Lacrosse Coach Named
Rachel Benzing was hired as the head coach of Missouri Western's newest sport, women's lacrosse. Benzing brings experience in the region as a student-athlete and coach in addition to experience starting Division II women's lacrosse programs in the midwest region.
Benzing comes to MWSU after helping usher in women's lacrosse programs at Lynn University and Maryville University. She spent two years at Maryville before moving on to help build the program at Lynn. After two seasons as a lacrosse student athlete at University of Maryland Baltimore County, Benzing finished her playing career at Lindenwood University where she was a two-time All-American.
In 2014, Benzing led Division I UMBC in assists and ranked fifth in the America East in assists per game. Benzing holds the Lindenwood career record for assists per game after helping the Lions to two NCAA Division II national semi-final appearances. In 2017, Benzing was named the RMAC Offensive Player of the Year, first team All-Region and first team All-American. Benzing was a two-time first team All-RMAC selection and also earned second team All-Region and third team All-American honors in 2016.
Benzing also served as head coach of the St. Louis Samurai and St. Louis Lacrosse Club from 2017-19. She received a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and a minor in nutrition from Lindenwood in 2017.
After home games Jan. 4 and 6, and away games Jan. 9 and 11, Griffon men are sitting at 7-10 overall and 3-3 in the MIAA Conference. They beat Rogers State University (Oklahoma) 79-67, and Northeastern State (Oklahoma) 76-71 in an overtime win. Losses were with Washburn 86-76 and Emporia State 81-68.
Next up is an away game in Maryville against Northwest Missouri State Jan. 18. Men play at 3:30 p.m. They return home for games at 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 23 against Fort Hays State and 3:30 p.m. Jan. 25 against University of Nebraska-Kearney.
Women's basketball continued its winning ways with three out of four victories in their last four games Jan. 4, 6, 9 and 11. The Griffons' record is 12-3 overall and 4-2 in the MIAA Conference. They beat Rogers State (Oklahoma) 76-61 on Jan. 4, Northeastern State (Oklahoma) 86-63 and Washburn in Topeka, Kansas 58-47. Their only loss the past two weeks was to Emporia State Jan. 11, 74-70.
Next up is Northwest Missouri State at 1:30 Jan. 18 in Maryville. They return home for two -- 5:30 p.m. Jan. 23 against Fort Hays State and 1:30 p.m. Jan. 25 against University of Nebraska-Kearney.
Women's Soccer Recognized for Sportsmanship
For the sixth consecutive year, the women's Griffon soccer program received a Team Ethics and Sportsmanship Award from the United Soccer Coaches Association. The Griffons received the silver award for exhibiting fair play, sporting behavior and obedience to laws of the game.
The Team Ethics and Sportsmanship Award is given to United Soccer Coaches members at four levels. Teams honored at the platinum level went an entire season without a player or coach receiving a yellow card or red card. Teams honored at the gold, silver and bronze levels are based on a percentage calculated by the total number of cards received by players and coaches divided by the team's total number of games played. One hundred forty-three teams were recognized through this set of awards for their efforts.
The Griffons received only three yellow cards throughout the span of the 2019 season. Missouri Western also had zero red cards throughout their campaign.
During the season, Griffon soccer also received the United Soccer Coaches Academic Award for the sixth consecutive season.