Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 1/20/20
From Press Release
Having advanced to two consecutive Patriot League Championship Games and five of the last eight, the Lehigh men’s lacrosse team was again predicted to finish near the top of the standings, coming in third in the preseason poll announced on Monday. In addition, five of the 16 student-athletes named preseason All-Patriot League were Mountain Hawks, the most honorees from any school in the league.
Lehigh garnered 99 points and three first-place votes, only trailing Loyola and Army West Point who had 111 points apiece (but the Greyhounds came in first due to more first-place votes). The Mountain Hawks were followed by Boston University in fourth (76 points), Navy in fifth (59), Bucknell and Holy Cross in sixth (55), Colgate in eighth (31) and Lafayette in ninth (15).
Fifth-year senior attackman Andrew Pettit (Tower Hill, DE) was named preseason All-League after missing all of last season due to injury. When he was last on the field, Pettit was one of the league’s, and nation’s, most prolific scorers, leading the Mountain Hawks in both goals (46) and points (66), including 10 man-up goals (good for third in the nation). Pettit was named first team All-Patriot League after the season, and was added to the Tewaaraton Award Watch List mid-year. Pettit is a two-time All-Patriot League honoree, garnering second team as a sophomore and first team as a junior. Pettit enters the 2020 season with 88 goals and 32 assists for 120 points.
Senior Andrew Eichelberger was named preseason All-Patriot League in the midfield after garnering second team All-League following his junior campaign. He finished sixth on the Mountain Hawks in points with 21, and fifth in goals with 18. Eichelberger recorded five multi-goal games and six multi-point games in 2019, highlighted by hat tricks in the season opener vs. NJIT and in a key Patriot League mid-season contest against Boston University. Eichelberger has been a consistent contributor throughout his career, playing in every game and starting over half of those games.
Junior defenseman Teddy Leggett was named All-League after each of his first two seasons, collecting 140 groundballs and 43 caused turnovers in his career so far. Last season, he had 79 groundballs and 23 caused turnovers, both second on the team. Leggett recorded a groundball in all 16 games played, with multiple groundballs on 15 occasions. Leggett also added two goals and an assist for the second straight year. In the fall, Leggett played on the Canadian Men’s National Training Team in exhibition contests against Team USA and the University of Virginia. Following his freshman year, Leggett won the J. Daniel Nolan Award, presented to Lehigh Athletics’ top first-year male student-athlete.
Senior faceoff specialist Conor Gaffney (Lenape) received preseason recognition after a historic 2019 season, and career thus far. Gaffney is the reigning Patriot League Faceoff Specialist of the Year, setting league and program records for faceoff wins (249) and groundballs (152). He finished fourth nationally in faceoff percentage, winning 69.7 percent, including 60 percent or better in 15-of-17 games. Gaffney was named both a USILA and Inside Lacrosse/Media honorable mention all-American. For his career, Gaffney has won 63.7 percent of his faceoffs (602-of-945) with 349 groundballs. Also sensational in the classroom, Gaffney is a two-time Patriot League Scholar-Athlete of the Year and Academic All-American.
Rounding out Lehigh’s five preseason honorees was senior Christian McHugh at short-stick defensive midfield. A second team All-League honoree last season, McHugh tallied 12 groundballs and six caused turnovers.
The Mountain Hawks will open their season on Saturday, Feb. 8 when they host Utah at 1 p.m.
Also, the Preseason Defensive Player of the Year is Loyola LSM and senior Ryan McNulty (Bishop Shanahan), who led Loyola’s non-faceoff specialists with 65 ground balls. He also topped the Greyhounds with 25 caused turnovers during his second full season on the field. McNulty (two-year captain) will play this season as a senior academically, and he will return next year to compete for his fourth year athletically after missing all but two games his freshman season with an injury.
2020 Patriot League Men’s Lacrosse Preseason Offensive Player of the Year: Kevin Lindley, Loyola Maryland, Jr., A
2020 Patriot League Men’s Lacrosse Preseason Defensive Player of the Year: Ryan McNulty (Bishop Shanahan), Loyola Maryland, Sr., D
Patriot League Men’s Lacrosse Preseason Poll
Men’s Lacrosse Preseason All-Patriot League Team
Attack: Brendan Nichtern, Army West Point, So.
Attack: Kevin Kodzis, Holy Cross, Sr.
Attack: Andrew Pettit (Tower Hill, DE), Lehigh, Sr.
Attack: Kevin Lindley, Loyola Maryland, Jr.
Midfielder: Matt Manown, Army West Point, Sr.
Midfielder: Griffin Brown, Colgate, Sr.
Midfielder: Sean Mullaney, Holy Cross, Sr.
Midfielder: Andrew Eichelberger, Lehigh, Sr.
Defense: Tom Rigney, Army West Point, Sr.
Defense: Bryant Boswell, Bucknell, Sr.
Defense: Teddy Leggett, Lehigh, Jr.
Defense: Cam Wyers, Loyola Maryland, So.
Goalkeeper: Ryan Kern (Salesianum School, DE), Navy, Sr.
Face-Off Specialist: Conor Gaffney (Lenape, NJ), Lehigh, Sr.
Long-Stick Midfielder: Ryan McNulty (Bishop Shanahan), Loyola Maryland, Sr.
Short-Stick Defensive Midfielder: Christian McHugh, Lehigh, Sr.
Student-athletes are listed by position; then alphabetically by school