11/2/11 9:00 AM
The 2012 Hilliard Davidson lacrosse senior class has an opportunity to make history this season. With 41 wins over the last three years, this year’s senior class, which has led the Wildcats to three consecutive winning seasons, only needs seven more wins to become the winningest class in program history. Hilliard Davidson Head Coach Jason Godwin is eager to build on the team’s recent success. “We really want to send the seniors out on a winning note,” said Godwin. “We are going to continue to strive to be better and push each other to be competitive.”
Despite graduating 16 seniors from last season, the Wildcats look to have another winning season with the semi-new squad. With only one of the 10 returning players being a starter last season, Godwin sees the lack of returning starters as a great opportunity for his team. “It sends a message to the team that every varsity spot is wide open. We have to work hard and hang our hat on the message that hard work will be rewarded.”
The team’s small senior class is compensated by a strong freshman and sophomore class, consisting of a combined 37 players. Godwin expects several underclassmen to have a strong impact on the 2012 season.
Sophomore goalie Seth McCall will start in the net this season after serving as back up last year. “He’s been improving between the pipes and is harder on himself than anybody else,” said Godwin. “He also has a brand new defense in front of him so he will have his work cut out for him.”
The Wildcats’ defense only has two out of their eight poles returning to the field this year. The fairly new defensive unit will be anchored by veteran senior long-stick midfielder Ahmmad Kittaneh, who will be entering his second year as a LSM.
Senior Matt Kausel headlines a midfield that also features two sophomores coming up quickly in the ranks. Godwin is expecting Kausel to have a big year and to step into a key leadership role. “Offensively Matt has to be a big leader. He’s been on those great teams prior and will drive everyone to meet the team’s new goals”
After winning 58% of his attempts his freshman year, sophomore Alex Backenstoe will start at faceoff for the Wildcats.
Another sophomore, Brett Annis, rounds out the midfield unit, bringing a unique mixture of swiftness and skill to the position. “Brett has great speed and is always thinking of ways he can improve his game,” said Godwin. “His attitude goes a long way and he’s the type of guy who will energize the team.”
Attackmen Nick Tholt and Nick Joseph hope to be the sparkplugs for the Wildcats offense. Godwin expects a fierce competition between the juniors and sophomores for the final spots in the unit.
The Wildcats enter into their second year as a member of the OHSLA Division I Southwest Region after competing in the Division I Central Region years prior. Playing in a new region, which also includes Mason, Archbishop Moeller and Cincinnati St. Xavier, presented a new set of obstacles for the team. “Going through a regional realignment left us with a new challenge,” said Godwin. “We now have to play the ‘dominant three’ and other new teams that we didn’t have to compete against before.”
Hilliard Davidson’s move from Central to Southwest Region is just another example of how much lacrosse has grown in the Ohio area. “Lacrosse is definitely growing and we seem to be adding multiple teams every year,” said Godwin. “The addition of the Machine will help bring new attention to the sport in our state and that’s positive for the growth of the game.”
Season ticket deposits are available now for only $20.12 with season ticket packages being announced at a later date. Most of the 2012 inaugural season tickets will be priced at just $100 for all seven home games. For Ohio Machine inaugural season tickets, contact the Machine front office at (614) 754-1973 or by visiting www.theohiomachine.com/tickets.