Jan. 27, 2016
CENTER VALLEY, Pa. – For a third year straight and since joining the Patriot League, Loyola Maryland was chosen as the preseason favorite in the Patriot League Men’s Lacrosse preseason poll announced on Wednesday. Individual preseason honors and a preseason All-Patriot League team were also announced.
The preseason poll and individual awards were voted on by the men’s lacrosse coaches and sports information directors from each institution, with restrictions of voting for their own team and student-athletes.
Beginning the year once again as the top dog, literally, the Greyhounds totaled 123 points and 12 first-place votes, finishing ahead of last year’s regular season champion – Navy – and last year’s tournament champion – Colgate. Finishing second in the poll, the Mids earned five first-place votes and 108 points to edge out the Raiders, who collected the remaining first-place vote and totaled 105 points. Army West point came in at number four in the poll with 85 points and were followed by Bucknell (70), Boston University (58), Lehigh (54), Holy Cross (29), and Lafayette (17).
Loyola senior attacker Zach Herreweyers, a 2015 first team All-Patriot League selection, was unanimously named Patriot League Preseason Offensive Player of the Year. On the other end of the field, Navy junior defender Chris Fennell, the 2015 Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year, is expected to continue where he left off last season and repeat that honor, as he was dubbed the Patriot League Preseason Defensive Player of the Year.
Both players highlighted the Preseason All-Patriot League Team, which also included Army West Point junior Cole Johnson and Holy Cross senior Sean Wilkinson at attack; Loyola junior Brian Sherlock, Boston University junior Cal Dearth and Colgate senior Cameron Williams in the midfield; Army West Point senior Austin Schultz and Lehigh senior Casey Eidenshink on defense; Boston University junior Sam Talkow as the face-off specialist; Bucknell senior Alex Spring as the defensive midfield specialist and Colgate junior Brandon Burke at goalkeeper.
Aside from Herreweyers and Fennell, four preseason selections also earned first team All-Patriot League status last year – Sherlock, Dearth, Schultz, Spring – while the remaining six — Wilkinson, Johnson, Williams, Eidenshink, Talkow, Burke — were named to the second team in 2015.
Boston University, Bucknell, Lehigh, and Navy open the regular season on Saturday, Feb. 6, with the eight-game Patriot League campaign beginning just three weeks later on Saturday, Feb. 27. The Patriot League Tournament will feature the top six teams and begins with the quarterfinals on April 26. Both semifinal contests on April 29 will air on CBS Sports Network as will the title game on May 1.
Patriot League Teams at a Glance in 2015 (Overall Record, Patriot League Record)
Loyola (7-8, 5-3) opened the League season with a 13-12 loss to Holy Cross and suffered its first defeat in Patriot League play since joining the League. The Greyhounds won its next three League games but stumbled against a tough Colgate squad midway through the slate. They collected their final two wins against League opponents before closing out the schedule with an overtime loss to Bucknell, 10-9. Loyola earned the No. 4 seed in the Patriot League Tournament but lost to Army by one point, 12-11, and took an early leave. Herreweyers and Sherlock, last year’s top scorers for the Greyhounds and 2015 All-Patriot League first-team selections, return to help lead to team back to the championship game.
Navy (9-5, 6-2) was 3-3 in its first six contests but went on a four-game winning streak which included a 7-6 win over Colgate. The Mids dropped one final League contest to Maryland-neighbor Loyola, and ended with a 10-7 win over academy rival Army West Point. Earning the No. 1 seed into the tournament and the regular season crown, Navy welcomed Army for the semifinal nightcap. The Black Knights got the best of the Mids this time and advanced to the championship game after an 11-7 victory. Faceoff specialist Brady Dove returns as does goalkeeper John Connors.
