Men’s Lacrosse 2019 Season Preview

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Men’s Lacrosse 2019 Season Preview

The John Carroll University men’s lacrosse team celebrates on the sideline after a goal against Baldwin Wallace in the OAC Championship at Don Shula Stadium.

The John Carroll University men’s lacrosse team celebrates on the sideline after a goal against Baldwin Wallace in the OAC Championship at Don Shula Stadium.

JCU Sports Info

The John Carroll University men’s lacrosse team celebrates on the sideline after a goal against Baldwin Wallace in the OAC Championship at Don Shula Stadium.

JCU Sports Info

JCU Sports Info

The John Carroll University men’s lacrosse team celebrates on the sideline after a goal against Baldwin Wallace in the OAC Championship at Don Shula Stadium.

Kyle Kelly, Sports Editor

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Believe it or not, the spring sports season is right around the corner. In just over one week, the Blue and Gold men’s lacrosse team will roll out their 2019 squad, kicking off the season at Don Shula Stadium on Saturday, Feb. 23, against Concordia University.

JCU is coming off a tremendous season, in which they claimed their second consecutive Ohio Athletic Conference Championship with a 19-9 win over Baldwin Wallace.

The Blue Streaks’ 2018 season ended early with a 9-6 loss against Elizabethtown College on the road, finishing the season with a 13-5 record, including a 7-1 record in the OAC and at home.

John Carroll was able to retain many key players, including All-OAC defender sophomore Clayton Karam, and All-OAC key goal scorers, sophomore Brendan Whitty and juniors Skyler Blake and Colin Corcoran.

As a freshman, Karam was named OAC Defensive Player of the Year. He compiled 101 ground balls and 46 caused turnovers his first season in Blue and Gold.

Blake led the team with 44 goals in his sophomore year, and Whitty notched a JCU record 70 points in his freshman year for the Blue Streaks. Corcoran was third on the team in goals with 31.

Also returning for the Blue and Gold is senior goalkeeper Jacob Betz. As a junior, Betz started in 15 games for JCU, tallying 11 wins and a team-high 94 saves.

Betz, Blake and Corcoran were among the five individuals that received honors as captains for the 2019 season with senior Aidan Hubbell and junior Nick Pompella also earning the “C.”

“It’s a great honor. It means a lot that my teammates and coaches believe in me as a leader on this team. Myself and the team want to win, and I’m excited to be a leader and win with my teammates,” Blake told The Carroll News.

The main weakness heading into the 2019 season is that the Blue Streaks are losing 17 seniors.

“Our team is a lot less experienced and younger this year, but we have been working hard and I am excited to see where it takes us,” said sophomore Kevin Hack.

The Blue Streaks will play seven games before they kick off conference play on March 23 at Muskingum. Until then, JCU will keep training outside in the cold Cleveland temperatures; that will not stop them from striving toward this year’s goals, which seem familiar from years past.

Blake said, “The goals for this season are the same as every other season. Go undefeated and win the regular season OAC championship, win two games and become OAC tournament champions, and then look to make a run in the NCAA playoffs.”