers/Freshmen:

Freshman attackman Shawn Rosenbery from Atholton, MD. Freshman midfielder Brady Ruth from Canon McMillan (PA). and defenseman Jacob Karmia, Brexley (OH).

Losses to Graduation:

We only lost one senior due to graduation and that would be starting attackman Cody Carson who had a great senior year, being second on the team in goals and points.

2018 Outlook:

We are looking to pick up exactly where we left off. Winning the conference is the ultimate goal and once we win it we want to make an impact at nationals and not get eliminated right away. Return all three 2nd team all americans Adam Belica, Ryan Krantz, and Ryan Kevern. As well as returning the whole defense.


Saginaw Valley State University


Mascot: Cardinal

Team Officer: Levi Coward

Founded: 2007

Top Returning Players:
Levi Coward- Defense, 58 Ground Balls, Tecumseh, Michigan, 2019
Evan Masakowski- Attack, 26 points 17 goals and 9 assists, Warren de la Salle, 2019.
Michael Franz- Goalie, 5 wins and 55%, Bay City Western, 2020

2017 Record/Notable Achievements.
Went 5-2 and were invited to the conference championship. One of our loses came to an MCLA team.

Top Incoming Freshmen/Transfers:
Ernie Travick- Plymouth, and LSM
Jacob Bowden- Flushing, and Defense
Mike Ardent- Whittemore Prescott, Midfield
Luke Cooley- Bay City Western, Midfield
Devon Fulco- Bay City Western, Midfield/Attack

Losses To Graduation:

Dom Scola was one of our starting attack and he is now in Grad School at the University of Michigan.

2018 Outlook:
“We are looking forward to building off what last years success. Not being able to go to the conference championship has left a bitter taste in our mouth. We were a younger team last year. We are coming back more determined then last year. We are excited about all the new talent we are getting and the talent that is returning from last year.” – Levi Coward, President


Eastern Michigan University

Mascot: Swoop

Team Officer: Steven Learst

Founded: Unkown

2017 Record/Notable Achievements:

2-9 in 2017, Eastern Michigan Lacrosse’s growing pains continue going into the spring of 2018. Even with many players having sacrificed their primary position in order to supplement another role on the team; EMU finished 3-1 last fall with wins over Ferris State University (12-4) , Lake Superior State University (8-4) and Wayne State University (13-6)!

Top Newcomers/ Freshmen:

Eli Kusky (Freshman). One of the most noteworthy changes is Sophomore Lukas Krauss (last years starting defensemen) going back to his roots and stepping back in net for the first time in 2 seasons.

Top Returning Starters and 2018 Outlook:

EMU seems poised to break out with  7 returning starters from last year’s team.  On attack: first year starter Eli Kusky (Freshman) looks to make a statement joining two veterans and last years top 2 leading goal scorers Steven Learst (Senior) and Andrew Miller (Junior) At midfield: first year starter Kyle Granger (Sophmore), first year starter Nathan Homrich (Sophomore) with second year starter and third year starter Matt Ross (Junior).  On the defensive side of the ball: Second year starter Jerry Jackson (Junior) at LSM; Second year starter Garrett Bitzer (Sophmore), fourth year starter Wes Meyer (Senior) and first year starter Zach Mlady (Freshman)  Rounding out the starters as goalie: Lukas Krauss(Sophmore).


University of Akron


Mascot: Zips

Team Officer(s): Nick Poghen (President), Tyler Skoloda (Vice-President)

Founded: 1990

2017 Record/Notable Wins & Achievements:

After coming off back-to-back national tournament appearances with a 9-3 record in 2016 and 7-3 record in 2017, the Zips look to bounce back from two nail biting conference championship losses and take home a title this year. Coming off a well-fought battle down South in another conference championship matchup, the team is more determined than ever to take what is theirs.

Top Returning Players:

The Zips welcome back their first All-American in program history and leading scorer Christian Stowe (Green) to run their attack with his X-man TT Marchionda (Central Catholic, PA) by his side. They are backed by a power midfield with returning veterans Zack Krol (Moon, PA), Tanner Codding (Medina), Cole Guello (Green), Jason Meininger (Wooster), Nick Poghen (Holy Name), Nicholas Rager (Medina), Chris Oravec (Green), and Tyler Skoloda (Poland). Across the field, the teams defense, led by senior LSM Matt Neff (Magruder, MD), looks to hold down the box with returning netminder Joe Gironda (St. Vincent/Mary). They get help with lockdown defensemen Garrett Bass (Westview, CA), Jess Flores (Medina), and Doug Wild (North Allegheny, PA) along with quick defensive middies Brayden Goebelt (Stow) and JC Everett (Hoover).

