Jan. 23, 2013
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- Following a fourth-place tying Patriot League finish a year ago in his first season as Navy's head coach, Rick Sowell's Midshipmen have once again been picked to finish fifth in the Patriot League according to the 2013 Patriot League Preseason Poll announced Wednesday during the annual Patriot League Men's Lacrosse Media Conference Call. The cast of voters included the league's coaches and sports information directors.
The defending Patriot League champions, the Lehigh Mountain Hawks, secured nine of the 14 first-place votes (eligible for only 12 due to not being able to vote for your own team) to pace the standings, while second-place Colgate, who shared last spring's regular-season title with Lehigh, accounted for the remaining five first-place votes. Army was picked third with 48 points, followed by Bucknell in fourth with 43. Rounding out the poll were Navy in fifth (35 points), Holy Cross sixth (20) and Lafayette seventh (14).
The Mids have won at least a share of the regular-season Patriot League title in five of the nine seasons (2004-05-06-07-08) they have been a member of the conference, while they have compiled an 11-2 record in the Patriot League Tournament to earn five Patriot League Tournament titles (2004-05-06-07-09). Navy has amassed a 41-14 (.745) regular-season record in the Patriot League since 2004 in joining what is a seven-member lacrosse conference (Hobart left following the `04 campaign), and includes two undefeated seasons (2004, `07).
Navy returns five starters off a team that was one of the youngest in program history and finished the year 6-6, including posting a 3-3 mark in conference play. The Mids graduated seven seniors off last year's team, five of which were starters, including four-year starting goalkeeper RJ Wickham who was named the Patriot League Goalkeeper of the Year in 2012 after posting an 8.87 goals-against average and 57.0 save percentage.
Sowell will look to junior attackmen Tucker Hull (Charlotte, N.C.) and Sam Jones (Annapolis, Md.) to pick up where they left in each of the last two years as Navy's top scorers. A Preseason All-America selection in each of the last two seasons, Hull was named the Patriot League Rookie of the Year in 2011, scoring 20 (13-7) of his 38 points in conference action. Last year he received Second-Team All-Patriot League kudos after leading the team in scoring with 47 points on 23 goals and 24 assists. He finished the year ranked 13th nationally in points per game (3.92), 11th in assists (2.00) and 55th in goals per game (1.92). Jones, meanwhile, punched in 18 goals and dealt out 13 assists last spring to post 31 points as the team's second-leading scorer.
Junior long stick midfielder Pat Kiernan (Ridgewood, N.J.), a 2013 Preseason All-American and a 2013 Preseason All-Patriot League selection, will serve as the cornerstone of the Mids' defense this spring. Kiernan was a force to be reckoned with on both ends of the field a year ago, garnering Second-Team All-Patriot League recognition. Whether it was scoring, causing turnovers, picking up ground balls or facing off, he stepped up to every challenge. With 10 points on seven goals and three assists, he was Navy's sixth-leading scorer and was the nation's fourth-leading scoring defenseman. Despite missing two games early in the season, he finished the year ranked second on the team in caused turnovers with 14 and third in ground balls with 36. He was part of a Navy defense that was ranked 14th nationally, surrendering 8.92 goals per game, while the Mids man-down unit was ranked eighth, stopping 75.0 percent of its opponents' extra-man opportunities. Additionally, he won eight of the 17 draws he took over the last four games of the season.
Following preseason scrimmages the next two weekends at Duke (Saturday at 9:00 am), vs. High Point (Saturday at 11:00 am, in Durham) and at Virginia (Feb. 2 at 12:00 pm), Navy will officially open its 2013 campaign on Feb. 9 when it plays host to VMI. Game time is set for 12:00 pm at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. Single-game tickets for Navy home lacrosse games will go on sale on Feb. 1 and may be purchased by stopping by the Navy Ticket Office at Ricketts Hall, by calling 1-800-US4-NAVY, via the internet at www.navysports.com or at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium on game day. Tickets prices are $10 for adults and $5 for students, while groups of 20 or more will be offered a discounted $3 ticket (in advance only ... contact Tom Phelps at 410-293-8743 or Craig Jocius at 410-293-8791 / e-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org).
2013 Patriot League Men's Lacrosse Preseason Poll
Rk. Team Pts. 2012 Record 2012 PL Record
1. Lehigh 69 (9) 14-3 5-1
2. Colgate 65 (5) 14-4 5-1
3. Army 48 7-8 4-2
4. Bucknell 43 9-7 3-3
5. Navy 35 6-6 3-3
6. Holy Cross 20 5-10 0-6
7. Lafayette 14 3-10 1-5
2013 Preseason All-Patriot League Team
A - Garrett Thul, Army (2011-12 First-Team All-Patriot League, 2010 Second-Team All-Patriot League, 2010 Rookie of the Year)
A - Pete Baum, Colgate (2010-11-12 First-Team All-Patriot League, 2012 Offensive Player of the Year)
A - David DiMaria, Lehigh (2012 Second-Team All-Patriot League)
M - John Glesener, Army
M - David Dickson, Bucknell (2012 Second-Team All-Patriot League)
M - Matt Baker, Colgate
FO - Rob Grabher, Colgate (2012 First-Team All-Patriot League)
LSM - Pat Kiernan, Navy (2012 Second-Team All-Patriot League)
D - Brendan Buckley, Army (2012 First-Team All-Patriot League)
D - Mike Huffner, Bucknell (2011-12 First-Team All-Patriot League)
D - Ty Souders, Lehigh (2012 First-Team All-Patriot League)
GK - Matt Poillon, Lehigh (2012 First-Team All-Patriot League, 2012 Goalkeeper of the Year)
Patriot League Preseason Offensive Player of the Year: Peter Baum, Colgate
Patriot League Preseason Defensive Player of the Year: Mike Huffner, Bucknell
### Go Navy ###