Written by Connor Ault for CUWFalcons.com
If there is a moment in a close game when a big play is needed, it most likely comes from a Concordia Wisconsin defender with a long stick and the result will be a caused turnover. Statisticians are accustomed over the last three-plus year to know it is most likely Paul Fisher because he is the best caused turnover artist the program has ever seen.
"Some of the big keys for me are getting opposing attackers on their toes and making them uncomfortable," Fisher said, which has led him to be ranked fifth nationally in caused turnovers per game at 3.13.
Being a long-stick defender is something that Fisher has been used to his whole life. Starting in the fourth grade he never looked to play another position after being handed a six-foot-long stick for the first time. The Champlin, Minnesota native is a place where Fisher's love for lacrosse grew and where he started to really develop into a collegiate lacrosse player from an early age through high school.
His journey to Concordia Wisconsin happened rather surprisingly. During a lacrosse camp head coach Michael Fahey first saw Fisher and after conversations and a visit to the campus on the shores of Lake Michigan, the righty knew becoming a Falcon was the best fit. He was looking for a place that he could play lacrosse at an elite level and win. That is exactly what he found, as the Falcons have gone 47-23 during his career. More so, they have compiled a 24-5 record in conference play.
"My freshman year we had great defensive players in Ben Smith, Mark Wilson and Justin Herold," Fisher said. "No way was I looking to put set records. I was just focused on getting on the field."
Fisher's rookie year wasn't the most productive year, as he appeared in 12 games and caused just two turnovers. He explained, "My freshman year was tough. I just wanted to show up every day and give 110 percent for my team."
The work he put in during the offseason and fall ball surely paid off entering his sophomore campaign, as he earned a starting role. Fisher's leap generated recognition from around the conference, as he was named an All-Midwest Lacrosse Conference First Team defender for the first time in his career. He appeared in all 17 games, making 16 starts, and caused 24 turnovers.
"It was my first jump into having a big role on the team," Fisher stated. "I knew I had to go out there and play my best game and be the best player I could be to give my team the best chance to win."
Important, timely plays have also been a skill for Fisher, as it seems every time the Falcons need a big defensive play it is he that comes away with the caused turnover that changes the momentum of the game.
"It just happens," the program's record holder for game, season and career caused turnovers expressed. "I rely on my teammates to give me confidence and that boost to make plays on the defensive side. I love the support from my teammates."
Concordia Wisconsin has certainly benefited from Fisher's presence on the defensive side of the ball, as the team ranks fourth in man-down defense this season. They have ranked top-10 in the country in man-down defense three times over the last four years and were first in the nation in 2015.
Fisher's career as a Falcon has definitely been an enjoyable one. He currently holds records for most caused turnovers in a game with 11 (at Olivet on February 11 of this season), season with 53 and a career with 156. He is also a two-time All-MLC First Team defender.
He may have only a few games left in his career, but Paul Fisher will always be remembered for his ability to strike fear into opposing attackers. His ability to change the momentum by creating caused turnovers and locking down the defensive side of the field for the Falcons by will missed for years to come.