The MSOE lacrosse team had a breakout season in 2017, tying a school record for wins, posting the first .500 season in program history, and qualifying for its first MLC Tournament. The best case scenario for the next season is for a strong group of returners to build on that success with continuity.
What do the Raiders have?
Head coach Sean Farrell returns... well... everyone.
Just three players that saw any game action last season (totaling 16 combined games) do not return but all 180 goals and 97 percent of the minutes in goal are back on the roster.
Last season's success continues a recent trend that has seen the program on the rise. As such, a number of the most prolific players in team history are coming into their senior seasons.
In fact, Clay Gustafson is the program's leader in goals, assists, and point. Thomas Reid is third in each and is on the verge of becoming the third Raider to 100 career points. Oliver Winsor is two points back of Reid and Oliver Kennedy is just outside the top five in each of those categories.
Gustafson holds every program record but one (goals in a game) and is coming off a career-best season of 40 goals, 27 assists, and 67 points. He was the first Raider to surpass 100 career goals (104) and is nearing the 200-point mark for his career (167).
Sophomore Collin Fischer burst on the scene as a rookie, tying a team freshman record with 30 goals. He added eight assists for 38 points, which was second on the team. Meanwhile, Reid accounted for 36 goals last season with 19 goals and 17 assists.
MSOE also features a strong attack out of the midfield in Winsor, Kennedy, and sophomore Harrison Davies. Winsor was named to the All-MLC Second Team last season, as he set a career-high with 25 goals. He added nine assists for 34 points and caused 14 turnovers, tops among the offensive midfield players. Kennedy was just off his scoring pace with a career-high 23 goals and 30 points.
Davies had a similar season to Winsor, scoring 17 goals in his first season and totaling 22 points. He was also aggressive on the other end of the field with 11 caused turnovers, adding 35 ground balls.
Junior Jack Fisher and sophomore John Wilson give Farrell an embarrassment of riches on the attack. Fisher set up 12 goals and scored eight of his own for 20 points. Wilson had 10 goals and six assists in his first season.
Sophomore Brett Laffey returns after serving as the team's face-off guy his freshman season. He won 164-of-310 (.529) face-offs as a rookie and earned all-conference honorable mention honors. He set a school record with 99 ground balls and added four goals and four assists to the attack.
Shipp is the elder statesman of the group and brings a wealth of experience and leadership to the midfielder. He played in 12 games last season with a goal, two assists, and 10 caused turnovers. Carney is entering his fourth year in the program and makes his presence known off the score sheet but did notch three goals and two assists.
Marquette was immediately inserted into the lineup last season and flourished. He was second on the team with 25 caused turnovers and picked up 36 ground balls. He also assisted on three goals.
Three sophomores played in every game for the 31st-ranked defense in the nation last season. The Raiders had a team GAA of just 8.13 and ranked 13th with 11.88 caused turnovers per game. They also ranked 11th in man-down defense, killing off 82.3 percent of opponents' man-down defense.
Jacob Killian caused 33 turnovers last season, the fourth-most in a season in team history, and grabbed 40 ground balls. Justin Koch caused 20 turnovers and Nick Sharrer forced 14 more. All three have built on their debuts with a strong preseason and will look to have an even better season in front of a strong goalie corps.
Farrell also returns two high-caliber goalies to back the defense in senior Pat Collins and sophomore Colin Hall. Collins is the incumbent as the most accomplished goalie in program history. He had another strong season in 2017, starting all 16 games with an 8.93 goals against average and a 50.2 save percentage.
Hall was impressive in nine appearances, posting a 5.53 GAA and saving 23-of-40 (.575) shots faced. Farrell is confident with either player in goal and is happy with the internal competition pushes both players on a daily basis.
The midfielder features added depth in senior Logan Kupferman, junior Connor McGill, sophomore Larry Holmgren, and sophomore Mike Cowell. Kupferman played in 13 games last season and picked up 20 ground balls. McGill missed last season studying abroad but played in all 29 games in the preceding two seasons with 46 ground balls and 25 caused turnovers in that time.
Holmgren played in eight games before suffering an injury that cost him the rest of his first season. He had come on strong before his injury and finished the campaign with eight ground balls and five caused turnovers. Cowell got his first taste of college lacrosse last season and will look to expand on his one game of action.
On defense, junior Reggie Hot and freshman Nick Tomaso are back in the fold. Hot played in five games last season. Tomaso saw action twice, suffering a season-ending injury in his second collegiate appearance. He did force two turnovers before his injury and maintained his freshman eligibility through a medical hardship waiver.