Jan. 28, 2009
CENTER VALLEY, Pa. -- The 11th-ranked Navy men's lacrosse team was picked second in the 2009 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, while representatives were prohibited from voting for their own team.
The Midshipmen are coming off a 10-6 record a year ago, while winning a share of the Patriot League regular-season title for a fifth straight year thanks to a 5-1 mark in conference play. Navy also made its fifth consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament where it upset fourth-seeded North Carolina in the opening round before succumbing to 2008 NCAA runner-up Johns Hopkins. While the Mids will miss All-Americans Jordan DiNola on the defensive end and Nick Mirabito on the offensive side, Navy does return top goal producer Tim Paul (Parkton, Md.), who punched in 26 goals last spring, while Preseason Second-Team All-American Andy Tormey (Syracuse, N.Y.) is poised to be the cornerstone to the Mids' nationally-ranked defensive unit.
Colgate, last year's Patriot League Tournament champion, secured eight of the 14 first-place votes and for the first time in program history heads into the 2009 campaign as the league favorite. The Raiders were followed by Navy, who captured three first-place votes and picked up 63 points, Bucknell (two first-place votes and 53 points), Army (one first-place vote and 46 points), Lehigh (31), Lafayette (19) and Holy Cross (16).
In a league that has grown increasingly more competitive since Navy joined in 2004, the top four vote-getters are among the 2009 Inside Lacrosse / Face-Off Yearbook Preseason Top 25. Navy is the top-ranked team among the league, coming in at No. 11, while Colgate and Bucknell are side-by-side at No. 17 and 18, respectively, and Army is tabbed No. 22.
"I can't say enough about the level of professionalism among the Patriot League coaches," said 15th-year Navy head coach Richie Meade
. "I've been able to see most of these coaches grow not only in the profession, but grow the sport at their respective schools. I am proud to be associated with them and I'm pleased the Naval Academy is associated with the Patriot League.
"All of the teams in the conference have improved," added Meade. "Though we had to rely on an eclipse, an earthquake and a hurricane on the last day of the regular season, I really feel like we earned our way into the NCAA Tournament with some wins early on in the year against Bucknell and Colgate. While we did beat some nationally-ranked programs like Maryland and Ohio State during the year, I think in reality the Patriot League had as much to do with us getting into the tournament as anything. It's a credit to the coaches and the administration who have shown a commitment to their programs, but it means we have to work that much harder to stay in the mix."
While Navy will play its final scrimmage of the season on Saturday at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium against Virginia (1:00 pm), the Mids will officially open the 2009 campaign on Feb. 7 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 men's lacrosse games 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 ticket through the Navy Marketing Office (410-293-8712).
2009 Patriot League Men's Lacrosse Preseason Poll
Rk. Team Pts. 2008 Record 2008 PL Record
1. Colgate 66 (8) 11-6 4-2
2. Navy 63 (3) 10-6 5-1
3. Bucknell 53 (2) 11-6 4-2
4. Army 46 (1) 9-6 5-1
5. Lehigh 31 6-9 2-4
6. Lafayette 19 4-9 1-5
7. Holy Cross 16 5-9 0-6
### Go Navy ###