By Caleb Scott
ADA — It took just three years for the Ohio Northern men's lacrosse team to be recognized with the Ohio Athletic Conference's elite programs, earning a regular season OAC title during the 2018 campaign under 3rd-year head coach Nat St. Laurent.
The Polar Bears had a historic year that featured numerous broken records and an OAC regular season title after going 14-3 overall and posting a 7-1 record in the conference.
A school-record nine Ohio Northern players were named All-Ohio Athletic Conference in men's lacrosse for 2018.
Juniors Anthony Pavone (Chagrin Falls/Kenston), Jackson Pfister (Upper Arlington) and Alex Pizarro (Boonsboro, Md.) and sophomores Logan Krogman (Aurora, Ill./Waubonsie Valley), Cameron Marous (Brecksville) and Shane Olsen (White Bear Lake, Minn.) were all named Second team All-Conference.
Sophomore Javon Smith (Baltimore, Md./Dulaney) was named to the Honorable Mention team.
The Ohio Northern coaching staff was also named the OAC Coaching Staff of the Year.
Fox and Groves are the first Polar Bears to earn First team All-OAC honors in the program's three-year history.
Fox, a defender, is now a three-time All-Conference honoree after being named Second Team All-OAC in 2016 and 2017.
He is ONU's all-time career leader with 99 caused turnovers and ranks third all-time with 106 career ground balls.
Groves is a short stick defensive midfielder and scored eight goals with 33 ground balls this season.
He ranks fifth all-time at ONU with 30 career goals and ranks among the school's leaders in assists (15), points (45), shots (79) and ground balls (73) in his three seasons as a Polar Bear.
Pavone is a three-time Second Team All-OAC honoree as a midfielder.
This season, he scored 15 goals, had 16 assists and 31 points.
In his three seasons at ONU, Pavone ranks third all-time at ONU with 61 goals, 47 assists and 108 career points.
Pfister is a three-year starter on defense. This season, he finished with one assist, 24 caused turnovers and 28 ground balls.
He will enter his senior season ranked second all-time at ONU with 107 career ground balls and 58 caused turnovers.
Pizarro is a three-year starter in goal for the Polar Bears. This season, he set ONU records with 82 saves and 11 victories with 14 starts in the net.
He is ONU's all-time career leader with 232 saves, 22 victories and has played a school-record 1,915 minutes.
Krogman is a two-year starter as a long-stick midfielder and is ONU's career leader with 109 ground balls, including a school-record 62 ground balls as a freshman in 2017.
This season, Krogman was second on the team with 41 ground balls and added three goals on just four shots.
Marous is now a two-time Second Team All-OAC honoree as an attacker. He led the team in all three offensive categories this season. He was second in the OAC with 36 assists, was third in the league with 75 points and was ninth with 36 goals.
After two seasons at ONU, he is the school's all-time career leader with 60 assists and 135 points and is second with 75 career goals.
Olsen earned All-Conference accolades in his first season as a Polar Bear.
He was third on the team with 24 goals and was fifth with 28 points this season playing in the midfield.
Smith, a defender, led the Polar Bears with 42 ground balls and had one goal this season.
In his first two years at ONU, Smith ranks fifth all-time in school history with 75 ground balls and 30 caused turnovers.
The program also set a new record with 10 players being named Academic All-OAC for the 2018 season.
Juniors Andrew Laudico (Williamsville, N.Y./South) and Matthew Laudico (Williamsville, N.Y./South), Andrew Markell (Missouri City, Tex./Ridge Point), Noah St. Croix (Rochester, N.Y./Irondequoit), Fox and Pfister and sophomores Kevin Giles (Williamsburg, Va./Warhill), John Mullin (Syracuse, N.Y./Christian Brothers Academy), Krogman and Marous all received the honor.
Fox and Groves, both First Team All-OAC selections, also became the first two ONU men's lacrosse athletes to garner Intercollegiate Men's Lacrosse Coaches Association All-West Region honors in the program's 3-year history.
ONU kicked off its season with a 3-game home stand and a perfect 3-0 record, including a hard-fought 10-9 overtime victory over Kenyon.
After dropping its first contest of the season 11-8 at McDaniel (Md.), Northern ripped off nine straight victories; its longest winning streak in program history.
A battle between a pair of the OAC's top two teams, Northern fell to John Carroll 9-7 before coming away with back-to-back victories over Otterbein and Capital by a margin of just three goals to claim a share of the OAC Regular Season title and the No. 2 seed in the OAC Tournament.
Northern's season would come to an end in the semifinal round of the conference tournament as it fell to Baldwin Wallace 8-6.