Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 1/31/19
From Press Release
On the heels of winning its first NEC title, Robert Morris was the unanimous pick by the league’s head coaches to repeat again in 2019.
Expectations are high for an RMU team ranked No. 18 nationally in the Inside Lacrosse preseason poll after finishing the 2018 season with a 13-5 record that featured a win over Canisius in the NCAA Tournament.
Bryant also cracked the top-25 in the national poll, making it the first time in the NEC’s nine-year lax history that two teams were featured in the preseason rankings.
The Bulldogs came in second in the conference poll, with Sacred Heart and Hobart rounding out the top four. Mount St. Mary’s was selected fifth after narrowly missing the NEC Tournament last season, while Saint Joseph’s and Wagner were tabbed sixth and seventh, respectively.
Andrew McMinn’s RMU team went 4-2 in conference play a year ago before defeating Bryant in the semis and knocking off Saint Joseph’s, 9-8, in a memorable title game that went to overtime. After dispatching Canisius, 12-6, in the NCAA opening round, RMU gave top-seeded Maryland all it could handle in a 14-11 defeat.
Reigning NEC Goalkeeper of the Year Alex Heger (Carmel, IN/Carmel) and fellow NEC first teamer Tyson Gibson (Maple, Ontario/St. Michaels College) highlight five players for the Colonials who will gear up again after appearing on first or second All-Conference teams last season.
RMU also brings back a pair of second team all-stars in redshirt senior attackman and co-captain Matt Schmidt (Doylestown, PA/Central Bucks East) and senior defenseman and co-captain Mike Eveland (Doylestown, PA/Central Bucks East). Schmidt has been a consistent option on the wing, scoring 32 goals in his sophomore campaign before totaling 36 goals and 51 points in ’18. Eveland was a key reserve last year, playing in 16 games.
Hobart earned the coaches’ nod as the final team predicted to make this year’s NEC Tournament. The Statesmen return a pair of proven goal scorers in former NEC Rookie of the Year Chris Aslanian (Westfield, NJ/The Hun School of Princeton) and Ryan Archer (Syracuse, NY/Jamesville-DeWitt), who earned NEC All-Rookie and second team plaudits last season. Face-off specialist Matt Pedicine (Clark, NJ/Arthur L. Johnson) also looks to build on a junior campaign that saw him rank sixth nationally with a .659 percentage at the X.
Mount St. Mary’s and Saint Joseph’s each return three NEC All-Rookie members from 2018, including the Hawks’ stellar goalkeeper Mike Adler (Fort Lauderdale, FL/Saint Thomas Aquinas). The redshirt sophomore turned aside 59.6 percent of the shots he faced, a mark that was good for third in the NCAA.
The 2019 regular season will begin on Saturday, February 2 and conference action starts up on Saturday, March 16. The 2019 NEC Men’s Lacrosse Championship will be held on May 2 & 4, hosted by the top seed.
2019 Northeast Conference
Preseason Coaches Poll
1. Robert Morris (6)
3. Sacred Heart
5. Mount St. Mary’s
6. Saint Joseph’s
First place votes in parentheses