Last year, the Arizona Wildcats went 7-5 and missed the SLC tournament after advancing to the postseason three consecutive years. But the LaxCats return a large portion of last year’s roster — including leading scorer Foster Bundy and All-American goalie Tanner Knego — and enter 2016 ranked No. 11 in the Under Armour MCLA coaches poll.
Arizona head coach Derek Pedrick shared his thoughts on the 2016 Wildcats:
We are having a very solid preseason and are looking forward to our first game this Saturday [Feb. 6] vs. Utah Valley. Our players are working hard and competing day in and out, which is always great to see. We have a very tough schedule this spring, so it will certainly be a grind. We’re looking forward to the challenge and excited to play our first game.
Arizona Players to Watch
- Tanner Knego, senior, goalie (Tesoro HS): First-team All-American and first-team All-SLC last year. He is doing a great job saving the ball but also is stepping up on the leadership front and really taking the team on his back.
- Foster Bundy, senior, attack: An honorable-mention All-America and second-team All-SLC pick at attack last season (13 goals, 25 assists), he will make the move back to midfield this season. Doing a great job leading.
- Nolan Baker, senior, defender (St. John Bosco): Second-team All-SLC and third-team All-American. Continuing to do a good job of playing team defense and stepping up his leadership role.
- Jackson Pinney, senior, D/LSM: An honorable mention All-American last year, he is doing a great job playing both close defense, LSM and also taking faceoffs.
2016 will be a successful season if …
… we work hard every day and take care of the little things. If we do that and come together as a team like all championship teams do, then we will be in a good spot. So far we are on that path; now we just need to maintain throughout the season.
— Derek Pedrick, Arizona head coach
— Arizona Lacrosse (@ArizonaLaxcats) January 29, 2016
The Wildcats feature a number of players with SoCal connections on their roster:
Connor Weissman, freshman, attack, Mission Viejo
Brett Burkholder, senior, middle, Tesoro
Ryan Falbo, sophomore, middie Foothill
Tanner Knego, senior, goalie, Tesoro
Cory Kennedy, freshman, middie, Newport Harbor
Jack White, sophomore, LSM, Beckman
Barry Baker, freshman, defender, Northwood
San Diego County
Jordan Goldberg, junior, defender, Del Norte
Tom Marcus, sophomore, attack, Canyon Crest
Matthew Irvine, sophomore, FOGO, Francis Parker
Nolan Baker, senior, defender, St. John Bosco
Zach Rodgers, sophomore, middie, Oaks Christian
Cody Biggs, junior, goalie, Palos Verdes