Transfers/Incoming Freshmen:

Akron has the privilege this year to welcome two all-star freshman players and teammates from Riverside HS in Rochester, NY with midfielder Donovan Fagan and attackman Clark Pearce. The team was also gifted with twin brothers and midfield transfers David Whipkey (Mooney) and Brian Whipkey (Mooney) from Washington & Jefferson College as well as an additional attackman in Grant Simmons (Green) from Otterbein University. Freshmen John O’Connor (Cuyahoga Valley) looks to back the LSM line while Seth Daniels (Big Walnut) helps the attack.

2018 Outlook:

With the teams well known “fantastic freshman” crew returning to the team as juniors and an excellent incoming class, the biggest squad in program history has one goal this year; punching their ticket to Maryland and bringing home a national championship. The all-alumni coaching staff led by head coach Nick Lopez and assistant coaches Bill Samilson, John Deegan, and Bill Killmer look to help guide and lead their team to another winning season and tournament appearance.




 Cincinnati Bearcats

Mascot: Bearcat

Team Officer: Sebi Miller

Founded: The team was founded a while ago, but made the jump to D1 in 2014, which we all agreed was a more important date than when the team was founded.

Top Returning Players:

Noah Jones – Attack
Noah is a second-year attackman that did not compete with us in the Fall due to being out of town for Co-Op. Noah went to Westerville Central in Columbus and will graduate in 2021. Last season he had 16 goals.
Jack Dennehy – Midfield
Jack is a third-year middie who specializes in defense. Due to injury last year he was only able to compete in a couple of games but is sure to make a big impact this year. He went to Mason High School in Cincinnati and will graduate from UC in 2019.
Ethan Wilson – Defense
Ethan is a second-year defender from Coffman in Columbus. He will be graduating in 2020 and had 40 ground balls last year.
Sebi Miller – Goalie
Sebi is a third-year goalie from Walnut Hills High School in Cincinnati. He will graduate in 2019. In the 2017 season he had 60 saves in 7 games.

2017 Record/Notable Achievements:

7-4, Notable Wins over Penn (7-2), Virginia (8-7 OT), and Louisville (8-3)

Transfers/Top Incoming Freshmen:

Nick Provenza – Attack
Nick went to St Frances de Sales
Alex Beckes – Midfield
Alex transferred from McGill University

Losses To Graduation:

There were honestly too many seniors that we lost so I will not be listing details on all of them. The notable seniors that were lost were Will Happel, Jake Luken, Andrew Traicoff, Grant Pence, Alex Miller, and Justin Paselk.

2018 Outlook:

Although a lot of seniors were lost from last year, the Bearcats looked solid this fall. The defense, led by Ethan Wilson and Sebi Miller, looked stout and unrelenting while the offense, led by Alex Beckes and Nick Provenza was prominent and unselfish. As is tradition, UC will be playing Xavier in the spring as a continuation of their in-town rivalry. Outside of that, the Bearcats cannot wait to take on the Beltway Bash and the MILF.



Ball State University

Mascot: Cardinals

Team Officer: Sam Matel

Founded: 2005?

Top Returning Players:
Evan Heinkel – Senior, Attack, Hamilton South Eastern HS
Rylan Heinkel – Sophomore, Midfield, Hamilton South Eastern HS

2017 Record/Notable Wins & Achievements:
Went 2-5 beating Eastern Michigan and Butler (independent). Nothing too notable, but we did achieve having a lot of fun.
2017 Fall Ball Results: Had some practices and played the fallowing schedule: Indiana University (MCLA) = L alot-4Xavier University = L 7-9Michigan State (GLLL) = W 10-9 (OT)Butler (independent) = W 8-7

Transfers/Incoming Freshmen:
Adam Veho from Hamilton Southeastern HS – Attack
Gareth Brouwer from Bishop Luers HS – Defense
Logan Ray from a HS – Defense/LSM
Eric Gerelitz from Zionsville HS – Midfield

Losses to Graduation:
Nick Panozzo – Stud midfielder
Paul Rudolph – Hard working D Middi
Matt Palouszny – Solid Attack men
Phil Bates – Goalie

2018 Outlook:
Strength of team should be about the same. Playing Xavier, Butler, and Louisville (Cardinals v Cardinals) which we play about ever year


University of Kentucky

Mascot: Wildcats

Team Officer: Bryan McKenzie

Founded:  Although initially joining the NCLL in 1979, the University of Kentucky Wildcats spent a number of years competing in the MCLA SELC conference before rejoining the NCLL in 2016 after a brief hiatus.

Top Returning Players:

Returning on attack for the 2018 season is the team’s leading scorer Charles “Chazz” DeSimone, a 2015 graduate from the Kent School in Kent, CT. After the shifty X – attackmen transferred
from Arizona State University, he took little time to settle in, scoring hat tricks against top teams like Cincinnati and Louisville, and looks to continue his prolific scoring into the new season. At
the defensive midfield position, sophomore Parker Shellhaas from Trinity High School in Louisville, KY, is physical and unrelenting on the defensive side of the ball and willing to battle
for each and every loose ball. In net, former All American while playing for Indian Hills in Cincinnati, OH, sophomore goalie Cameron McMillan has kept the Cats in the game countless
times and pushes the pace in transition with quick recovery and clearing.

