Lofty expectations

Mavericks set out to defend 2012 WILA title

Colorado Mesa University’s James Sharp, left, fires a shot as teammate Jeremy Best defends during a practice at Walker Field last week.


2013 COLORADO MESA Men’s lacrosse


Michael Biemford, soph. — Ohio State transfer. Two-time All-American at Cherry Creek High School.

Steven Brandenburg, fr. — Second-team All-Sunset League selection at Los Alamitos High School (Calif.). Brad Brandenburg’s brother.

Daniel Caddoo, soph. — Tied for most goals on the team with 18 during 2012. Had eight assists. Second on team with 26 points. Led the team with seven man-up goals.

Nick Cosgrove­, jr. — Played four games in 2012. Notched one ground ball.

Stephen Dunn, soph. — Had a goal and an assist for the Mavericks in 2012.

Mitch Flaherty, R-fr. — Redshirted 2012 season.

Ryan Jones, R-fr. — Redshirted 2012 season.

Austin Pridham, soph. — Third on the Mavericks with 14 goals. Notched four assists.

Kade Robinson, jr. — Scoring leader for Mavericks in 2012 with 18 goals and 11 assists. Led the team in points and shots. Preseason All-WILA selection.

John Russell, jr.­ — Seven goals and seven assists for Mavericks in 2012.

Ben Thompson, fr. — Recruited from Perth, Australia. Captained U19 Australia team at the World Lacrosse Championships.

Kendall Williams, fr. — First-team All-Centennial League selection at Cherry Creek High School, where he led team in points with 32 and was second with 20 goals.


Jeremy Best, jr. — All-WILA honorable mention as sophomore coming off the bench for the Mavericks. Had 17 ground balls with a goal and an assist. Preseason All-WILA.

Dange Wolfe, fr. — Led Tigard High School (Ore.) with 52 goals.

Dylan Duresky, fr. — Second-team All-Centennial League for Cherokee Trail High School.

Michael Giffen, jr. — Three goals and an assist during 11 games in 2012.

Seth Goddin, fr. — Honorable mention Three Rivers All-Conference at Lake Oswego High School (Ore.).

Matt Landon, soph. — Transferred from New York Institute Tech. Scored a goal in five games for the four-time Division II national champions.

Shane O’Neill, soph. — 32 ground balls and three goals for CMU in 13 games.

Griffin Perkiel, soph. — Six goals and three assists in 2012.

Wilber Ranieri, fr. — Played for Steamboat Springs when it won Mountain Lacrosse League title in 2012.

James Sharp, jr. — Seven goals and five assists during 2012 season.

Thomas Spain, soph. — Started seven games for Mavericks in 2012. Won 89 of 183 faceoffs.

Long stick midfielders

Zach Bullet, soph. — Preseason All-WILA. Second on team in 2012 with nine caused turnovers.

Alexander Zwinck, R-soph. — Medical redshirt. Did not play during 2012 season.

Eric McCosker, soph. — Had 14 ground balls over 12 games for Mavericks in 2012.

John Moore, R-soph. — Two ground balls and played four games in 2012.


Ryan Arnold, fr. — Finished senior season at Grand Junction High School with four goals and an assist under coach James States.

Chase Clark, soph. — Onandaga Community College transfer.

Reese Duin, fr. — Led Smoky Hill High School with 64 ground balls and 57 takeaways in 2012. Played on Team Colorado.

Stuart Foster, jr. — Played in 12 games during 2012. Finished with 13 grounds balls.

Johnny Nitti, jr. — Preseason All-WILA. Led Mavericks with 46 ground balls and 12 caused turnovers in 2012.

Giuliano Sanchez, jr. — Started 11 games in 2012. Had nine ground balls and caused two turnovers.

Jesse Stone, jr. — Played in 10 games in 2012. Notched six ground balls.


Brad Brandenburg, jr. — Finished 2012 with a 6-3 record. Had 5.17 goals-against average and faced 201 shots. Named a preseason All-WILA selection.

Zach Weaver, soph. — Backup goalie in 2012. Played in 11 games and notched 47 saves with goals-against average of 7.78.


Long stick midfielders




A mix of highly regarded freshmen and big-name transfers have been added to a young and already stacked lineup fresh off a Western Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association championship in 2012. The Colorado Mesa University men’s lacrosse team has good reason to be optimistic. 

The Mavericks placed five players on the preseason All-WILA team and narrowly beat out Dominican University (Calif.) in the preseason coaches poll to rate as the favorite to win the league this season.

CMU and Dominican finished 2012 tied atop the WILA standings, and the Mavericks won a goals-against tiebreaker to claim the title.

An NCAA rule change adding a 30-second shot clock will affect the rivalry games between the two squads.

“It’s a big rivalry for us,” coach A.J. Stevens said. “I feel like the new shot-clock rule will change how we play. It will be a high-scoring game against (Dominican), hopefully. They’ve been around for six years, while we’ve been around for three. I feel like we’re still growing, and we feel like we’re the better team.”

Michael Biemford, Dange Wolfe and Ben Thompson are key additions to the Mavericks this season. Biemford, a two-time All-American at Cherry Creek High School, transferred from Ohio State University and will lead the Mavericks’ offense.

“(Biemford) is a big transfer for us,” Stevens said. “He’s mature. He’s basically a quarterback for us. It was one of those situations where he wanted to be closer to home. He went to Columbus, and it wasn’t quite what he expected.”

Daniel Caddoo, who along with Kade Robinson led the Mavericks with 18 goals last season, said the addition of Biemford changed the offensive dynamics of the squad.

“Having a guy who has been through the (Division 1) stuff is great,” Caddoo said. “He’s not necessarily a vocal leader on the field, but he leads with his play on the field, especially on offense where I feel like we were lacking. He provides us another level, and he never takes a play off.”

Wolfe, who scored 52 goals at Tigard High School in Oregon, will help flesh out the CMU midfield and aid in the face-off circle.

Ben Thompson captained the U19 Australian national lacrosse team and will further bolster the Mavericks’ attack, Stevens said.

Caddoo echoed his coach, saying the offensive additions will help the Mavericks meet lofty expectations.

“I feel like last year we were a young team with mostly freshmen and sophomores, and at times it showed,” Caddoo said. “All the new additions have worked smoothly, though.

“The goal is definitely to repeat in the WILA and eventually make it to nationals.”

The Mavericks scrimmaged last week against the University of Colorado and Colorado State University, and open the season on Feb. 24 against Pace University (N.Y.) in Denver. The Mavs’ home opener is March 3 against Colorado College.


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