Grove City, PA – The Grove City Men’s Lacrosse team is proud to announce that Andrew Stimmel was named the 2012 CCLA DII Coach of the Year.
When head coach Andrew Stimmel was given the reigns to the Grove City men’s lacrosse team last year, the program stood at a crossroads. After three consecutive winning seasons culminating in the team earning their first bid in the national tournament in 2010, the team faltered in 2011, finishing with a disappointing 3-7 regular season record and failing to compete with the elite teams in their conference. Grove City suffered double digit losses to every top-ten opponent they faced, losing to Davenport, Grand Valley State, Briarcliffe, and Dayton.
Stimmel was able to make significant progress in his first year with largely the same roster. Freshman defender Ryan Colby and midfielder Will Stumpf were the only two incoming recruits with lacrosse experience to combat the substantial holes left by the loss of two senior captains in midfielder Jon Althausen and MCLA Division II 3rd Team All-American Team goalie Andrew Dymski. The team lost two other key contributors in attackman Gray Mackenzie and Midfielder Mike Carnock.
Stimmel, a former captain and defensive MVP as a player at Ohio State University brought a tenacity that had been lacking in a defensive unit that had conceded 118 goals the previous season. Under Stimmel’s tutelage Grove City’s revamped defense allowed only 75 goals, 43 fewer than the season before, and boasted a 6.25 goals against average, best in the CCLA among play-off teams. Sophomore goalie Chris Dymski also led the CCLA in saves-per-game averaging 12.58 and save percentage with a rate of 66.8%, which was also the 4th highest among all MCLA play-off teams.
The offensive unit also displayed improvement, possessing the ball better than they had the year before and increasing their number of goals scored from 75 in 2011 to 106 in 2012. Grove City continued their dominance in the face-off circle, winning 74% of their face-offs.
The improvement on both sides of the field resulted in a hungry team that was competitive every time they stepped on the field. The Wolverines finished with a 7-5 regular season record and earned the #6 seed in the CCLA play-offs. 4 of Grove City’s 5 losses came to opponents who advanced to the national tournament; two of those teams reached the final four.
Stimmel’s influence has had a significant impact both on and off the field for the Wolverines and he was the feature of an article written by Jac Coyne in lacrosse magazine, which is available here: