by Dave Franklin | Special to MCLA.us
Graphics by Christian Di Monda | University of South Carolina
NOTE: It's been a great decade for MCLA Division II with plenty of fantastic talents and great teams. Long-time MCLA writer Dave Franklin has taken the time to make his picks for the top players from the past ten years.
NEW YORK -- We've seen some really good teams move from MCLA Division II to D-I (Liberty and Concordia) or even directly from MCLA D-II to NCAA D-II (Palm Beach Atlantic) or D-III (Coast Guard). The official formation of NAIA lacrosse also had an affect on the division.
As a matter of fact, we saw two MCLA D-II National Champions with NAIA origins, stay away from the NAIA and the move from MCLA D-I to NCAA D-II (Westminster and Davenport). That being said, players from Liberty, Concordia, Davenport, Westminster and even Missouri Baptist made these lists. That said, some really good players from SCAD, Indiana Tech, Missouri Valley and Reinhardt did not.
A few notes:
* 22 of the 29 players mentioned are from the current UMLC
* 10 players from St. Thomas are mentioned here, six on the All-Decade team, four who received honorable mention.
* The only two non-UMLC players on the All-Decade roster are both from programs that made the jump to MCLA D-I. Each player and each program remained very impactful despite the step-up in competition.
Franklin's Division II All-Decade Team
Attack: Ryan Miller, Liberty
Miller technically played only one year in MCLA Division II but 2013 might have seen the best ever Rookie of the Year performance the MCLA has ever seen. His 105 points as a freshman took Liberty from obscurity to a final four showdown with St. Thomas. Miller was a First Team All-American in both divisions and was a four-time all-SELC first-teamer regardless of division.
Attack: Sean Hickey, St. Thomas
Hickey is just one of those Tommies attackman who gets the job done to bring home the hardware. After being a role player as a freshman on St. Thomas' 2013 national championship team, he finished the season with 68 points as a senior while picking up his second ring.
Attack: Erik Sundstrom, Grand Valley State
As a freshman, Sundstrom scored two goals in the finals against St. John's to bring GVSU its first MCLA championship. His junior and senior years saw him take top honors for all-CCLA and All-American.
Attack/Midfield: Joe Costello, St. Thomas
Pre-decade, Costello was a two-time First Team All-American and won a national championship. His first two years of college lacrosse, he was designated as a midfielder, but he finished his tour spending two years as a First Team All-American attackman. Costello would go on to win another MCLA D-II Championship in 2010 before losing in the 2011 championship game to Davenport.
Midfield: Charlie Farmer, Grand Valley State
Farmer transferred from NCAA Division I Furman to join his brother, Tyler, at GVSU. Charlie was a man of few words when he brought home a national championship and the Godekeraw award in 2014.
Midfield: Will Hersman, St. Thomas
A defensive back for St. Thomas' NCAA Division III Championship football program, Hersman was one of Pete Moosbrugger's best overall athletes and battled through a lot of injuries to be as remarkably impactful as he was.
Midfield: Connor Carrol, Dayton
Carrol is considered a Charlie Mark "OG" for Dayton Lacrosse opposed to being part of the program's new resurgence under Joe Venturella. Scoring 109 career goals in three years against the best competition in the country isn't easy.
Midfield: Logan Perry, Concordia
Perry spent two years in MCLA D-II and two in D-I with Concordia. As a sophomore in 2017, he finished the year with 55 points to lead Concordia to a MCLA D-II Championship. His one goal and three assists led Concordia in Perry's final career game in the D-I quarterfinals against Colorado.
Faceoff: Erik Thysse, St. Thomas
After a two year absence from the national championship game, Thysse's power at the X led the Tommies to their 2016 title.
SSDM: Mark Dowdle, St.Thomas
It's difficult to label Dowdle as a defensive middie considering he very much went both ways for St. Thomas. However, if not for his superior defensive abilities on top of being a creator on offense, he would have not have been named a First Team All-American twice and would have made two St. Thomas championships a little more elusive.
LSM: Pat Mines, St. Thomas
While most top honor receiving long stick midfielders tend to have some eye catching offensive stats, Mines is a pure defensive anchor. Not the biggest, strongest or fastest, but with an IQ and drive that has built a resume that includes being a First Team All-American three times, a two-time national champion and the 2016 Godekeraw award recipient.
Defense: Steve Johnson, St. John's
Teddy Roosevelt once said "speak softly and carry a big stick". This four-time First Team All-American and 2013 Godekeraw winner shows he is a man of talent and character from Derek Daehn's Johnnies.
Defense: Peter Treppa, Grand Valley State
Treppa, an Adrian College (NCAA D-III) transfer, was voted to the first team of the CCLA and MCLA three times each. As a sophomore in his first year at GVSU, Treppa scored a goal against St. Thomas in the semis and then shut down Jacob Helmer while picking up six ground balls to secure Tim Murray's program the 2014 MCLA championship.
Defense: Evan Schraut, North Dakota State
Zach Bosh is exceptional at breeding impenetrable, tough, blue collar defensemen. Schraut is the most powerful Bison of them all, taking home the 2018 Godekeraw after delivering the green and gold the 2018 MCLA crown. He had 20 ground balls in the 2018 national tournament, including six in the finals against conference foe, St. Thomas.
Goalie: Michael King, St. John's
If you've ever seen Brett Queener of the PLL Chrome and SUNY Albany play goalie, it's a rare style. However, King absorbed it. An athletic ball stopper and a threat with his feet in the clearing game, King was as entertaining an MCLA player as you'll ever see.
Cam Holding spent most of his college lacrosse career in years before the decade or at Florida Southern in NCAA D-II. That said, it was hard to justify him making the official roster compared to honorable mention. However, the current San Diego Seal of the NLL was also part an MLL Championship team for the Denver Outlaws and won a gold medal for Team Canada in the 2014 World Games. When you consider the fact that he was head coach of Michigan State's 2018 MCLA Championship team, the guy almost deserves "Person of the Decade."
Collin Madsen was a great player for Westminster in both Division II and Division I while Ian Brosch spent multiple years winning faceoffs and producing points for Missouri Baptist (now NAIA). Ben Vasko played in four MCLA national championship games, two with Arizona State and two with St. Thomas.
A - Adam Henlein, Dayton
A - Cam Holding, Grand Valley State
A - Alex Vijums, St. Thomas
A/M - Scott McNamara, Minnesota-Duluth
M - Anthony Banak, North Dakota State
M - John Michael Coon, St. Thomas
M - Collin Madsen, Westminster
FO - Ian Brosch, Missouri Baptist
SSDM - Louie Clifton, North Dakota State
LSM - Adam Bowers, Davenport
D - Jesse Amar, St. Thomas
D - Ben Vasko, St. Thomas
D - Gage Rion, Florida Gulf Coast
G - Austin Cotton, Florida Gulf Coast