Returning 15 lettermen from a 2018 squad that produced the most wins in Terrier program history, the Hiram men's lacrosse team will look to their depth of experience to take another step forward in 2019.
The offensive output in 2018 was the most prolific in program history as Hiram set school records in all of the major categories.
"I think last year was a great offensive season for us," remarked head coach Brian Jenkins, who is in his seventh year as the program's first, and only, coach. "Previously we hadn't had more than one player score 40+ points in a season, and last year we had three break 50."
Last year, the Terriers broke school marks in goals (158), goals per game (10.53), assists (96) and total points (254). Additionally, they bested school marks in both face-off wins (183) and total shots (472).
Five of the top seven scorers from a season ago return to the field with another year of experience under their belt.
Leading the charge is junior Tim Stucky, who set the Terrier program record for total points with 60 in 2018. A sophomore during last year's campaign, Stucky posted 43 goals on the year while ranking third on the team with 17 assists.
Stucky posted multi-point efforts in all but two games last season, tallying at least four, six times. His season best of nine points, came with a school-record eight goals in an 18-7 victory over Houghton. He posted at least three goals six times.
Along with Stucky, the Terriers return five of their top seven scorers from a season ago, bringing back 98 of their 158 goals and 158 of their 254 total points.
Junior Hunter Jenkins will look to provide a one-two punch with Stucky in 2019 after a 2018 season that saw him post a career-best 50 points. Jenkins led the Terriers with a Hiram record, 25 assists, adding 25 goals, which ranked third on the team.
At midfield, junior Liam Pinney will once again take the mantle of the long-stick midfielder. Last season, Pinney set a Hiram record with 48 ground balls while also forcing 14 turnovers, ranking second on the team.
Senior Alex Meehan returns to the faceoff circle for his final campaign with the Terriers. Last season, Meehan won a school record 168 faceoff chances, posting a win percentage of .471.
Also returning to the midfield this year include senior Marcus McNeal, junior Alec Gentle and Sophomore Dom Medina. Newcomers Chris Biddy and Randy Tucker will also look to provide depth at the midfield position.
Like the offense, the defense posted program-best numbers, tallying school bests in ground balls, caused turnovers and posting a program low in goals against average last season.
One of the four team captains this season, Jericho started in all 15 games in 2018, forcing 12 turnovers while collecting 19 ground balls. Johnson was the enforcer for the back end of the Hiram squad, causing a program-best 37 turnovers and adding 51 ground balls, which ranked second on the team.
Newcomers to the defense that could see action throughout the year include freshman Matt Valentine and sophomore Curtiss Brown.
In goal, the Terriers return both of their starting goalies. Last season, senior Keegan Finegan and junior Liam Osborne split time between the pipes. Osborne set the Hiram record for single-season goals against average, while Finegan posted a 4-4 record.
As a defensive unit, the Terriers held their opponents under double-digit goals six different times on the season, tallying a 5-1 mark in those games. Hiram finished the year with a 14.8 goals against average, while posting 123 caused turnovers.
The Terriers open the 2019 season with three home games in their first four dates. After opening against Franciscan on Saturday (Feb. 23), Hiram will also have non-conference home tilts against Adrian (March 2) and Alfred St. (March 9).
In NCAC action, Hiram will play host to Kenyon (April 6), Wittenberg (April 13), Denison (April 23) and DePauw (April 27), while traveling to Wooster (March 23), Wabash (March 30), Oberlin (April 9) and Ohio Wesleyan (April 20).