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USU Preseason Preview

As the college season begins, we’re looking at how things have come together for each college team in the state. Today we’ll be highlighting the Utah State University Aggies.
Over the years, the Aggies have been back and forth between the Men’s Collegiate Lacrosse Association (MCLA) Division-I and Division-II. Last season was a big success for USU, who posted a 12-5 overall record, won the D-II Rocky Mountain Lacrosse Conference (RMLC) championship, and secured a spot in the national championship tournament — eventually falling to No. 2 St. Thomas.
Big changes come for Utah State this season with a new head coach, last season’s best midfielder Kevin Mann has graduated and is taking over the reigns, and the Aggies are once again moving up to the highly-competitive MCLA D-I. With this new challenge in front of them, USU will look to junior captain attackman Mike Christiansen to quarterback the offense and senior returning starters Zac Payne and Chris Mayor at midfield to lead the way on both sides of the ball. The Aggies also return two senior defenders in Mark Rossa and Tanner Cortez who will make life difficult for opposing offenses. This senior leadership combined with lots of young talent (almost half the Aggie roster is made up of freshmen) has USU hoping for a smooth transition into D-I where they can be immediately competitive.
“We want to prove to the MCLA that we belong in D-I and can compete at the highest level of MCLA lacrosse,” said460px-Utah_State_Aggies_Logo.svg Coach Mann. The goal for the Aggies this season is to establish a winning record and win enough conference games to qualify for the RMLC D-I conference tournament. This may be easier said than done as the RMLC is possibly the toughest conference in the country, boasting three teams ranked in the MCLA’s top-10 in the nation. Despite the odds, the Aggies will also have a chance to pick up some wins out of conference as they travel to Boise, Vegas/L.A., and Montana.
Coach Mann thinks the key to success may be picking up wins early and building on the confidence that gives the team: “Its critical that we come up with some wins during February. We need to start the season right with some wins against good teams and help our guys see the potential they have as a team and carry that momentum into the rest of the season.”
USU will have a chance to snag some momentum and early-season success when they travel to Boise on February 26 to take on MCLA D-I mainstays Boise State and the University of Washington to open their non-conference schedule.
“Its been a great experience so far leading this group of young men. I’ve learned a lot from them and I know they have learned a lot from us (the coaching staff). We’re excited to see what happens this season and are grateful for the support we’ve received from all our players, friends, family, and fans. Thank you.”

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