Colgate (10-6, 6-2) made its run to the Patriot League Championship title as the No. 2 seed, knocking off No. 3 Bucknell, 18-5, in the semifinals and then No. 5 Army West Point, 11-8, in the championship game. The Raiders then fell to North Carolina in the first round of the NCAA Men’s Lacrosse tournament, 19-12. Despite the graduation of 2015 first team All-League selection Ryan Walsh, Colgate returns Burke – preseason All-League goalie – and the 2015 Patriot League Rookie of the Year Anthony Abbadessa.
Army (10-7, 4-4) made its way into the Patriot League tournament seeded-fifth and made an impressive run at the crown. The Black Knights first knocked off preseason favorite Loyola Maryland, 12-11, in the quarterfinals in Baltimore and then defeated No. 1 seed Navy, 11-7, in the semifinals to meet Colgate in the championship game. The Raiders proved to be too much for Army to complete its run and fell to the champions, 11-8. The Black Knights lose 2015 Patriot League Goalkeeper of the Year, Sam Somers, but gained the top goalie recruit in the nation, according to Inside Lacrosse, in freshman A.J. Barretto.
Bucknell (9-6, 5-3) finished third in the regular season standings and defeated No. 6 Lehigh 13-8 in the quarterfinals of the Patriot League Tournament. The Bison were stopped, however, by the eventual champion Colgate in the semifinals. Bucknell will see the return of Sean Doyle – the League’s leader in game-winning goals – and Alex Spring.
Boston University (6-7, 3-5) captured an 18-11 win over Colgate – the eventual Patriot League Tournament Champion — during the regular season. The Terriers won two more contests against Lafayette and Bucknell to finish with a 3-5 record against League opponents. Boston U. returns a core group of juniors in Christian Carson-Banister (GK), Sam Talkow (M/FO), Cal Dearth (M), and Greg Wozniak (LSM).
Lehigh (7-9, 3-5) earned the tiebreak and the No. 6 seed into the Patriot League Tournament but fell to No. 3 Bucknell in the quarterfinals, 13-8. The Mountain Hawks will be without 2015 Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year Dan Taylor and will look to senior captains Casey Eidenshink, Reid Weber, and Tripp Telesco.
Holy Cross (6-7, 3-5) will continue to build its program under second-year head coach Judd Lattimore. The Crusaders opened up the League season last year with a second-half comeback win over preseason favorite Loyola Maryland, 13-12, and return Sean Wilkinson to help lead the team.
Lafayette (4-10, 1-7) hit a rough patch and went 0-8 only to end the winning-drought with a victory of Monmouth. The Leopards then captured their first, and only, League win of the season with an 11-7 triumph over Holy Cross.
2016 Patriot League Men’s Lacrosse Preseason Poll
1. Loyola Maryland, 122 points (12 first-place votes)
2. Navy, 108 (5)
3. Colgate, 105 (1)
4. Army, 85
5. Bucknell, 70
6. Boston University, 58
7. Lehigh, 54
8. Holy Cross, 29
9. Lafayette, 17
Offensive Player of the Year: Zach Herreweyers, Loyola Maryland, (Sr., A)
Defensive Player of the Year: Chris Fennell, Navy (Jr., D)
Men’s Lacrosse Preseason All-League Team
Attack: Zach Herreweyers, Loyola Maryland (Sr.)
Attack: Cole Johnson, Army West Point (Jr.)
Attack: Sean Wilkinson, Holy Cross (Sr.)
Midfield: Brian Sherlock, Loyola Maryland (Jr.)
Midfield: Cal Dearth, Boston University (Jr.)
Midfield: Cameron Williams, Colgate (Sr.)
Defense: Chris Fennell, Navy (Jr.)
Defense: Austin Schultz, Army West Point (Sr.)
Defense: Casey Eidenshink, Lehigh (Sr.)
Faceoff Specialist: Sam Talkow, Boston University (Jr.)
Defensive Midfield Specialist: Alex Spring, Bucknell (Sr.)
Goalkeeper: Brandon Burke, Colgate (Jr.)