Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 1/29/20
From Press Release
In the closest vote since 2012, the University of Massachusetts was picked to win the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) men’s lacrosse title in a vote of the league’s six head coaches. Delaware senior attackman Charlie Kitchen was voted the CAA Preseason Offensive Player of the Year, while Towson junior defender Koby Smith was selected the CAA Preseason Defensive Player of the Year.
For the first time since 2012, the preseason poll was decided by one point. UMass, which earned the 2019 CAA regular-season co-championship, received three first-place votes and 23 total points. Towson, the 2019 CAA champions, also collected three first-place votes and finished with 22 points. Delaware was third in the poll with 17 points, followed by Drexel with 13. Hofstra received 10 points in the poll, while Fairfield was sixth.
As a junior, Kitchen earned CAA co-Offensive Player of the Year honors, recording 37 goals and 27 assists for Delaware and ranking third in the CAA with 64 points. Kitchen posted six hat tricks in 2019 and tied the Delaware single-game scoring record with five goals in a win over Mercer.
In 2019, Smith was the only sophomore in the CAA to earn first team all-league honors on his way to being named a Third Team USILA All-American. Starting all 16 games at close defense, Smith led the Tigers with 20 caused turnovers, including six games with multiple caused turnovers.
UMass placed three players on the preseason all-CAA team after a season in which the Minutemen went 10-5 overall and 4-1 in CAA play. Chris Connolly (27 goals, 36 assists) returns to lead the UMass attack after a Second Team All-CAA season as a sophomore, while Jeff Trainor earned First Team All-CAA accolades in the midfield. Junior Sam Eisenstadt will anchor the UMass defense after a Second Team All-CAA effort a season ago.
Towson collected the program’s eighth CAA title in 2019, earning a No. 6 national seed in the NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Championship. Smith was joined on the preseason all-CAA team by Grant Maloof, who earned Second Team All-CAA accolades after recording 35 points on 24 goals and 11 assists. On Jan. 21, Smith was named an Inside Lacrosse Preseason First Team All-American.
Delaware took third in the CAA for the third straight season and placed two players onto the preseason team, Kitchen and Matt DeLuca. DeLuca joined Smith as an Inside Lacrosse Preseason First Team All-American after a junior year in which he became the first Blue Hen since 2011 to earn All-American honors. The senior ranked ninth in the country in scoring average (9.93) in 2019 and enters this spring with the second-highest total saves among actives players with 502 and is one of just eight players in program history with over 500 in his career.
Drexel reached the CAA Championship game in 2019, and the Dragons placed four players onto the preseason team. Reid Bowering led the CAA in goals-per-game with 3.13 in 2019, finishing with 47 on the year – one shy of the Drexel single-season record. Collin Mailman and Sean Quinn both earned Second Team All-CAA honors as a junior, while Jimmeh Koita is the CAA’s returning leader in ground balls (137), faceoff wins (231) and faceoff percentage (.570).
Hofstra was represented on the preseason team by three players, Ryan Tierney, Michael Altmann and Brian Herber. In 2019, Tierney was a First Team All-CAA selection for the second straight season after recording 42 goals and 13 assists. Altmann led Hofstra and was second in the CAA with 23 caused turnovers, while Herber collected 100 ground balls while winning 172 faceoffs.
Under the direction of first-year head coach Andrew Baxter, Fairfield saw Dylan Beckwith voted onto the preseason team. As a junior, Beckwith was a Second Team All-CAA pick after leading the CAA with 37 assists to go along with 28 goals. Beckwith’s 65 points were second in the CAA.
The men’s lacrosse season will begin on Saturday, Feb. 8, with four CAA squads in action. At 11 a.m. ET, Hofstra hosts Wagner, while Delaware will welcome Mount St. Mary’s at Noon. Also at Noon, UMass heads to Army. Towson travels 4.5 miles to meet Johns Hopkins at 1 p.m, ET.
The 2020 CAA Men’s Lacrosse Championship will be hosted by the No. 1 seed. Semifinal action begins on Thursday, April 30, followed by the title contest is slated for Saturday, May 2.
2020 CAA Preseason Honors
Team (1st place votes) Points
Preseason All-CAA Team
Player, Team Position Class Hometown/High School (Last)
Dylan Beckwith, Fairfield Attack Senior Wantagh, N.Y./Wantagh
Reid Bowering, Drexel Attack Senior Coquitlam, British Columbia/Archbishop Carney
Chris Connolly, UMass Attack Junior Glastonbury, Conn./Xavier [Trinity-Pawling (N.Y.)]
Charlie Kitchen, Delaware Attack Senior Marlton, N.J./St. Augustine Prep
Ryan Tierney, Hofstra Attack Senior Massapequa, N.Y./Massapequa
Collin Mailman, Drexel Midfield Senior York, Pa./York Suburban
Grant Maloof, Towson Midfield RS-Senior Davidsonville, Md./South River
Jeff Trainor, UMass Midfield Senior Billerica, Mass./Memorial
Michael Altmann, Hofstra Long-Stick Mid Senior Severna Park, Md./Chesapeake Senior
Jimmeh Koita, Drexel Face-Off Specialist Senior Bronx, N.Y./Cardinal Hayes
Brian Herber, Hofstra Face-Off Specialist Junior Smithtown, N.Y./Smithtown East
Sam Eisenstadt, UMass Defense Junior Needham, Mass./Needham
Sean Quinn, Drexel Defense Junior Summit, N.J./Seton Hall Prep
Koby Smith, Towson Defense Junior Lutherville, Md./Loyola Blakefield
Matt DeLuca, Delaware Goalkeeper Senior Farmingdale, N.Y./Farmingdale