In late August, 2009, the team began conditioning practice with strength and conditioning coach Mike Underwood. Grove City continued training throughout the fall semester, playing four fall-ball games while preparing for the 2010 Season Opener against the University of Pittsburgh. Since those preseason training runs and lifting sessions, Grove City Lacrosse has compiled a unique list of accomplishments:
Grove City’s Junior Goaltender Andrew Dymski and Sophomore Midfielder Tim Irwin were named to the MCLA Division II 3rd Team All-American Team. Dymski, a Captain and 2010-2011 Team President, averaged 16.22 saves per game, while saving 66.4% of shots faced over 9 games. He accurately distributes the ball in the clearing game, directs the defense with poise and focus, and is a tremendous leader for the Wolverines. Irwin, who will serve as a Captain for Grove City in the upcoming season, received the award for his skills in the face-off circle where he won the vast majority of face-offs all year. In 8 games he averaged nearly 2 points a game and scooped 30 groundballs. A two-sport athlete, he plays with intensity and rises to challenges, as evidenced by his 4 goal game against Saint Thomas in the MCLA Quarterfinal game. Irwin was also named to the MCLA All-Tournament team as face-off specialist.
- Senior Defender Alex Teal, who served as Team President and Captain, was selected as a CCLA D-II All-Conference First Team Defender for his play throughout the season. Senior Attack and Captain Josh Hostetler was named to the All-Conference Second Team, while Dymski, Irwin, and Junior Midfielder Jon Althausen received Honorable Mention All-Conference recognition. Teal led the defense unit with 31 groundballs while playing great defense, Hostetler led the team in scoring with 3.667 points per game and served as the initiator for the offense, and Althausen led the Wolverines with 43 groundballs while scoring 1.22 points per game.
- Grove City started the season strong, coming from behind to defeat D-I opponent PITT 8-7 in January, then beating nationally-ranked opponents SCAD and Elon during a weekend trip to Cincinnati in February. The Wolverines continued to roll with victories over divisional rivals Carnegie Mellon, John Carroll, and Taylor University before finally losing to the University of Dayton 10-7 in April. Grove City’s 14-11 victory over Taylor clinched a playoff berth at the CCLA Tournament in Saline, MI. Matched against Davenport University in the first round, Grove City lost a hard-fought game by a score of 8-7.
- For the first time since the program was founded in 1993, the team secured sponsorships; local businesses Turner Insurance, Thomas Construction, Gould Financial Services, and Interstate Pipe and Supply were gracious enough to invest in the development of the team.
- Another first for the program: an appearance in the MCLA Division II National Tournament. Grove City received a bid as the 9th-seed and defeated 8th-seeded Western Oregon 11-8 in the first round before falling to 1st-seed, and eventual champion, St. Thomas by a score of 16-6.
While Grove City made it to Denver for the National Tournament and took many steps in the right direction over the past year, the Wolverines remain hungry for a National Championship. Work for the 2010-2011 Season has already begun. 2010 Seniors Alex Teal, Josh Hostetler, Chris Kellner, and Kyle Helfrich provided valuable leadership and incredible talent that will be missed, but the incoming freshmen class should be up to the challenge of filling needs and helping the program continue to succeed.
The success of the Grove City Lacrosse 2009-2010 Season would not have been possible without the help and contributions of many, many individuals and organizations. As a team, we are tremendously thankful to God, our coaches, Dr. Jim Thrasher and Mark Sandvig, Grove City College, our alumni, parents, sponsors, fans. Without the generosity of these contributors and God’s complete and perfect orchestration, we could not have had a lacrosse program this year. Thank you to everyone who partnered with us and made things happen this year. We look forward to an even better year next season!