BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – Riding a two-game win streak, the Illinois Wesleyan University men’s lacrosse team welcomes Whittier College to Tucci Stadium this Saturday, March 4, for a noon start.
IWU enters the contest 2-2 on the season, with wins at Benedictine University and at home against Milwaukee School of Engineering. The Titans most recently overpowered MSOE, 30-4, under the lights at Tucci, March 2. Meanwhile, Whittier is looking for its first win of the season. The Poets have been outscored by a combined tally of 59-32 in losses to Concordia Irvine, Randolph-Macon, and St. Mary’s (Md.) this season.
Saturday will mark the fifth all-time meeting between the two programs. Whittier took the initial bout 17-9 in 2014, but Illinois Wesleyan has won the last three contests by scores of 16-13, 24-9, and 18-17 in overtime last season.
IWU’s high-powered offense has returned to form over the past two games, with the Green and White outscoring opponents, 49-14, in this week alone. Senior Carson Kiichle (Vancouver, Wash.-Skyview) has a team-high 21 points with 10 goals and a team-best 11 assists, while junior Ike Eastburn (Colorado Springs, Ill.-Cheyenne Mountain) and senior Connor Kiichle (Vancouver, Wash.-Skyview) have tallied 15 and 14 points, respectively. Eastburn, who scored 12 goals a season ago as a member of the Whittier program, has a team-high 13 goals and two assists through four games this season. He ranks tied for second-nationally with five man-up goals. Connor Kiichle has used a balanced, seven-goal, seven-assist stat line to earn 14 points.
Carson Kiichle is the squad’s ground ball leader with 22, while sophomore Nick Schroeder (Waunakee, Wis.-Waunakee) has 20 on the season. With eight players having tallied 10+ ground balls, IWU is second nationally with 201 as of March 2, while its 50.25 per game are fifth-best. Schroeder has been a beast on faceoffs, going 34-for-46 at the X, after missing the first two games of the year.
Senior Blake Muschewske (Excelsior, Minn.-Holy Family Catholic) has a team-best seven caused turnovers, with junior Michael Campagna (Arlington Heights, Ill.-St. Viator) and sophomore Colin Tervo (West Linn, Ore.-West Linn) adding four apiece. As a team, Illinois Wesleyan has been credited with 15.75 caused turnovers a game, the ninth-most in all of Division III. The ruckus caused by the Titan defense has limited opponents to a clear percentage of just .651, good for 20th in the country.
Tervo has also stepped in as IWU’s starter in goal, where he is 2-1 on the season with 38 saves. He holds a save percentage of .535 and carries an 11.21 goals against average.
Links for the live stream and live stats of Saturday’s contest can be found on the men’s lacrosse schedule page of iwusports.com.