TAMPA, Fla. – The University of Tampa men’s lacrosse team is set to host the Tusculum Pioneers on Sunday, February 4th in their season opener. The game is slated to start at 12:00 p.m.
The Matchup: No. 6 University of Tampa (0-0) vs. Tusculum College (0-0)
Date/Time: Sunday, February 4th at 12:00 p.m.
Location: Naimoli Family Intramural and Athletic Complex | Tampa, Fla.
Last Time Out: The Tampa Spartans concluded their 2017 season in the national semi-finals where they competed against the Limestone College Saints. The Saints defeated the Spartans in a heartbreaking loss 12-10. In the showdown, returning standout Andrew Kew had one goal and three assists. Sophomore, Jake Mosher McGraw also contributed two goals to the Spartans offensive performance, while on defense, Luke Posner picked up five ground balls and caused two turnovers. Despite the Spartans best efforts, Limestone conquered Tampa before continuing on to win the national championship.
About the Spartans: Tampa finished last season 15-5 overall, undefeated in the Sunshine State Conference. Key returners for the Spartans include Andrew Kew, Jake Mosher McGraw, Bryan Wright, Luke Posner, Matt Vetter, and Jack Tyrrell.
Kew, a USILA first-team All-American, All SSC first team selection, and a 2018 USILA Player of the Year Watch List recipient, returns as the Spartans main offensive threat. The Oakville, Ontario native led all of Division II last season with 86 goals, averaging 4.3 goals per game. Also, returning at attack for the Spartans is the sophomore duo of Mosher McGraw and Wright. All SSC second-team selection, Jake Mosher McGraw was second to Kew with 29 goals last season, including two during the national semifinal matchup. Wright rounds out the Spartans three returning offensive weapons contributing 25 goals and 14 assists last season. Additionally, he was an all SSC freshman team selection.
Captain Luke Posner returns for UT for his senior campaign. The Madisonville, La, native was an All SSC second-team selection last season and led the Spartans in ground balls with 46. Additionally, he recorded 20 caused turnovers for UT. Junior midfielder Matt Vetter, was a SSC All-Championship Team selection last season. He is one of the most well-rounded athletes for the Spartans, having recorded 22 goals, 10 assists, and 11 ground balls in 2017. Also at the midfield position, and the last key returner is junior Jack Tyrell. Tyrell, an All SSC second-team selection stated 39 ground balls and caused 30 turnovers for the Spartans last season.
This season the University of Tampa men’s lacrosse team hopes to pick up right where they left off. The squad was selected as the No. 6 team in the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association/Nike Preseason Coaches Poll, in addition to unanimously being selected to win the Sunshine State Title for the fifth consecutive year.
About the Pioneers: The Pioneers ended the 2017 season with an overall record of 11-4, 6-2 in the South Atlantic Conference. In 2017, Tusculum was led offensively by returner Chris Ryan with 30 goals. Senior, Dallas Wade led the Pioneers in assists with 18, while returning sophomore, Joel Edgar led the team in ground balls picking up 59. As a team, Tusculum averaged 13.7 goals per game and tallied a total of 138 assists.
Series History (Men’s): The Spartans lead the all-time series record with the Pioneers with a 3-0 record.
Tickets: Tickets for are $5 for adults, senior citizens and coaches. Children under 12 will be admitted free. UT students, faculty and staff will be admitted free with a valid student ID.