Athletics recap

Freshman Anna Davis, who scored UWL’s first lacrosse goal ever, also led the team in goals, shots and shots on goal during the COVID-19 shortened season. Jim Lund photo.

Seasons canceled, new football coach, lacrosse and more

National Collegiate Athletic Association President Mark Emmert and the Board of Governors canceled winter and spring NCAA Division I, II and III championships on March 12. The decision was based on the evolving COVID-19 pandemic.

UWL Eagles Guard Sean Suchomel, a junior from Sun Prairie, drives against UW-Eau Claire defenders at Mitchell Hall Feb. 22. The Eagles won 64-54. Jim Lund photo.

The UWL women’s and men’s track & field squads and wrestling team were set to compete at the NCAA III Championships March 13-14 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

The Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) announced March 16 it has canceled all spring sports. At UWL, that includes baseball, softball, women’s lacrosse, outdoor track & field, golf and tennis.

Janus named head football coach

UWL’s 14th head football coach is Matt Janus. A native of Lake Zurich, Illinois, Janus had served as the Eagles’ interim head coach since Dec. 12. He completed his third year as UWL’s defensive coordinator in 2019. The Eagles finished in the top-four in eight defensive categories in 2019, including second in turnover margin (+8), opponents’ third-down conversions (34.0%) and red-zone defense (65.0%).

Matt Janus was named the Eagles’ head football coach on Feb. 5.

Last year’s team was third in the league in rushing defense (107.7 yards per game) and quarterback sacks (40), while finishing fourth in scoring defense (22.1 points per game), total defense (365.3 yards) and passing defense efficiency (113.9).

A total of 15 All-WIAC honors were earned under Janus’ three seasons as UWL’s defensive coordinator, including five first-team choices.

Janus was an assistant coach at UW-Platteville from 2014-16, serving as co-defensive coordinator for the 2016 season. He was also UW-P’s Athletics Department Recruiting Coordinator for Iowa while serving as the Pioneers’ defensive line coach.

Prior to UW-P, Janus was the defensive coordinator at Sheboygan Falls (Wis.) High School from June 2011-June 2014. He was a graduate assistant coach at UW-P from May 2010-June 2011, working with the outside linebackers.

Janus earned a bachelor’s in social science and master’s in adult education from UW-P in 2010 and 2016, respectively. He earned three football letters with the Pioneers, serving as team captain in 2009.

Check out the 2020 football schedule.

Women’s lacrosse starts first varsity season

The women’s lacrosse team played six games before its inaugural season was canceled. The Eagles, 1-5 on the season, fell 18-1 at Carroll University (Wis.) in their first varsity game on Feb. 29. Freshman Anna Davis scored the Eagles’ first goal ever.

UWL played a pair of home games at Veterans Memorial Field Sports Complex, dropping 16-8 to Trine University (Ind.) and 11-9 to Augustana College (Ill.) before the season was called due to COVID-19.

Davis led the team in goals (13), shots (37) and shots on goal (30) while finishing tied for first in points (13) and second in ground balls (12). Sophomore Valerie Johnson tied for the lead in points (13) with Davis while placing second in goals (12), shots (30) and shots on goal (24). Freshman Kaylee Feller led in ground balls (17). Junior Ellen Coggio recorded a 14.33 goals against average with 47 saves.

Women’s lacrosse was added in 2018, becoming the 21st varsity sport, including the 12th for women at UWL. Cassandra Berger is the Eagles’ head coach; Megan Smith is the assistant coach.

Winter sport finishes

Wrestling 1st Canceled
Men’s Swimming & Diving 4th – – –
Women’s Swimming & Diving 1st – – –
Men’s Basketball 3rd – – –
Women’s Basketball Tied 2nd NCAA III First Round
Gymnastics 3rd * Canceled
Men’s Indoor Track & Field 1st Canceled
Women’s Indoor Track & Field 1st Canceled