Men’s lacrosse ends the fall with a competitive scrimmage

Andrew Zienty

In 2019, the Titans claimed victory by going 6-0 in the CCIW tournament. 
Photo: Illinois Wesleyan Athletics

Illinois Wesleyan University men’s lacrosse team ended the fall season with a twist. In the past couple of years, the team has ended with a scrimmage but this year’s scrimmage came after a slow progression of individual skill practices to full physical competition.

With the stands at Tucci stadium empty and the cameras on, the stage was set for another inter-squad scrimmage. The two teams, 309 Sports against Beans LC,  were decided by a draft led by two general managers.

After six shortened games for the players to showcase their skills the two general managers held a draft. The draft was decided after each general manager’s assistant raced to decide who picked first. 

309 Sports won the EJ Cup with their 13-9 victory over Beans LC. This effort was led by junior goalkeeper Tom Laduzinsky who managed to block 13 shots, enough to earn him MVP honors and claim the Mike Julius MVP honors.

The EJ Cup is to honor one of the seniors who graduated last year Erick Johnston, who was a middie from 2017-20. Mike Julius, for whom the MVP honor is named, was regarded by the team and coaches as one of the most timely players in program history.

After a tied first period at 4-4, 309 Sports started to pull away by posting another four goals in the second period followed by five in the third which ended up being enough to claim victory.

The scoring effort for 309 Sports was led by junior transfer Griffin DeMilt who scored three back-to-back goals.

“COVID was a pain early on but our coaches really enforced the guidelines to make sure we had a healthy and safe fall and we had a relatively low positivity rate. That was our team’s biggest success,” junior goalkeeper Tom Laduzinsky said. 

While the team graduated 13 seniors last spring, the recruiting class included 14 first-years and one transfer student to replace the graduated players.

“First-year Michael Campagna and Bob Boone showed impressive talent offensively and defensively which was a great takeaway for the first-year class,” Laduzinsky said.

The team is still waiting on word from the NCAA and the CCIW on what their spring season could look like or if they will have a spring season.

“Our goal this year is like our goal every year, we want to win a national championship and we believe we can,” senior Max Bousky said.

The team was eliminated in the second round of the NCAA playoffs last year by 

Denison University. 

“Personally, I would like to face off against Denison in the playoffs again on our road to the championship,” senior Will Harris said.