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Fall Ball Notebook: New Faces, Captains, and Fall Schedule

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn.– The men’s lacrosse team at the University of Minnesota is now a month into fall ball practice as they make preparations for the spring season. This year, Coach Limpert has added two coaches to his staff, Chris Denu and Grant Mauch. In addition, the team has welcomed 14 new players. Last week, captains for the 2019 season were announced. This past weekend, the team played their first fall ball scrimmage.

New Faces on the Team:

Chris Denu and Grant Mauch have joined the coaching staff this year. Denu is a University of Minnesota alumnus and played as a midfielder during 2009-2013. He has also been an assistant varsity coach for Simley High School and a coach for the Minnesota Lacrosse Club Gopher Selects program since 2015 where his focus is working with the defense and goalies. Mauch is a Minnesota State–Mankato graduate and played as a midfielder at Minnesota State–Mankato with Coach Limpert.

A total of 14 newcomers have officially joined the team:

Captains Named:

Coach Limpert has named Amar Batra (C), Clay Diedrich (A), Malik Ekpenyong (A), and Mitch Grengs (A) captains for the 2019 season.

Batra has played and started in every game since his arrival. As a freshman, he was second on the team in goals with 38 while leading the team in assists with 39 and points with 77. Last year, as an assistant captain, he led the team offensively in goals (40) and assists (22) while playing through multiple injuries throughout the season. The junior attackman had a career-high 9 points against Central Michigan with 4 goals and 5 assists.

Diedrich was one of Minnesota's starting defensemen as a junior last season, collecting 21 groundballs and causing 19 turnovers. He ended the year being named a Third-Team All-CCLA defenseman. The second year captain has reverted back to midfield this year after making the change to defense midway through his freshman season.

Ekpenyong finished third on the team in scoring in 2018 with 21 goals. He had a career-high 4 goals in Minnesota's win over St. John's (MN) and scored 2 goals in 6 of the 14 games he played in last season. The senior has been one of Minnesota's top two-way midfielders while playing with the first midfield unit.

A Third-Team All-American and First-Team All-CCLA defenseman in 2018, Grengs led the team last year with 47 caused turnovers while also collecting 53 groundballs. He had a career high 7 groundballs against Davenport and forced a career-high 7 turnovers against Oklahoma. Grengs also scored a goal in each game against Minn-Duluth, Missouri, and Central Michigan.

Fall Schedule:

Last weekend the team traveled up to Duluth where they were able to get their first taste of competition against another team, Minn–Duluth. Kamal Baker led the team in scoring with 5 goals as they defeated the Bulldogs in their first fall ball scrimmage of the season. Mitch Grengs continued where he left off last spring as he continued to have a dominating presence on the field. Aaron Peterson played the entire scrimmage in net for Minnesota.

This Friday, Minnesota will play host to St. Johns at Cretin Derham Hall. Senior goaltender Max Chlan will be getting the start in net. The scrimmage is set to start at 7:00 PM.

The remainder of the fall ball schedule will feature scrimmages against St. Thomas and North Dakota State.

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