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 Keiser University out of The Sun Conference.
2019 Keiser University Review
Keiser University showed flashes of greatness throughout the 2019 season, but inconsistent play finally came back to haunt them during the postseason. The Seahawks were able to turn an otherwise lackluster season (8-7 record) into a birth in the NAIA Invitational. A solid postseason showing made that 8-7 record less important, but I’m not convinced that Keiser is an elite team capable of returning to the tournament in 2020.
The Florida team lost its two starting long poles in Channing Thomas (45 ground balls, 15 caused turnovers) and Dustin Stone (44 ground balls, 23 caused turnovers). The pair played all 15 games for the Seahawks and were a big reason why they were able to make nationals. The loss of Keiser’s two starting long poles is going to really hurt the team’s defense in 2020 and put a lot more pressure on their goaltending.
2020 Keiser University Outlook
Keiser returns its entire offense for the 2020 season. The Seahawks will continue to employ a score-by-committee method in 2020 as six of their players posted 30+ point totals. Having scoring depth is a nice commodity, but the team will still need to rely on the talent of Ryan Johnson (25 goals, 14 assists) to lead the offense. Keiser also returns its best player in junior goalie Marco Olortegui. Marco is one of the best goalies in the NAIA and will look to build off a strong sophomore campaign, where he made 149 saves and posted a 55% save percentage.
Way Too Early Prediction
The Seahawks continue to dominate on offense but will struggle to find a defensive identity. I predict they finish receiving votes but narrowly miss the tournament.
Team Info: kuseahawks.com
Team Twitter: @SeahawksLax