Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 2/1/09
Hofstra, which has won two of the last three Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Men’s Lacrosse Championships, is picked to repeat in 2009 as the conference champion according to a vote conducted by all seven league coaches.
The Pride, which picked up five of the possible seven first-place votes, edged out second-place Delaware in the poll. The league’s coaches also selected Delaware junior attacker Curtis Dickson as the CAA’s Preseason Player of the Year.
Hofstra, already ranked No. 15 in the Inside Lacrosse/Faceoff Yearbook preseason poll and picked as the league favorites in the same publication, received four more total points than Delaware in the preseason coaches poll. The Blue Hens, ranked 20th in the Faceoff Yearbook, logged two first-place votes and finished with a total of 31 points. Drexel, one of two 2008 regular-season league champions, is picked to finish third in the conference after recording 27 points in the poll. Towson logged 20 total points in the poll to come in fourth, while Villanova, Sacred Heart and Robert Morris rounded out the preseason vote, respectively.
Dickson, one of three Blue Hen Preseason All-Conference picks in 2009, returns after a First Team All-Conference performance in 2008. The Port Coquitlam, British Columbia, native and Preseason Third Team All-American by Inside Lacrosse, scored a league-best 46 goals while also passing out 15 assists in 2008. Along side Dickson at the attack position are Drexel junior Colin Ambler (Abington) and Hofstra sophomore Jay Card. Ambler, a Phillylacrosse.com Wapner Newman Collegiate Student-Athlete of the Week last year, recorded 21 goals and 21 assists in 2008, helping him earn a spot on the CAA’s All-Conference Second Team. Hofstra’s Card, the CAA Rookie of the Year in 2008, ranked among the league’s best in goals-per-game as a freshman last year, scoring 27 to go with 13 assists.
Hofstra senior Anthony Muscarella, already an Honorable Mention Preseason All-America pick by Inside Lacrosse, highlights a total of three Preseason All-Conference midfielders. Muscarella, a First Team All-CAA honoree in 2008, ranked eighth in league with an average of 1.75 goals per game (28 goals) and had 14 assists on the year. Delaware junior Martin Cahill and Drexel junior Greg Casey (La Salle) round out the Preseason midfield picks. Cahill, a 2008 First Team All-Conference pick, was among the league’s best scorers in 2008 by logging 29 goals on the year. Casey, a Second Team All-League honoree in 2008, finished his sophomore season with 13 goals and five assists.
Hofstra senior Steve Prifte was a unanimous Preseason All-Conference pick at the long-stick midfield position. Prifte, a Shamong, N.J., native was a Second Team All-League pick in 2008 after logging 40 groundballs and causing eight turnovers. Drexel junior Ryan West, a 2008 First Team All-CAA pick at the face-off specialist position, is a Preseason All-Conference honoree in 2009. West, a Berlin, Md., native finished the 2008 season 69-of-114 (.605) in faceoffs and scored two goals as a sophomore.
Drexel junior Matt McCormick (Malvern Prep) leads three Preseason All-CAA defenders in 2009. An Honorable Mention Preseason All-America selection by Inside Lacrosse, McCormick was a 2008 First Team All-Conference pick in 2008 after playing a vital role in Drexel’s top-ranked defense (7.15 goals/game). Villanova senior Eddie DiDonato (La Salle) logged 26 groundballs in 2008, and joins McCormick on the Preseason All-League defense. Delaware sophomore Pat Dowling, an All-Rookie pick in 2008, picked up 35 groundballs and forced 18 turnovers last season which helped him earn a spot on the 2009 Preseason squad.
Inside Lacrosse Preseason Honorable Mention All-America goalkeeper Danny Orlando rounds out the 2009 All-CAA Preseason team. The Hofstra junior finished 2008 with a 8.56 goals-against average and had a save percentage of .491.
The CAA Men’s Lacrosse Championships are slated to get underway April 29 with semifinal action, as the title contest is slated for May 2. For a complete list of all CAA Men’s Lacrosse Preseason information check page two.
2009 CAA Preseason Coaches’ Poll
Team (1st) Points
1. Hofstra (5) 35
2. Delaware (2) 31
3. Drexel 27
4. Towson 20
5. Villanova 17
6. Sacred Heart 9
7. Robert Morris 8
2009 Preseason All-CAA Team
Name, School Pos. Yr. Hometown/High School
Colin Ambler, Drexel# A Jr. Abington, Pa./Abington
Jay Card, Hofstra! A So. Caledon, Ontario/The Hill Academy
Curtis Dickson, Delaware* A Jr. Port Coquitlam, BC/Riverside
Martin Cahill, Delaware* M Jr. Malden, Mass./Governor’s Academy
Greg Casey, Drexel# M Jr. Glenside, Pa./La Salle
Anthony Muscarella, Hofstra* M Sr. Wantagh, N.Y./Wantagh
Steve Prifte, Hofstra# LSM Sr. Shamong, N.J./Shawnee
Ryan West, Drexel* FO Jr. Berlin, Md./Stephen Decatur
Eddie DiDonato, Villanova D Sr. Blue Bell, Pa./La Salle
Pat Dowling, Delaware! D So. Fairfield, Conn./Fairfield Ludlowe
Matt McCormick, Drexel* D Jr. West Chester, Pa./Malvern Prep
Danny Orlando, Hofstra GK Jr. South Hempstead, N.Y./South Side
Player of the Year: Curtis Dickson, A, Jr., Delaware
* First Team All-CAA Selection in 2008
# Second Team All-CAA Selection in 2008
! All-CAA Rookie Selection in 2008