We caught up with former Menace players in NCAA Division I a couple days ago. Now, it’s time for updates on the team’s alumni in NAIA and NCAA Division-II ranks.
In 2009, former members of the Menace’s Premier Development League squad suited up for four teams at each level.
Lindsey Wilson College (13-2-1): The top seed in the NAIA National Championship, Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) hosts Lee (Tenn.) in Saturday’s opening-round action. The Blue Raiders won their 10th-straight Mid-South Conference Tournament championship, stomping University of the Cumberlands, 6-0, in the title game. Samuel Asante, one of the offensive leaders for the Menace’s 2009 Heartland Division champion team, earned academic all-conference honors. Asante has a goal and an assist in 14 appearances.
Auburn-Montgomery (13-4-2): The Senators’ season ended against Lindsey Wilson’s first-round opponent. A last-minute goal on Saturday gave Lee a 2-1 victory in the championship tilt of the Southern States Athletic Conference Tournament. For the second-straight year, Yuki Kariya was named to the all-conference first team. Kariya’s 12 points were the Senators’ second-highest total. Teammate Nik Chamberlain sat out this season with a knee injury.
Grand View (12-6-2): A Midwest Collegiate Conference first-team selection, Armin Mujdzic led the Vikings with 14 goals and seven assists (35 points). It was the final college season for Mujdzic, who played for Grand View from 2003-2005. A 2002 Urbandale High School grad, Mujdzic was a member of the Menace in 2002-2007 and 2009, when he led the team in goals.
Graceland (10-6-2): In his senior season, Stefan De Las was once again a defensive staple for the Yellowjackets, who opened their season with a 4-0 win at Western Illinois – the team that Drake faces tonight in the first round of the NCAA Division-I National Tournament.
NCAA Division II
Drury (21-2-0): The Panthers’ historic season came to an end on Sunday with a 1-0 loss to Lewis (Ill.) in the Sweet 16 of the national tournament. Drury (Mo.) outscored opponents 63-11 and set a long list of team records. The Great Lakes Valley Conference regular-season and tournament champs were ranked second in the final regular-season poll.
A couple junior defenders from the 2009 Menace were instrumental in Drury’s success. Ben Taylor, the Menace’s points leader last season, was named to the All-GLVC and All-Midwest Region first teams. He collected 19 points, on seven goals and five assists. Grant Bowden was named to the All-GLVC third team. The former Menace Academy Player of the Year from Waukee High School started all 23 matches and had three assists.
Bellarmine (11-6-1): Brad Barraclough was named to the All-GLVC second team and the NCAA Division-II All-Midwest Region second team. He was second on the Knights (Louisville) with 10 goals, and second in the conference in shots per game (4.14).
Metro State College of Denver (11-7-3): Pat Laughlin earned a spot on the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference’s first team. The senior defender, scored three goals, including a pair of game-winners, and picked up a couple assists. The Roadrunners were No. 23 in the final regular-season poll.
California University of Pennsylvania (12-7-0): Mike Luecke led the Vulcans with 32 points, on 13 goals and six assists. He finished second in points in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference and was named to the PSAC’s Western Division Team. With two goals in his final college game, he climbed to second-place on the school’s career lists for goals (52) and points (125). The only Vulcan with more goals in his career? Menace legend Tomas Boltnar, who tallied 62 goals and 180 points in college before starring for Des Moines from 2002-2008.