Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 12/30/14
From Press Release
The High Point University men’s lacrosse team was tabbed as the favorite in the Southern Conference by the league’s coaches in Inside Lacrosse’s 2015 Face-Off Yearbook announced Tuesday.
The Panthers also lead the conference with five preseason all-conference selections in the inaugural season of the SoCon – led by senior defenseman Pat Farrell (St. Joseph’s Prep). The quintet includes last season’s A-Sun Defensive Player of the Year Austin Geisler and Offensive Player of the Year Dan Lomas.
The Purple & White returns 85 percent of its goal scoring from the squad that shared the 2014 A-Sun crown with Mercer in 2014. The Panthers posted a 4-1 record in conference play. The league has changed its name to the Southern Conference and has added Bellarmine, but the Panthers are once again expected to compete for the title.
HPU was picked above 2014 A-Sun Tournament Champion Richmond and newcomer Bellarmine. Jacksonville sits at fourth while 2014 regular season co-champion Mercer was picked to finish fifth before Furman and VMI round out the poll.
Juniors Matt Thistle and Jamie Piluso and senior Pat Farrell joined Geisler and Lomas on the preseason All-Southern Conference Team.
Farrell is once again expected to be a key contributor to the defense after earning first team all-conference honors in 2014. Last season, the defenseman led the Panthers with 16 caused turnovers while also controlling 16 ground balls.
Geisler, a redshirt-senior, won the Atlantic Sun Defensive Player of the Week award six times en route to being named the Defensive Player of the Year in 2014. The goalie led the league with a .596 save percentage and a 9.47 goals against average.
Meanwhile, Lomas led the A-Sun with 42 goals while also adding six assists to finish the year with 48 points. The attackman accounted for at least one point in each of the team’s final 25 games and scored a goal in all 15 appearances in 2014.
Thistle led the A-Sun with 53 points and 36 assists during his sophomore season. The attackman also finished second among Panthers with 17 goals in 2014 as he earned a spot on the all-conference first team.
Piluso, a face-off specialist, led the league and was 18th in the NCAA with a .584 face-off win percentage. He also finished third in the league with 5.14 ground balls per game.
HPU will open its regular season by hosting Delaware on Feb. 1 at noon. The Panthers will wait until March 14 to open Southern Conference play when they travel to Mercer.
Preseason Coaches’ Poll:
1. High Point
Coaches’ Preseason All-Conference:
A – Dan Lomas, High Point
A – Matt Thistle, High Point
A -Chris Baxa, Mercer
M – Kenny Meinsen, Furman
M – Mitchell Goldberg, Richmond
M – Timmy Geran, Mercer
FO – Jamie Piluso, High Point
LSM – Jackson Cabot, Richmond
D – Austin Curtis, Jacksonville
D – Pat Farrell (St. Joseph’s Prep), High Point
D – Tyler Prasnicki, VMI
G – Austin Geisler, High Point
Tags: St. Joseph's Prep