The Bears defense is one of their returning strengths anchored by sophomore goalie Trey Johnson who started 13 games last season sporting a 9-5 record. He led the conference with an 8.10 goals against average and allowed a NEWMAC low 108 goals. His goals against average was also 32nd in the country.
In front of Johnson sits an aggressive, hungry defense led by second team All-NEWMAC returners sophomores Tom Bleifuss and Connor Ellis who led a defense that was ninth in the country in caused turnovers per game (12.44). The two players combined for 72 caused turnovers with Ellis leading the conference with 42 and Bleifuss sixth with 26. Ellis was also 15th in the country with a 2.28 caused turnovers per game average.
One player making the switch to attack to help facilitate this needed surge in assists is sophomore Benner Geurtsen who had nine goals, six assists and 15 points last season. LaForte believes his addition to the attack will make more players viable scoring options.
Sophomore second team All-NEWMAC returner Jack Pope (22 goals, 28 points) and classmate Anthony Wyler (18 goals, nine assists and 27 points) are the Bears top returning scoring options from last season and will continue to be dangerous around the goals. Sophomore Ian Logan (17 goals, 10 assists and 27 points) also is a threat to score in bunches as he tallied three hat tricks last season and also racked up four points against New England College. Junior Matt Huemme will also be healthy this season as he tallied eight goals before injuring his wrist against Regis early in the season.