Growth is goal for Titans men’s lacrosse squad

As Spring sports season rolls in, the anticipated excitement for the upcoming men’s lacrosse season is heating up at the University of Detroit Mercy.  

The Titans, led by Head Coach Chris Kolon, are entering the season open-minded. They are in a transition year, finishing out the Atlantic Sun Conference, and next year will be joining the Northeast Conference.  

The men’s lacrosse team is young and determined, which constitutes progression opportunities. Its priority this season is to continue a growth mindset.  

In doing so, the team will be upholding its core values of accountability, discipline, leadership, pride and true brotherhood.  

“It’s kind of how we make all of our decisions,” Kolon said. “I have to trust they’re trying to do the best they can as a university citizen first, students, and athletes. And that they are making great decisions. They must have faith in me, that I’m making good choices for them, and trying to put them in the most successful place.” 

That mindset is apparent in the players too. 

Junior defender Joey Schmaltz said, “Just coming to work every day and putting in 100% of your effort is really what the team needs.”  

Many players have demonstrated the role of leadership. Midfielder senior captain Luke Majick has made impressive contributions to the team’s performance, as well as a graduate student Kyle Loken and sophomore Drew Kessenich. 

On the field, fans may see freshman Owen Miller more frequently than they think.  

Opposing teams may underestimate the Titans. 

“I think that everyone in our conference expectation is that they’re going to beat us,” Schmaltz said.“So, I feel like we should always have that underdog mentality, but I think the team is going to do good. I think we are going to surpass everyone’s expectations.” 

However, the team has faced environmental setbacks due to the harsh and unpredictable Michigan weather. Yet, they have continued to persevere during off-season practices. Whether the team practiced on half or full fields, inside or outside, they managed.  

A renewed sense of purpose can be seen from this on the field.  

“Defensively, we’re going to be able to hold some teams,” Kolon said. “I’m really impressed with Sean Henige on defense, he has probably developed into one of the best defensemen in the league.”  

Coach Kolon also mentioned senior Noah Martin’s incredible strength in leading while playing defense.  

When it comes to offense, Kolon said, “It is not a weakness. We’ve got some guys that we need to step up but we’re not sure yet who that is.”  

The team’s first game is on Feb. 13 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, against Marquette.  

Kolon said, “Marquette is a top 20 team, and we’re little Detroit. I think a little bit of surprise will help us.”  

Kolon hopes to have around five or six wins this season but more importantly, have the team keep up with a growth mindset, and eventually get back to a conference champion level. 

Although the Titans will face challenging teams this upcoming season, they have persisted through other hardships and can again. The rising freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior classes have a lot to give in the upcoming seasons, and the attitude this team displays could pay off in a big way