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 NAIA lacrosse season in advance for the 2020 season. Today, we are looking at Siena Heights out of the WHAC.
2019 Siena Heights Review
The 2019 Saints were the definition of anything can happen. They were a team that beat Madonna by three, but lost to UM-Dearborn. A team that lost to Aquinas by three, Cumberlands by one and then Madonna by three in a rematch. Every week was an adventure in 2019 but with only four seniors on the squad, it was a year that tested and developed the young team.
Alex Gilbert and Nathan Lipon combined for 40 goals and seven assists last year through the midfield. Dan Diffenderfer provided depth on defense and at the faceoff X, while starting defender Nolan Mince scooped up 35 ground balls and had 13 caused turnovers.
2020 Siena Heights Outlook
Freshman All-American Jake Gallaher was a noticeable bright spot on an average 2019 campaign. The freshman scored 37 goals along with 29 helpers and went 57-164 at the faceoff X. Gallagher, along with the senior trio of Kreitzer, Mamo and Lyons, look to lead an impressive offense. Look for the talented Garnet Potter to stay healthy and add an additional threat at attack. Offense clearly won’t be an issue for the Saints, but they need to fortify the defense and find a true faceoff threat. As a team they went 33% at the X, with most of the wins coming from Gallagher who I’m sure would benefit from more rest.
Way Too Early Prediction
A ridiculous offense carries them all year, but if they don’t find a solution for faceoffs, they will struggle in the WHAC. I think a strong freshman class along with some creative wing play help the Saints win more faceoffs, allowing the offense to run on all cylinders. I am projecting a 10-win season. If those wins come at the right time, we could see them steal a seed in the NAIA tournament.
Team Info: www.shusaints.com
Team Twitter: @sienaheightslax