NCAA Team Reviews: Bellarmine Knights

Photo credit to John Sommers II & Bellarmine Athletics
Photo credit to John Sommers II & Bellarmine Athletics

For the better part of four months, many of us watched some exciting college lacrosse, whether it was on TV, online, or in person. There were good games, which included all of Championship Weekend, and there were bad games, such as low scoring affairs and of course, the horrendous winter weather. I take a look back at all 69 Division I teams and how they fared this season and what to look forward to in 2016.

Check out previous recaps: NJIT Highlanders, UMass Lowell River Hawks, VMI Keydets, Manhattan Jaspers, Canisius Golden Griffins, Robert Morris Colonials, St. John’s Red Storm, Wagner Seahawks, Binghamton Bearcats


2014 Record 7-5
2014 Conference Record 0-4 (Last in ECAC)
2014 Scoring Offense 9.42 Goals Per Game (42nd in DI)
2014 Scoring Defense 8.58 Goals Against Per Game (13th in DI)
2014 Goals Leader #2 Tucker Ciessau – Freshman (24 Gs)
2014 Assists Leader #9 Chad Mitchell – Senior (14 As)
2014 Points Leader #2 Tucker Ciessau – Freshman (31 Pts)
2014 Goaltending Leader #7 Will Haas – Senior (.536 SV %)
2014 Face-Off Leader #38 Stephen Soriano – Senior (.413 FO %)
2014 Ground Balls Leader #21 Bobby Schmitt – Junior (36 GBs)
2014 Caused Turnovers Leader #21 Bobby Schmitt – Junior (19 CTs)
2014 Quality Wins Marquette (10-7), High Point (10-9 OT)
2014 Bad Losses Michigan (11-10 OT), Ohio State (10-7)


2015 Record 4-8
2015 Conference Record 2-4 (5th in SoCon)
2015 Scoring Offense 9.92 Goals Per Game (33rd in DI)
2015 Scoring Defense 9.67 Goals Against Per Game (23rd in DI)
2015 Goals Leader #51 Austin Shanks – Sophomore (31 Gs)
2015 Assists Leader #51 Austin Shanks – Sophomore (13 As)
2015 Points Leader #51 Austin Shanks – Sophomore (44 Pts)
2015 Goaltending Leader #44 Drew Goethals – Freshman (.538 SV %)
2015 Face-Off Leader #10 Connor Harryman – Freshman (.506 FO %)
2015 Ground Balls Leader #10 Connor Harryman – Freshman (45 GBs)
2015 Caused Turnovers Leader #25 Colin Hart – Senior (19 CTs)
2015 Quality Wins Marquette (9-3), Jacksonville (17-9)
2015 Bad Losses Furman (9-7), High Point (10-9)



Bellarmine transitioned from the dissolved ECAC, where they didn’t win a single league game against teams such as Ohio State, Michigan, Fairfield, and Air Force, to the Southern Conference, where they were pinned as a favorite along with High Point. High preseason expectations turned out to be a dud of a season, just missing out on the SoCon Tournament with a last minute goal by High Point to end the season for the Knights. The Knights were a young team, and were even younger with an early season loss of Bobby Schmitt to an ACL injury. Not sure if he has filed for a medical redshirt to regain a year of eligibility, but the lost of Schmitt affected Bellarmine’s defense significantly, giving up about over a goal more than they did last season.

The season began on the road for two games, with a loss against Michigan and a win against Robert Morris. The Knights hosted the Midwest Classic Lacrosse Weekend with games against Ohio State and Detroit in three days, coming up short against a shaky Ohio State team and Detroit, before falling to a subpar Furman team in their SoCon opener. They would alternate between wins and losses for their next six games, including a 9-3 upset win over then-13th ranked Marquette. In conference play during that stretch, they defeated VMI and Jacksonville, but lost to Mercer by two and a tough Richmond team by five, which set up a regular season finale must win on the road against High Point, with a win putting the Knights in the SoCon Tournament. The Knights either led or were tied with the Panthers for 59:20 in the game, before Michael Leclair broke the tie with 40 seconds remaining in the game, breaking the hearts of the Knights, similar to that of our previous recap, Binghamton.

There’s a lot of promise for the Knights next season, if Schmitt is able to return for a final season via a possible medical redshirt and if no transfers occur. 12 seniors, including Schmitt, are expected to graduate. There is also some word that leading scorer Austin Shanks may transfer elsewhere for the remaining two years of his college career. If that happens, the team still has Tucker Ciessau and Jack Perkins for two more years of their own.


Ryan Coukoulis Midfield Desert Vista (AZ)
Paul Silverblatt Midfield McCallie School (TN)
Jackson Lienhart Attack Trinity (KY)
Nick Durtschi Midfield Olentangy Liberty (OH)
Cole Wolfson Attack Cathedral Catholic (CA)
Trent Maendler Defense/LSM Hudson (OH)
Joseph Krambeer Defense/LSM Westfield (IN)
Stephen Votto Attack Desert Vista (AZ)
Josh Wehn LSM Cathedral Catholic (CA)
Ian Miller Attack Blue Ridge School (VA)

As one of the few DI colleges considered to be a western school, Bellarmine is easier for recruits in non-traditional states such as Tennessee to be recruited. The Knights bring in pairs of kids from Cathedral Catholic in California and Desert Vista in Arizona next season, as well as from Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio, and Indiana. It’s not the best talent in the nation, but Bellarmine looks to get the best out of everybody in this ten recruit class, even if they have some big losses to fill in 2016.