FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
By Casey Foster, SFU Lacrosse Marketing & Communications Assistant
Simon Fraser University Men’s Lacrosse
BURNABY, BC (March 15, 2012) – The Simon Fraser University men’s lacrosse team has just passed the half-way marker of their 13-game regular season schedule, off to an up-hill start with a current record of 2-5. The Clan are currently unranked in the MCLA with losses against top ranked opponents including current No.1 Colorado State, No. 3 Brigham Young and No. 7 Oregon. Six games remain to be played on SFU’s schedule over the remainder of March and through April, including matchups against ranked opponents No. 18 Illinois, No. 5 Chapman, No. 21 Loyola Marymount, and No. 6 Texas. With a starting line-up containing multiple freshmen on offense and defense, Simon Fraser is poised to meet head on any challenges standing between them and a PNCLL Conference Championship, in hopes of earning a bid to the MCLA National Championships this May.
DOWN THE LINE-UP
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. Through their first 7 games, the Clan’s starting line-up has consisted of 2 freshmen, 5 sophomores and 3 juniors with nearly all players, not excluding both goaltenders, registering minutes.
IN THE POLLS
Presented by Nike and Inside Lacrosse (ESPN Affiliate), Simon Fraser was ranked in preseason and started the 2011 campaign No. 18 in the MCLA Division I Top 25 Poll. 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), SFU dropped to No.22 in the polls. 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. More recently, a battle on home soil versus then No. 6 Oregon would result in Fraser posting another loss (20-13) to a top-ranked opponent before bouncing back versus Florida in an important neutral site out-of-conference victory (15-9). Simon Fraser remains unranked in latest Nike/IL poll, but will continue to look to gain some momentum down the stretch.
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.
In 2012, Simon Fraser has been slightly outscored by their opponents 78-94 (27-45 vs. ranked opponents, 51-49 vs. unranked). Again playing one of the MCLA’s toughest schedules, half of the Clan’s opponents are ranked in the Top 25 (5 of which are ranked in the Top 10). The 7 teams that Fraser has gone to battle with this season have combined to post a 30-16 record, with the five teams that the Clan have lost to currently sitting at 22-9 over the time that has passed so far this season.
ON THE NEW AND OLD
Despite their youth, several fresh faces have made a splash on the Clan’s roster. Freshman midfielder Sam Clare (Ladner, BC / Vancouver College) has had a phenomenal start to his collegiate career, recording 13 goals and 3 assists for 16 points in the 7 games he has played. On the offensive side of the field, freshman attack Ward Spencer (Saskatoon, SK / Evan Hardy collegiate) – 6g, 3a has fit in very well with fellow record setting attackmen, and returning threats, Calvin Craig and Colton Dow, who are continuing to set the pace for SFU in the 2012 with 19g, 10a and 10g, 4a respectively.
Last season, Craig finished the season ranked second in the MCLA in points-per-game with 100 goals and 32 assists for 132 points in 17 games (7.765 ppg), while Dow was third in the league with 56 goals and 55 assists for 111 points in 18 games (6.167)
Outright leading Simon Fraser offensively is sophomore attack Calvin Craig (2011 MCLA 2nd Team All-America Attack, PNCLL 1st Team All-Conference Attack, PNCLL Freshman of the Year, PNCLL Offensive Player of the Year) who in 7 games has 19 goals and 10 assists, landing him 2nd in the PNCLL for goals, assists, and points. The Clan are also being led by junior attack Colton Dow (10g, 4a) who was a 2011 MCLA All-American Honorable Mention at Attack and a PNCLL 1st Team All-Conference selection. In the midfield, Sam Clare has been shouldering the offensive production (16pts thus far), along with junior Eric Ransom (2011 MCLA Honorable Mention All-America Midfield and PNCLL 1st Team All-Conference Midfield) with 8 goals and 2 assists for 10 points.
With a goals against average (GAA) of 11.11 and 15.6 versus ranked opponents last season, SFU is up overall averaging 13.42 goals against over seven games in 2012 but down slightly versus the three ranked opponents they have faced with a GAA of 15. 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. 2011 PNCLL 2nd Team All-Conference LSM Riley Wanzer (Mukilteo, WA / Kamiak High School) has had a strong start to his sophomore campaign sitting second on the team with 26 ground balls and a goal to his credit, while being a constant threat in transition.
Sophomore Darren Zwack (Sherwood Park, AB / Archbishop Jordan High School) has emerged as the Clan’s starter between the pipes, playing in 6 games for SFU with a save percentage of 0.560%.
Seven regular-season games remain for Simon Fraser, including four versus ranked opponents in current No. 18 Illinois (March 17), No. 5 Chapman (March 23) No. 21 Loyola Marymount (March 25) and No. 6 Texas (April 8). SFU also still has all three PNCLL North Divisional games remaining on their schedule as Simon Fraser plays host to Idaho (March 31) and Washington (April 14) and travels to battle Montana (April 27) in their final regular season game.
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.