2017 Record/Notable Wins & Achievements:

After hiring two new, experienced head coaches during the summer of 2017, the Cats are poised to make a statement in 2018. The team’s 2-7 record during the 2017 spring season reflects the growing pains of restarting a program more than their overall skill, as the team struggled with numbers early in the year and picked up towards the tail end of the season. The team went 2-1 during their 2017 Fall Ball campaign, picking up wins over Xavier, a team UK has previously struggled to break through against, and Union College, marking the team’s
first win over a structured NAIA program.

Transfers/Incoming Freshmen:

Notable new players will look to make an early impact in practice this spring, including former Mercer (NCAA D1) commit Ryan Kendall, a wide receiver for the UK Football team from Charlotte, NC. Kendall, an athletic offensive midfielder, set unbelievable records during his time at Cuthbertson High School, becoming the leading scorer in school history and ranking as one of the top 10 scorers in North Carolina lacrosse history. Zack West, an attackman from Trinity High School in Louisville, KY, has shown his ability to find the back of the net during the preseason with an
impressive showing against Union, and is a strong dodging threat capable of finding the backside cut or ripping a shot past the keeper at any moment.

Losses to Graduation: Having only lost 2 seniors to graduation, Aaron Copeland from St. Xavier in Louisville, KY, and offensive midfielder William Frey from Trinity High School in Louisville, the Cats have had little trouble returning to business as usual.

2018 Outlook:

University of Kentucky Lacrosse Alumni Whit Chafin and Taylor McCoun join the team as the new head coaches, and have instilled some much-needed structure that the players have responded well to thus far. Returning President RobFisher remarks, “Whit and Taylor really have a vision for this team, and you can see the passionthey have not only for UK Lacrosse as a whole, but the relationship they’ve built with the players as well.” The captains for the team are President Rob Fisher, Vice President Bryan McKenzie,and Treasurer Jose Chavez. Notable games include the home opener against Asbury on February 17, multiple games against state rivals Louisville, and rematches against Western Kentucky andXavier University.


Louisville University 

Mascot: Cardinal Bird

Team Officers: President Ryan McCauley

Founded: The University of Louisville Men’s Club Lacrosse team was founded in 2003 by Greg Harris. The program has since been student run and has gained national attention in the recent years. The sport is growing on campus as well as in the city with the help of these young men who promote, help coach and give back to their communities in the Louisville and surrounding areas.

Top Returning Players:

Ryan McCauley, LSM, Trinity, Louisville, KY, 2018
Raike Thornewill, Attack, St. Xavier, Louisville, KY, 2019
Kevin Sims, Midfield, Trinity, Louisville, KY, 2019
Joey Camisa, Defense, Trinity, Louisville, KY, 2019
Tommy Kushner, Goalie, St. Xavier, Louisville, KY, 2019

2017 Record/Notable Achievements:

9-5, beat Cincinnati, defended conference title and went to nationals. 2017 Fall Ball Results, 1-0 played Kentucky on October 21st

Transfers/Incoming Freshmen:

Freshman Nick Buchbinder is a 6’3 midfielder from Ohio who has the most upside in the class of 2021. His size, speed and willingness to get better will push him to the top if he continues to learn, mature as a player and be a leader.

Losses to Graduation:

Last year’s team had two dominate senior midfielders that will be missed on both sides of the ball. Austin Marrison, transfer from Augustana came to Louisville and made an immediate impact with his defensive mindset, athleticism and willingness to put the team first. Austin graduated from the University of Louisville with a degree in Sports Administration and currently works for Yelp in their location of Scottsdale, AZ. Alex Lott, a walk on to the football team as a wide receiver, Alex had size, speed and a hard shot. Not known as a defensive presence but had tremendous clearing ability as well as the motor to get his shot off on the run. Alex also earned a degree in Sports Administration and works for Under Armour at their headquarters in Baltimore, MD. We’re extremely thankful to have had them in our program for two years and proud of their accomplishments as young men in the work force.

2018 Outlook:

The outlook for 2018 is a bright future for a program that hasn’t always been successful. Over the fourteen years of being a program this team has only had two conference championships and one elite 8 but looks to push the limit this season. This will be made possible with the return of second year head coach Stan Lott, the addition of grad assistant Corey Mattingly as well as a strong returning senior class with the addition of some talented freshman and graduate students. Louisville was overshadowed by UTC a couple years ago but now has formed rivalries with Cincinnati, Ohio State, Ohio and the most known being Kentucky. This season will be the first year this program will ever play Purdue, Michigan and the University of the Cumberlands. In order to start a legacy the time is now to win big match-ups and make a run for a National Title in the NCLL.


NEXT UP: Chesapeake Conference

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