Jan. 29, 2014
ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Two-time All-Patriot League long stick midfielder Pat Kiernan (Ridgewood, N.J.) was named to the Preseason All-Patriot League Team it was announced Wednesday during the annual Patriot League Men’s Lacrosse Media Conference Call. Additionally, the 2014 Patriot League Preseason Poll was unveiled and Navy has been selected to finish sixth out of the now nine-team conference in a vote conducted by the league’s head coaches and sports information directors.
Former ECAC member Loyola, who joins the Patriot League this season along with start-up program Boston University, was selected as the preseason favorite. The Greyhounds picked up 123 points and 13 first-place votes to finish ahead of the participants in last year’s Patriot League title game, Bucknell and Lehigh. The runner-up Bison had three first-place votes and 109 points to edge the two-time defending champion Mountain Hawks with two first-place votes and 108 points. Army (86) was selected to finish fourth, followed by Colgate (73), Navy (56), Holy Cross (42), Lafayette (35) and Boston U. (16).
“There will be some teams, not just from our conference but from around the country, that nobody is talking about and they will have a great year. The same can be said about some of the top-ranked teams who won’t be as successful as they had hoped,” said third-year Navy head coach Rick Sowell. “We have 13 opportunities to prove what kind of team we are and based on what I’ve seen dating back to the fall season, I think we are moving in the right direction.
“At the beginning of the year myself and my staff met with the team and we told them, ‘here’s what we’re going to do, why we are doing it and how we are doing it.’ They bought in from the start and I credit our seniors for taking the lead. Regardless of whether you are coming off a successful season or one in which you’ve struggled, you have to tweak things from year to year. We’ve done just that and I’m hoping it pays off in the win column.”
The Mids have won at least a share of the regular-season Patriot League title in five of the 10 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 42-19 (.689) regular-season record in the Patriot League since 2004 in joining what is now a nine-member lacrosse conference (Hobart left following the ‘04 campaign, Loyola and Boston U. joined in 2014), and includes two undefeated seasons (2004, ‘07).
Navy returns six starters from a year ago, including 2014 Face-Off Yearbook Preseason Third-Team All-American Pat Kiernan (Ridgewood, N.J.) at long stick midfielder. A two-time recipient of the Robert T. Bianchi Award, presented to Navy’s Most Valuable Player, he finished his junior season as Navy’s leader in ground balls with 68 and was second in caused turnovers. He was ranked 12th nationally in caused turnovers per game (2.00) and 32nd in ground balls per game (5.23). As a team, the Mids were No. 2 in the country in caused turnovers, averaging 10.0 takeaways per contest.
Kiernan is among seven of the preseason All-Patriot League selections who were named preseason All-Americans by Inside Lacrosse in December and also one of seven preseason selections who also earned first-team All-Patriot League status last year.
Meanwhile, senior close defenseman Nik Mullen (Wading River, N.Y.) will join Kiernan in anchoring a defense that will be the most inexperienced in recent memory with sophomore John Connors making his debut in goal and sophomores Jules Godino (Summit, N.J.) and Pat Menezes (Wading River, N.Y.) and freshmen Matt Rees (Sykesville, Md.) and Chris Fennell (Milford, N.J.) vying for time on close defense.
Also returning is the senior attack tandem of Tucker Hull (Charlotte, N.C.) and Sam Jones (Annapolis, Md.). who became just the fourth set of classmates in program history to reach 100 points, joining Brendan Schneck (121) and Mike Hannan (101) from the Class of ‘78, Mike Herger (197) and Brian Keith (134) from the Class of 1990 and Ian Dingman (188) and Billy Looney (103) from the Class of 2007. Hull and Jones are the 30th and 31st players, respectively, to reach 100 points in program history. Hull enters his final year tied for 23rd in career scoring with 106 points, while Jones is in 26th with 102 points.
The Midshipmen will face Virginia this Saturday at 1:00 pm at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in what will be its final scrimmage before officially kicking off the 2014 campaign next Saturday at home against VMI at 12:00 pm. There will be no admission charge for Saturday’s scrimmage, however, there is a $5 charge to park in the stadium lot.
Single-game tickets for Navy home lacrosse games are on sale now 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:email@example.com).
2014 Patriot League Men’s Lacrosse Preseason Poll
Rk. Team Pts.
1. Loyola 123 (13)
2. Bucknell 109 (3)
3. Lehigh 108 (2)
4. Army 86
5. Colgate 73
6. Navy 56
7. Holy Cross 42
8. Lafayette 35
9. Boston U. 16
2014 Preseason All-Patriot League Team
A David Dickson, Bucknell
A John Glesener, Army
A Justin Ward, Loyola
M Thomas Flibotte, Bucknell
M Terry McKenna, Holy Cross
M Jimmy Ryan, Colgate
D Joe Fletcher, Loyola
D Jackson Place, Bucknell
D Ty Souders, Lehigh
GK Matt Poillon, Lehigh
FO Alex Daly, Army
LSM Pat Kiernan, Navy
Patriot League Preseason Offensive Player of the Year: John Glesener, Army
Patriot League Preseason Defensive Player of the Year: Joe Fletcher, Loyola
### Go Navy ###