LEXINGTON, Va. - With Duke crowned as the national champion on Memorial Day, the 2013 season officially came to a close Monday. And with the final game of the year played, the Virginia Military Institute men’s lacrosse team finished atop the statistical rankings in saves per game as a team.
The Keydets finished with the best saves per game on average in the country, stopping 15.23 opponent shots per game. VMI edged out Bellarmine for the stat crown, as the Knights averaged 15.14 per game. Michigan was third (15.07) while Rutgers (14.60) and Quinnipiac (14.36) rounded out the top five.
This season is the highest finishing ranking VMI has had in saves per game since head coach Brian Anken took over the reins for the 2011 season when the team finished sixth (12.69). Last season, VMI had the second-best saves per game average in the country at 13.43).
Not only did VMI finish in first as a team, but individually, senior Matt Lindemann finished third in the country in saves per game, stopping 14.77 opponent shots per outing. Michigan’s Gerald Logan was the individual champion (15.07) while Bellarmine’s Dillon Ward was second (14.86).
Lindemann finished the season with 192 saves in his 13 starts, which tied him for sixth in a single season with Ryan Olson’s mark in 1994. Over the course of his career, Lindemann stopped 335 shots, ranking him eighth in program history. Of those 335 saves, 292 were made in the last two seasons, a stretch when he averaged 14.6 saves in his 20 appearances.
Joining Lindemann near the top five of a given category was sophomore Tyler Prasnicki, who finished fifth in caused turnovers per game. The Rockbridge County native forced 2.36 opponent turnovers per outing, battling through an upper body injury during most of the season. The close defender caused 26 turnovers during his 11 games played, the most by a Keydet since 2005.This marks the third consecutive year that VMI has won at least one statistical category. In 2011, Anken’s first season, the team won the groundballs per game category (39.62) while Stephen Robarge was the groundballs per game (10.15) and faceoff win percentage (.670) champion. The next season, VMI had the best faceoff winning percentage in the country (.644) as Robarge again won the category (.666) along with the groundball title (9.07).