(PAINESVILLE, Ohio) – Nationally ranked No. 19 Lake Erie will open up its 10th season in program history at high noon tomorrow as it welcomes Rockhurst for a non-conference clash. In addition to the campaign opener, it will be the debut of Head Coach Sam Ashton who returns to the program after previously serving as the team's offensive coordinator before two years as a head coach at the University of Dallas.
Both teams are coming off stellar campaigns that saw the Storm go 11-3 and the Hawks go 14-3. While it's the season opener for the Storm, the Hawks already have two games under their belts with a 27-6 win over Benedictine and a 22-4 win over Saint Mary.
The Green and White are 4-5 in season openers, but are no stranger to tough competition. Last season Lake Erie dropped a narrow contest to eventual national champion Merrimack before winning 11 of its final 12 games of the regular season.
The Storm will have to replace a good chunk of the squad with 11 seniors last season, two of which were All-Americans in Lucas Shafer and Reed Hnidy, but there is plenty of talent waiting in the wings and ready to reload.
Looking to keep the high-octane offense churning are Tim Bay, Patrick Bay, John Kezerian, and Micah Daigle. The quartet all reached double-figures in points last year with Tim Bay leading the group with 30 points on 18 goals and 12 assists. Defensively
Bret Swan helped generate some offense with his team-best 74 ground balls. He also served as the team's specialist and was 156-of-251 on face-offs for a winning percentage of 62.2, the 13th-best mark in the nation.