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Navy men picked to repeat as Patriot League champ; Lehigh tabbed for 5th

Thursday, 28th January 2010

Categories Boy's/Men's, College, Posted 1/28/10
From Press Releases and Staff Reports

Defending Patriot League Champion Navy was selected as the preseason favorite and Lehigh was picked fourth in a vote of coaches and sports information directors.

The Midshipmen enter the season having won five Patriot League titles in their six years in the League. Navy received 11 first-place votes and a total of 71 points. Bucknell received the remaining three first-place votes and a total of 63 points.

Colgate was picked third with 48 points, followed by Army (45), Lehigh (33), Lafayette (22) and Holy Cross. Also announced on Wednesday were the picks for preseason individual awards. Bucknell senior Austin Winter was chosen Patriot League Preseason Offensive Player of the Year, while Navy senior Jaren Woeppel was tabbed Patriot League Preseason Defensive Player of the Year. Coaches and SIDs could not vote for their own school or player.

Third-year coach Kevin Cassese and his Lehigh Mountain Hawks were picked third. Lehigh posted a 4-11 and 2-4 during the League season in 2009. Lehigh finished the year tied for the fourth and final Patriot League Tournament berth, but was edged out on tiebreakers. Second-team All-Patriot League selection Evan Guerrero is back for his senior season and is expected to lead the Mountain Hawks’ defensively.

Navy enters the 2010 season ranked 12th nationally in the Inside Lacrosse preseason poll. The Midshipmen closed the 2009 Patriot League season with a 4-2 mark, giving them the No. 3 seed in the Patriot League Tournament. Navy then tallied a pair of one-goal victories in the tournament to win the title and advance to the NCAA Tournament. The Midshipmen return the services of Woeppel and Frankie Coppola, both of whom were named Second-Team All-Patriot League selections a year ago. Woeppel was an All-American selection in his junior campaign in Annapolis.

Bucknell, which finished the 2009 Patriot League season with a perfect 6-0 mark, dropped a dramatic 9-8 championship game against Navy in last season’s Patriot League Tournament. The Bison were picked second, thanks in large part to the return of Winter. The senior is a preseason All-American honorable mention selection after being named to the All-Patriot League First Team for the third consecutive season last year. Winter has 94 assists in three seasons, a total that already ranks third on Bucknell’s career charts. Last season, Winter became the fifth two-time All-American in school history.

Colgate was picked third after finishing last season with a 5-1 mark in Patriot League play. The Raiders were edged by eventual champion Navy in the Patriot League semifinals. Colgate must replace three-time Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year Brandon Corp, but will have the services of Mike Crown and Tim Harrington in the back. Harrington made 9.80 saves per game as a junior.

Army, which closed 2010 with a 6-10 overall record and a 2-4 mark in Patriot League play, was picked fourth. Junior goalkeeper Tom Palesky is back in goal for the Black Knights. As a sophomore, he averaged a League-best 12.75 saves per game and allowed just 8.89 goals per contest.

Lafayette closed 2009 tied for fourth in the Patriot League, finishing one goal short of a Patriot League Tournament berth. Lafayette gets attackman Tom Perini back after a sophomore season during which he led the nation in goals per game. Perini produced 3 goals per contest and is expected to again lead the Leopards’ attack.

Holy Cross, which was 0-6 in the Patriot League and 3-12 overall last season, rounds out the preseason poll. Coach Adam Pascal’s squad will return three-year starter Edison Parzanese. He will be flanked up front by two-time Rookie of the Week winner Colin McGeehin.

Preseason Poll, Points (1st)

1. Navy, 71 (11)

2. Bucknell, 63 (3)

3. Colgate, 48

4. Army, 45

5. Lehigh, 33

6. Lafayette, 22

7. Holy Cross, 12

Preseason Offensive Player of the Year: Austin Winter, Bucknell

Preseason Defensive Player of the Year: Jaren Woeppel, Navy



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