The Oklahoma State lacrosse team faces a tough challenge to compete for a conference title in 2017, but they have a fresh roster to do it.
The Oklahoma State Lacrosse program is entering its first season under new president Brady Friend. Last season, the Pokes finished third in the Lone Star Alliance, losing to the Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin Cajuns in the semifinals of the LSA Tournament. Moreover, first-year head coach Dustin Bunch looks to lead the program in a new direction, hoping to jump-start the program to win their second conference championship in the last three seasons.
OK State was picked to finish third in the conference in 2017, behind only UT Dallas and ULL. The Baylor Bears came in fourth in Division II. BU dropped down from Division I to better appropriate themselves with a good level of competition in the LSA. You can view the entire 2017 LSA Preseason Poll here.
Let’s take a look at the key players returning for the Pokes in 2017.
Drew Hogan, Midfield
It will be Drew Hogan’s third season with the Cowboys. Hogan received First Team All-Conference honors last season after racking up 29 goals and 22 assists. He led the Pokes in scoring last season.
Hogan has the chance to lead the Pokes in scoring once again in 2017. Inside Lacrosse named Hogan a player to watch in LSA Division II in 2017. You can view the entire 2017 Inside Lacrosse LSA Preview here.
Andrew Braden, Attack
Junior attackmen Andrew Braden led the Pokes in scoring last season with 53 points. He and Hogan sparked the Pokes offense last season and will be relied upon to do the same in 2017.
Braden was an All-Conference attackmen for the second consecutive season in 2016. He totaled 66 goals and 38 assists over his last two seasons in Stillwater.
Brad Bentley, Midfield
Junior midfielder Brad Bentley is a major x-factor for the Pokes in 2017. He is one of the few returning midfielders who has been with the two since 2015. Bentley registered 17 points, 16 of those points coming from goals, in just 12 games.
Altogether, Bentley has 38 goals over the last two seasons. He’s likely to be a major contributor to the Cowboy offense in 2017.
OK State has a nine game regular season schedule on tap for the 2017 campaign. They start the 2017 season against the Arkansas Razorbacks, in Fayetteville, AR, on Feb. 18 at 6 p.m.
The Cowboys have a 21 man roster, including 10 freshman by eligibility. There are a whole bunch of new faces to break in this season, but some new talent flowing into the program could do wonders for the Pokes. At this point, they are underdogs to win the LSA Division II Conference Championship, but there is no doubt it can be done.