Editor’s Note: Welcome to our NAIA lacrosse season-in-review series. Each day for the next month or so, we will be recapping last year’s NAIA lacrosse season in advance for the 2020 season. Today, we are looking at Aquinas College out of the WHAC.
2019 Aquinas College Review
“MAKE THE BED!” was Couch Seites’ battle cry for the Saints last year. He had his squad dialed in all over the field in 2019 as his team minted five All-Americans, won the WHAC, finished 12-5 and made it to the national championship. Just as Aquinas was putting the pillows on the bed, Reinhardt ripped the covers off and cruised past the Saints by a score of 11-4 in the title game. The year may not have ended the way it wanted, but the maroon and white put the entire NAIA on notice.
The Saints say goodbye to an extremely talented senior class which included three All-Americans and seven seniors. With the graduation of offensive duo Cam Rogers (attack) and Sam Klinsky (attack), the Saints lose most of their offensive production. Cam led the team with 47 goals and 46 assists, while Klinsky followed close behind with 45 goals and 35 assists. The two-man wrecking crew finished their careers as First Team All-Americans. Also lost to graduation was three time All-American and defensive midfielder Dan Deidrich, in addition to impactful midfielders Kevin Heisheiter and Corby Haley.
2020 Aquinas College Outlook
How will Aquinas recover from the loss of so many key players? Well, the Saints will return their best overall player in All-American FOGO Sam Warner. Warner broke out in 2019 as he won 249 faceoffs, and will look to continue that momentum this season. Aquinas will also return the bulk of its defense. Matt Wagner is one of the best close defenders in the country, while senior long pole Sam Asare-Konadu adds leadership and experience. Returning in net for the Saints is sophomore goalie Clayton Boerigter. Not all is lost for the Aquinas offense as it retains starting attackman Nash West. West is a 3-year starter and will be helped by midfielder Joey Fitzgerald who will look to breakout in his junior year.
Way Too Early Prediction
The old saying is that if you are winning faceoffs you are winning games. That will heavily apply to Seites’ team in 2020. Undoubtedly, they will dominate the faceoff X and look to play make it take it lacrosse in 2020. I’m forecasting that Aquinas competes for a WHAC championship and will be in the hunt for the 2020 national championship.
Team Site: www.aqsaints.com