Dissapearing Act Earns Wagner LM's MD2 Preseason POY
|Mercyhurst's Andrew Wagner has been the best defender in the Division II ranks pretty much since he joined the Lakers, earning the USILA's Schmeisser Award in each of the last two seasons. (Kevin Tucker)|
BALTIMORE – Frustrating offensive players is what makes any good defenseman smile at the end of the day, but Mercyhurst's Andrew Wagner goes one better – he makes them disappear entirely.
Two times the Schmeisser Award winner as NCAA Men's Division II Defensive Player of the Year, Wagner is Lacrosse Magazine's Preseason Player of the Year entering his senior year, where he hopes to lead the Lakers to their second NCAA title in his tenure and first since his freshman year.
"Me and the whole class [of 2014 at Mercyhurst] have been through everything. We've won it our freshman year, and then last year we came up one goal short, which definitely was the worst feeling I've had in my whole life," Wagner told Lacrosse Magazine's Jac Coyne in the Player of the Year feature from our February issue.
"That's been the motivating factor all summer to the fall. I'm just trying to push my teammates as hard as possible knowing that I don't want to go out on that note again."
Wagner's numbers don't jump off the page. In his two Schmeisser-winning seasons in 2012 and 2013, he combined to collect 35 ground balls and force 23 turnovers.
But in covering opponents top guns, he is second to none, often forcing top-flight offenses to completely alter their game plans because their usual star is blanketed by No. 20, who has started all 49 games that the Lakers have played since his arrival from Iroquois (N.Y.) H.S.
Lacrosse Magazine will continue its 2014 college lacrosse preview throughout January and into February, with team-by-team breakdowns of the top teams in NCAA Division I, II and III men's and women's lacrosse, looks at our preseason players of the year and more. Follow the countdown at LaxMagazine.com/LMRanks and on twitter at #LMRanks. Join US Lacrosse today to receive the print edition of Lacrosse Magazine.
Andrew Wagner, Mercyhurst, Sr. D - 37%
Andrew Chadderdon, Le Moyne, Sr. M - 27%
Greg Puskuldjian, Adelphi, Sr. FO - 14%
Luke Miller, NYIT, Jr. A - 10%
Matt Delmonico, Seton Hill, Sr. A - 9%