Coach Brad Jorgensen is in his fourteenth season at Saint Leo University as the head coach for the Men’s Lacrosse program. He has been the head coach of the program since its inception. Jorgensen has seen the success of the program and holds a 102-81 record at Saint Leo.
This year, the team has a similar goal: compete for the conference championship and clinch a spot in the NCAA tournament. This team has an enormous amount of veteran presence as there are 15 seniors on the team and coach Jorgensen sees it helping out the team throughout the season.
“Having a veteran presence is certainly a positive. It allows us to draw on lessons that we have learned in past seasons, and the staff is working with known commodities.”
Some seniors will need to continue to step up their game to help the season go the way they envision it. Last season, the Lions hsd the highest shot percentage in NCAA Division II men’s lacrosse.
This accomplishment was largely because of the performance of now-senior Kyle Pauwels, who led the nation in individual shot percentage. Senior Jake Gilmour will also play a major factor coming off of a season where he broke the University’s career assist record (82) and single-season points record (64). Gilmour enters the season with the third most assists in the NCAA out of all active players and sixth in career points. Redshirt, junior Thomas Tatarian had an excellent season as goalkeeper last year ranking fourth in the nation in save percentage (.592) and eighth in the nation in saves per game (13.31).
Even with this success, the Lions struggled in the Sunshine State Conference with a 1-4 record. Jorgensen believes that even with tough competition, the Lions will be better in 2018.
“Conference play was a disappointing stretch for us last year. The SSC is incredibly competitive, and we fell short in too many close games. This season we have an improved commitment to strength and conditioning that should pay dividends in April.”
Every team is a bit different each year, but this team has a lot of talent and will look to strike fear in their opponents throughout the season. The Men’s Lacrosse team kicks off their season on the road Feb. 3 against Alabama-Huntsville.