Minnesota-Duluth Names Captains for 2012

The University of Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs have named their captains for the 2012 lacrosse season: seniors Drake Peterson, Matt Madden, Mike Becken, and Joey Slattery.

"I am very impressed with the leadership this group of captains has put forth. The four of them make up one of the strongest group of captains I have seen in my years with this program. They exemplify the work ethic that is the heart of what we do as a team," said Bulldogs assistant head coach Sam Litman.

When asked about the upcoming season and the competition they are going to face, each captain is highly enthusiastic about the team's capabilities, even with the grueling schedule ahead.

Peterson, an Ohio native, has been with the Bulldogs for three years. He says, "Our team is extremely experienced. Our greatest strength is our teams' overall athleticism and speed."

Peterson also emphasized the players' abilities to play different roles on the team and do so "at a very fast pace."

For Madden, it's his fourth year on the team. Playing Midfield, he feels the teams' strength lies with the goalie and the overall defense. "Our attack unit is very strong, which helps a lot," Madden said.

Returning All-American defenseman Becken, who has been with the Bulldogs for four years, also believes in the team's strong defense: "Along with the seniors, we have a very talented young group of guys that compliment the senior class well."

As of current preseason rankings, the Bulldogs play seven of the top twenty teams. According to the Bulldogs schedule, they play six of those games within a 15-day time span. Currently, the Bulldogs are ranked #15 in the nation by Lacrosse Magazine.

In order to keep a strong defense, the team needs to take extra strides to stay healthy this season.

"I believe our biggest challenge this season is our schedule. We have to make sure we stay healthy, and continue to work extra hard on and off the field," said Becken.

"We probably have one of the toughest schedules in the whole country," agrees Slattery, who has played for the Bulldogs for three years. He is a returning two-time All-American goaltender who also has high expectations for his team.

"With our strong defense, we should be able to hold the top teams to very few goals, hopefully," said Slattery.

Each of the Bulldogs' captains finds it a privilege and honor to be named leaders for their team.

'Especially when we've been chosen by our teammates," said Slattery.

Litman said,"I've enjoyed watching all of these players grow over the past years, and it is exciting to see how far they have come. Most of all, I can't wait to see where they can lead this team."

Head coach Clark added, "these guys have great intangibles and that has been recognized by their teammates and our staff. They set great examples for their teammates both on and off the field."

The Bulldogs open their regular season on February 18th against Marquette University at Vandais Sports Center. On February 19th, they face off against Iowa State University.


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