FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
By Casey Foster, SFU Lacrosse Marketing & Communications Assistant
Simon Fraser University Men’s Lacrosse
BURNABY, BC (May 2, 2012) – In their tenth season under now Head Coach Brent Hoskins (formerly Co-Head Coach), the No. 24 Simon Fraser University men’s lacrosse team (est. 1996) enters the PNCLL Conference Championships as the top seed of the North Division, aiming to hoist the Clan’s 9th PNCLL Conference Championship and qualify for the MCLA’s National Championship Tournament for the eleventh time in program history. Fraser finished the 2012 regular season with a PNCLL conference record of 3-0 and an overall record of 8-6.
IN THE POLLS
Ranked No. 18 in the Nike/Inside Lacrosse MCLA Division 1 Preseason Top 25 Poll, Simon Fraser continues to be recognized as one of the nation’s top college lacrosse programs.
Simon Fraser fell a few spots to in the poll presented by Nike and Inside Lacrosse (ESPN Affiliate) to No.22 after opening the season with a home-win over regional PNCLL Division II opponent Western Washington (16-12) then suffering loses to then No.1 BYU (14-10) and Boise State (15-14 OT). Consecutive road losses to current No. 1 Colorado State (11-4) and Oregon State University (13-6), would see the Clan fall out of the polls, leaving them unranked. A battle on home soil versus No. 6 Oregon would result in Fraser posting another loss (20-13) to a top-ranked opponent before bouncing back versus Florida (15-9) and Illinois (8-4) in two neutral site out-of-conference victories. After suffering a loss in a close battle with No. 5 Chapman, and achieving victory against then No.19 Loyola Marymount, the Clan found themselves back in the polls at No.24. More recently, an eventual string of 5-straight victories continued with wins versus divisional rival Idaho (24-6), then No.17 Texas (13-7), and divisional rivals Washington (23-17) and Montana (20-15), seeing Simon Fraser bounce around the rankings as high as No.20 after defeating Texas, and settling back at No.24 to conclude the regular season.
Last season, Simon Fraser started the 2011 campaign ranked No. 10 in MCLA Division I Top 25 Poll, dropping to as low as No. 21, before a loss to No. 8 Oregon in the PNCLL Conference Championship would see the Clan finish the season ranked 17th in the MCLA, narrowly missing an at-large bid to the final round of 16 at the MCLA National Championship Tournament.
The Clan outscored their opponents 187-165 in 2012. The thirteen opponents that Simon Fraser faced this season combined to post an impressive record of 120-78 (.650) with SFU going 3-4 versus opponents ranked in the MCLA’s Div. I Top 25.
STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE
In a continuing trend, Simon Fraser was ranked with a top 20 Strength of Schedule rating, with games against persistent top 5 opponents BYU, Colorado State, and Chapman, as well as other ranked opponents Oregon, Illinois, Loyola Marymount, Idaho, and Texas.
A SLOW START
After opening the season on February 4 with a win (16-12) versus Western Washington (PNCLL Div. II), Simon Fraser suffered 5 straight losses versus opponents BYU (14-10), Boise State (15-14 OT), Colorado State (11-4), Oregon State (13-6), and Oregon (20-13).
A STRONG TURN AROUND
It was after their fifth straight loss that the Clan began a massive turn around to the results of their season. Starting with victories versus Florida (15-9) and then No. 18 Illinois (8-4), Simon Fraser would falter slightly in a very close and tough loss versus then No.5 ranked Chapman (13-11). After that loss, the Clan started a 5 game straight win streak with victories coming against then No. 19 Loyola Marymount (10-9), Idaho (24-6), then No. 17 Texas (13-7), Washington (23-17), and Montana (20-15).
DOWN THE ROSTER
With arguably again one of the youngest line-ups in the MCLA, The 2012 Clan roster features no seniors, an astounding fourteen freshmen, seven sophomores and six juniors. The Clan end the regular season with a starting line-up consisting of 4 freshmen, 4 sophomores and 2 juniors with all players, not excluding both goaltenders, registering minutes.
Representing the highest level of collegiate field lacrosse north of the 49th Parallel, Simon Fraser continues to attract top recruits from across Canada and has begun to attract attention from throughout the United States seen in this year’s roster containing a program high of 4 American players, 2 from California, and 2 from Washington. Joining these American athletes, the Clan’s 2012 roster features fourteen players from British Columbia, three from Alberta, three from Saskatchewan, and two from Ontario.
Averaging 13.38 goals per game (10.50 GPG versus ranked opponents), outright leading Simon Fraser offensively is sophomore attack Calvin Craig (Coquitlam, BC / Gleneagle Secondary), who in 2012 has 43 goals and 20 assists for 63 points, landing him 1st in the PNCLL for both goals and points. The Clan are also being led by junior attack Colton Dow (Coquitlam, BC / Heritage Woods Secondary) with 46 points on 27goals and 19 assists. On the youthful side of the Clan’s attack stand freshmen Iain Vickars (Burnaby, BC / Burnaby South Secondary) – 23g, 6a and Ward Spencer (Saskatoon, SK / Evan Hardy Collegiate) – 11g, 11a who have 29 and 22 points respectfully. In the midfield, Sam Clare (Ladner, BC / Vancouver College) has made a massive splash in his freshman campaign (30g, 5a), alongside junior Eric Ransom (Sherwood Park, AB / Bev Facey HS) who has 25 points on the 2012 season.
After averaging 11.79 goals against and a consistent 11.14 versus ranked opponents, the Clan’s close defense has been anchored by variations of two juniors and two freshmen. Returning juniors Sam Biagioni (Surrey, BC / Fraser Heights Secondary) and Mitchell Frank (Burnaby, BC / St. Thomas More Collegiate) have both spent time in the Clan’s starting line-up, while freshmen Bayne Bosquet (Coldstream, BC / Kalamalka Secondary) and Mark Hilker (Bowmanville, ON / Clarington Central Secondary) have experienced induction by fire as starters counted on to log heavy minutes early in their collegiate careers. LSM Riley Wanzer (Mukilteo, WA / Kamiak High School) has continued his excellent play into his sophomore campaign this 2012 season with a team high 63 ground balls, and a goal and 3 assists to his credit, while being a constant threat in transition.
Sophomore Darren Zwack (Sherwood Park, AB / Archbishop Jordan High School) emerged as the Clan’s starter between the pipes, playing in 13 games including 12 starts, while posting a save percentage of 0.595% and recording 10 games with double-digit saves including six vs ranked opponents (15 vs BYU, 19 vs Colorado State, 11 vs Oregon, 19 vs Illinois, 11 vs Chapman and 22 vs Texas). His relief comes in the form of junior Kyle Middleton (Nanaimo, BC / Woodlands Secondary) who has made appearances in net in 8 games this season.
The PNCLL Final Four Conference Championships will take place May 5 and 6 in Tacoma, Washington, with the MCLA National Championship Tournament making its debut at Sirrine Stadium in Greenville, South Carolina May 14-19.
ABOUT SIMON FRASER MEN’S LACROSSE
Simon Fraser University men’s lacrosse is in its seventeenth season in 2012 and competes in the Men’s Collegiate Lacrosse Association (MCLA). The Clan have captured a record eight PNCLL Conference Titles (1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2008 and 2009) and are tied for fifth all-time with ten MCLA National Championship tournament appearances, placing 2nd in 1999 and most recently playing in the 2010 MCLA Semi-Finals after reaching the Quarterfinals in 2008 and 2009. The Clan are proudly sponsored by Harrow Sports and Cascade Helmets.