COLUMBIA-The University of Missouri men’s lacrosse team will be honoring its six graduating seniors before its game against Nebraska Sunday at Stankowski Field.
The six seniors have combined for nearly 300 games played in a Tiger uniform and will be the largest graduating class since 2009.
The graduating seniors are the following:
#17 Grant Pieper (Plano, TX, Plano Senior)- A two-time captain for the program, Pieper has been an instrumental part of the Tigers offense since joining the program in August 2012. After playing midfield his first two seasons, Pieper switched to attack during his junior year and has since been the point-man of the Missouri offense. Currently, he leads the team in points and assists, the second season in a row to achieve this feat. On April 16, with his goal against Iowa State, he became the sixth Tiger in school history to reach 100 points in a career. A two-time GRLC all-conference selection, Pieper will finish his career tied as the leader for most games played in a Missouri uniform.
#6 Austin Savage (Naperville, IL, Neuqua Valley)-A second two-time captain, Savage came to Mizzou after spending his freshman year at Onondaga Community College in New York. Since coming to Columbia, Savage has been a starter for the program and has been the leader of one of the strongest defensive units in the GRLC. A 2013 GRLC honorable-mention pick, Savage is putting together his best season as a senior, raking up 34 ground balls while guarding the opponent’s best attackman.
#26 Phil Bergman (Media, PA, Strath Haven)-A three-year starter for the program, Bergman has been instrumental to Mizzou at the face-off x as the team’s primary face-off specialist. A 2015 GRLC first-team selection and 2014 third-team selection, Bergman has consistently ranked as one of the MCLA’s best face-off specialists and will be leaving Missouri as the program’s all-time record leader in every major statistical category including face-off wins, win percentage and ground balls in a game, season and career. This season Bergman is 206 for 287 and leads the GRLC with 87 ground balls. Bergman is only 21 wins shy of becoming one of the first face-off specialists in GRLC history to reach 600 career wins and will finish his career tied for the most games played in a Tiger jersey.
#19 Jason Thetford (Parkville, MO, Park Hill South)-A two-year starter for Missouri, Thetford has been the team’s primary long stick midfielder for the Tigers defense. As one of the leaders of the program, Thetford has been instrumental to the team in all aspects of the game. A key member of the Tigers 2013 team, Thetford took a year off from the program before rejoining in 2015. Since his return, Thetford has been dominant on the field, usually tasked with guarding the opponent’s best midfielder. This season Thetford is putting up his best numbers in a Tigers uniform with 32 ground balls and will finish up his career as one of the best LSM’s in program history. With 52 games played, Thetford will finish up his career ranked third one the program’s all-time list for games played.
#27 Drew Roither (Wildwood, MO, Lafayette)-A three-year starter, Roither has been one of the Tigers biggest offensive assets since joining the program during his sophomore season. The St. Louis native has been instrumental on both the midfield and man-up units and has helped turned around a Tiger offense that struggled over previous seasons. Roither is having his most-productive season in 2016, leading the Tigers in goals with 18 and is tied for second on the team in points with 27. Against Iowa, Rother collected his 60th career point and is on track to hit double-digits in goals and assists for the first time in his collegiate career.
#40 Matt Yacovino (St. Louis, Desmet Jesuit)- A three-year starter, Yacovino joined the Missouri lacrosse program as a sophomore after previously playing NCAA Division III and II lacrosse at Nazareth and Lindenwood. Since joining the Tigers, Yacovino has been a key cog in the Missouri defense while being one of the top leaders for the program. For the past two seasons, Yacovino has been in charge of covering some of the best defenders in the MCLA and has held up to the task, shutting down his opponents week in and week out. Yacovino is having his best season statistically this year, piling up an incredible 56 ground balls, the most for any defender in the GRLC and fifth-most among all conference players.