MEQUON, Wis. – Concordia Wisconsin begins its eighth season of competition on Saturday, after coming off its most successful year in program history during the 2017 campaign. A season ago the Falcons won a share of the Midwest Lacrosse Conference regular season title for the first time and advanced to the MLC Tournament Championship game for the third-consecutive time.
The goals and expectations for the program and this team will be no different than in years past: win the MLC regular season, capture the MLC Tournament Championship and make some noise in the NCAA Tournament. CUWFalcons.com takes an in-depth look at a few areas before the Falcons begin their season on Saturday at Olivet, with the first faceoff scheduled for 11 am CST.
OFFENSE: A trio of talented offensive leaders graduated last season, who combined for 94 of the team's 212 goals (44 percent) and will have to be replaced. Juniors Warren Kaminsky (Winnipeg, Manitoba), Aidan Connolly (Grayslake, Ill.) and Stephen Gregory (Louisville, Ky.) will be asked to take on the burden of the scoring load in the early going, as many new faces will find the back of the net this season.
DEFENSE: Garrett Wohlford has been nothing short of impressive during the first two seasons of his career, helping the Falcons rank as one of the best defensive units in the country. Last season, they were fourth nationally allowing 6.16 goals per game and eight times allowed five goals or fewer. Wohlford was sixth nationally in save percentage (.609) during the 2017 campaign. Four of the top six defensive players return to the 2018 squad and senior Paul Fisher (Champlin, Minn.) will be asked to direct the defense after causing a team-high 43 turnovers last year. Sophomores Nathan Oekerman (Beaverton, Ore.), Ethan Danz (Appleton, Wis.) and Ryan Voskuil (Flower Mound, Texas) all had double-digit caused turnovers last year and return to lockdown the opposition's offense.
FACEOFF CIRCLE: The duo of junior Jack Melby (Eagan, Minn.) and sophomore Ben Gramarossa (Smithtown, N.Y.) return to control the faceoff circle this season. They each won 106 faceoffs a season ago and combined to win 62.2 percent of their faceoff attempts. Each ranked in the top-5 last year for single-season faceoff winning percentage in program history.
PLAYING AT HOME: Fitting Field has been a difficult place to play over the last seven years and 2017 was proof, as Concordia Wisconsin compiled an 8-1 record on its home turf. During the history of the program a 41-13 record has been put together in Mequon, and, more so, head coach Michael Fahey has guided his team to a 28-8 record during his first four years.