by Jac Coyne | MCLA.us
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Florida State men's lacrosse is going to have a little bit of everything this spring.
It's much like the Seminoles 2016 hype video that had a little bit of everything, including vertigo-inducing camera angles and an EDM version of the school's war chant theme. Hey, variety is the spice of life.
They've certainly got plenty of offense, spearheaded by middie Tucker Schwarz, a deep defense, featuring six guys who might see the field, and one of the top goalies around in Spencer Talbot.
Missing the SELC tournament put a damper on a superb 14-1 campaign last spring, but the Seminoles are using it to jump-start a promising '17. Jerry DeLorenzo has pumped new life into a program searching for its first bid to the MCLA National Championships powered by Under Armour since 2011.
A trip to Arizona highlights a stiffer schedule, which will keep FSU in the discussion all season. And a run at the SELC title is certainly within reason, as well.
Team: Florida State
2016 Record: 14-1
Conference record/finish: 3-0
Head Coach: Jerry DeLorenzo (2nd year)
Tyler Aki -- The attackman had 64 points (33g, 31a). He was a key playmaker on offense and extra-man unit. He was also team president and a leader. Replacing a lefty attackman is always tough, especially one this successful.
Brendan Thomas -- He was a team captain on defense who played every opponent's best right-handed attackman. Thomas started every game for FSU and brought stability to a solid defensive unit.
Austin Cunningham -- The defensive middie was the best athlete on the team. He played the most minutes of any Seminoles player as he was on the field on defense, offense and the faceoff unit. His athleticism and speed will be missed. Cunningham's motor never stopped running (44 ground balls). Tough player to replace.
Tucker Schwarz -- The middie notched 29 goals and 22 assists. He's the best midfielder in the nation and should be a consensus preseason Player of the Year candidate, according to DeLorenzo. Every game he draws opposing teams best defender. Makes his teammates better. Explosive player with a cannon for a shot.
Davis Goodman -- He was an HM All-American as a freshman (41g, 26a). Team leader in total points last two years and a tough matchup for every team. He can play left side or right side. Great vision and good decision maker. Goodman is expected to lead team in scoring for third year in a row. One of the best riding attackman in FSU history.
Cole Lindquist -- The attackman packaged together a 66-point (44g, 22a) season in 2016. Lindquist is a big, strong player who has scored the most goals for the 'Noles in the last three seasons. He quarterbacks the FSU offense and is a leader on and off the field. Loves playing lacrosse. Lindquist brings intensity and works very well with other offensive players. His senior year should be his best when he'll have the opportunity to take over games.
Best moment of the 2016 season
Beating No. 9 BC and No. 13 Virginia Tech at the Battle of Baltimore tournament last April. Going on the road and upsetting two highly-ranked teams in the same weekend helped put FSU lacrosse on the map.
Biggest challenge facing Florida State in 2017
Our schedule is the strongest in school history. We play western powers Arizona State and Arizona early in the season. Then it's Michigan State at a neutral site and perennial power Georgia Tech. We travel to our biggest rival, Liberty, in April and play UConn in back-to-back road games. A much improved and veteran UCF squad will visit Tallahassee this year. It's always a high scoring intense game between the two schools.
Why the Seminoles will be better in 2017
We return seven starters from a 14-1 team. The Seminoles are deep at every position. Offensively, we were one of the highest scoring teams in the nation during the regular season last year. Defensively, we have six guys competing for three starting spots in the fall. Great competition brings out great players. The team is anchored in goal by Spencer Talbot. The bigger the game, the better he plays and he's one of the best all-around goalies in the nation. We wouldn't trade him for anyone.
The program is heading in a great direction. Last year was more about getting our systems in place and learning the coaching philosophy. We also did some house cleaning and changed the culture of our program. The players have bought in 100 percent. We are excited about the upcoming season and feel we can play with anybody. Our goal is to bring home the first national championship in school history. The future is bright for Florida State lacrosse.