PROVO — With 19 players returning to its roster, the BYU lacrosse team has more than enough leadership and experience to return to a No. 1 national ranking.
"I don't have to teach everything from zero," BYU head coach Jason Lamb said. "This year, we have great leadership. We've always had leaders, but not great leadership, and I think there is a difference."
At each position there are dynamic players that will contribute to the Cougars' run for the national title.
GOALIE: Returning for BYU are two goalies, senior Glenn Makechnie and sophomore Chris Powers. Both split time in games last season and are expected to provide the Cougars with immediate experience and leadership.
"We're blessed to have two great goalies," Lamb said. Both are expected to be All-American goalies.
DEFENSE: Returning senior captain Cameron Archibald, who last year was elected as the Rocky Mountain Lacrosse Conference defensive MVP and first-team US Lacrosse Men's Division Intercollegiate Associates All-American, is expected to build off of last year's season.
"It's not often you return an All-American, let alone a first-team All-American to lead your defense," Lamb said.
Along with Archibald will be junior co-captain Jordan Harris. Both return to anchor the Cougars' defense. Other Cougars expected to contribute are defenseman Curtis Salmon and Paul Sabey, who Lamb said are very intelligent players and will add a nice addition to their defense.
MIDFIELD: Danny Cole , Tyler Monteath and Jordan Theurer are three sophomores who return for Lamb that started as true freshman last year.
Joining Cole, Monteath and Theurer will be freshman Murphy Smith. "He will be an immediate impact player to a high degree," Lamb said. "This kid is for real. I believe he can be the best long-stick midfielder that I've coached at BYU."
Also expected to contribute are junior transfer Marshall Kay and sophomore Ryan Angelos, who recently returned from an LDS mission.
ATTACK: Anchoring the Cougars attack will be junior Jarom Winn and freshman Andrew Shumway. Winn, coming off of knee surgery from last season, will provide great leadership.
"He knows the team and he knows the system," said Lamb, adding that Shumway demonstrates great potential. "He's athletically dynamite, and will contribute at the college level immediately."
Both are expected to provide the Cougars offense with an explosive attack.
Upcoming BYU lacrosse matches
Sept. 30 — at the University of Colorado
Oct. 1 — at Colorado State University
Oct. 14 — BYU Alumni game, 1 p.m.
Oct. 15 — BYU Alumni game and breakfast, 9 a.m.
Oct. 21-22 — Best of the West tournament, Las Vegas