Men’s Lacrosse Voted 2nd in GNAC Preseason Coaches’ Poll
Mount Ida again tops the preseason poll after having won the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) championship in 2011. The Mustangs earned 51 points to put them at the top of the preseason poll. Lasell College placed as the runner-up, and Norwich University came in third in the polls. Saint Joseph College of Maine took the fourth spot, with Becker coming in a close fifth. Anna Maria rounds out the top six in the preseason poll.
#1 Mount Ida - Mount Ida took home the GNAC title last season and looks to repeat. They are lead by Coach Andrew Fink who is in his tenth season as the Mustang's Coach, and who spoke at the 2012 U.S. Lacrosse Convention. He was also 2011 GNAC Coach of the Year. The Mustangs went undefeated last season in conference play, and 11-7 overall. They had five players on the GNAC 2011 All-Conference First Team, and one player on the GNAC 2011 All-Conference Second Team.
The 2012 squad's Captains are long stick midfielder senior Sean Maher (Ashland, MA), senior midfielder Brendan Hylan (Clinton, CT), and senior defensemen Carl Grimo (Bristol, RI). They return their second leading scorer from last year Nick Yacuzzi (Worcester, MA), and senior goalkeeper James McAllister (Smithfield, RI). McAllister was also the GNAC Defensive Player of the Year.
#2 Lasell College - The 2011 runner-ups look to upset Mount Ida. Last year, Lasell went 9-8 overall and 6-1 in conference play. They had an impressive season in 2011 having seven players from their squad make the All-Conference Honors. Three of these honorees return this season. Junior attacker Dylan Gray (Bayport, NY), senior midfielder Adam Foss (Billerica, MA) made First Team, while junior defenseman Matthew Keiler (Salem, MA) was a Second Team pick. Foss is also a captain of team with senior defenseman Matt Gagne (Longmeadow, MA), and senior midfielder Austin Mishaw (Wilmington, DE).
#3 Norwich University - After an impressive season in 2011, the Cadets hope to be a strong contender for the GNAC title. They finished 2011 with an overall record of 9-5 with a 5-2 conference showing. They are lead by senior defenseman Corey Cicio (Orange, VT), senior goalkeeper Nate Proctor (Pleasanton, CA), fifth year senior forward Patrick Sikora (Montpelier, VT), and junior midfielder Nate Fortezzo (Brandon, CT). Fortezzo is a pre-season NCAA Division III All-American in FaceOff Magazine.
#4 Saint Joseph's of Maine - Coming in fourth in the preseason poll is Saint Joseph's of Maine. They had an overall record in the 2011 season of 10-8, and 4-3 in conference play. They look to appear for a second time in postseason play after their first appearance in 2011 where they went to the semifinals. The Monks return eight starters from last season's outstanding squad. This includes junior goalkeeper Chris Driscoll (Saco, ME), senior attackman Jonathan Horgan (Hingham, MA), senior midfielder Paul Dolewa (Saco, ME), midfielder Robert Murtha (North Kingstown, RI), defender Albert Comins (Newbury, MA), and defender Joe Connolly (Portland, ME). Horgan was a 2011 GNAC All-Conference First Team.
#5 Becker College - Becker College hopes to make their second season in the GNAC a memorable one. Their overall season record was 7-11 and conference record was 3-4. They had four players make the GNAC All-Conference Team last season. Junior Jeff Petersen (Syracuse, NY) and junior Joe Ignagni (Kingston, MA) were on the GNAC All-Conference Second Team.
#6 Anna Maria College - New comers to the GNAC the AMCATS look to leave their mark. It is their fourth season as a program.
GNAC Preseason Top 6
1. Mount Ida (51)
2. Lasell (42)
3. Norwich (38)
4. St. Joseph's ME (28)
5. Becker (27)
6. Anna Maria (25)