Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 2/1/23
From Press Release
Delaware is the unanimous pick to win the 2023 CAA Men’s Lacrosse title and defend its championships from last spring in a vote of the league’s eight head coaches. Blue Hen redshirt senior Owen Grant was selected as the CAA Preseason Defensive Player of the Year for the second straight season, and Drexel senior Jack Mulcahy (Downingtown East) earned CAA Preseason Offensive Player of the Year accolades.
The Blue Hens collected seven first-place votes and the maximum 49 points to rank atop the preseason poll. Towson received one first-place vote and 42 points in second, followed by Drexel in third with 35 points, and newcomer Stony Brook close behind with 32 points. Hofstra was fifth, one point ahead of Fairfield in sixth, with a pair of new teams, Monmouth and Hampton rounding out the eight-team poll.
Mulcahy was the 2022 CAA Offensive Player of the Year and a First Team All-CAA selection last season. The senior midfielder led the conference with 1.79 assists per game and paced the Dragons with 44 points. Mulcahy tallied a team-best 25 assists with 19 goals, recording at least two points in 11 games last spring. The Chester Springs native had at least seven points in two contests, including a career-high nine against Saint Joseph’s, and recorded a single-game league-high five assists on both occasions.
Grant, a two-time All-American, is the two-time reigning CAA Defensive Player of the Year. A First Team All-CAA selection each of the past two seasons, Grant set a Delaware program record with 35 caused turnovers last spring and ranked 11th in the NCAA in caused turnovers per game (1.84). In addition, the redshirt senior defender collected 51 ground balls, adding 10 points on seven goals and three assists. Grant was named a Preseason All-American by Inside Lacrosse Media and USA Lacrosse Magazine earlier this offseason.
Delaware welcomes back nine starters, including Grant, from last spring’s CAA Championship team that knocked off 2nd-seeded Georgetown and advanced to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament. Among the returners are four of the Blue Hens’ top five scorers from a team that led the CAA in assists (7.84) and points (21.26) per game and ranked second in goals per game (13.42). JP Ward (40g, 32a) earned First Team All-CAA honors after leading the CAA with 72 points, while Mike Robinson (53g, 15a) and Tye Kurtz (52g, 15a), a pair of Second Team All-CAA selections, return on the attack. In the midfield, Clay Miller (28g, 12a) collected preseason accolades after a 40-point season. Matt Kilkeary, who led the conference in save percentage (.530) and goals-against average (10.33), returns between the pipes for Delaware.
Towson earned a share of the CAA regular season title last season and advanced to its sixth championship final in the past seven seasons. The Tigers will be anchored by experience on defense, returning Garrett Zungailia, who led the team in caused turnovers (17), and Colby Barsz (25gb, 12ct). In addition, Towson retains a pair of Second Team All-CAA honorees from last season, Kyle Berkely and Matt Constantinides. Berkely (25g, 18) is Towson’s top-returning point producer from 2022, while Constantinides (81gb, 147-323) emerged as one of the league’s top face-off specialists in his freshman season.
Drexel is a year removed from its latest CAA Championship in 2021 and looks to challenge for the title again this spring. The Dragons return three of their top four offensive producers from last season, led by Mulcahy. On defense, Drexel is led by Pat Udovich (Archmere Academy-DE), a two-year starter for the Dragons, who tallied 18 ground balls and eight caused turnovers last year.
Stony Brook joins the CAA from the America East, where the Seawolves were a perennial conference tournament team. Through the transition, Stony Brook has key returners at every level. On the attack, Dylan Pallonetti (34g, 15a) was a First Team All-America East Selection last season and the 2021 America East Offensive Player of the Year. Matt Anderson (25g, 9a), a Second Team All-America East honoree, is a three-year starter for the Seawolves in the midfield. Michael Sabella (21gb, 6ct) joined Anderson on the All-America East second team and leads the Stony Brook defensive unit.
Hofstra was the runner-up in the conference tournament two years ago, and the Pride is looking to return to championship form. Hofstra is led by its man between the pipes, Mac Gates, who earned Second Team All-CAA honors last season. Gates was second in the conference in goals-against average (10.96) and third in saves per game (12.36). The Pride also returns a pair of impactful midfielders, Rory Jones (20g, 8a) offensively and Corey Kale (42gb 7ct) defensively.
Fairfield recorded its most wins since 2016 last season and will look to take the next step by returning to the CAA tournament this spring. The Stags boasted an impressive offensive attack, leading the CAA in goals per game (13.79) and ranking second in points per game (21.14). Jack McKenna (43g, 3a) led the way as the reigning CAA Rookie of the Year, pacing the league in goals per game (3.07). Defensively, Braden Lynch (44gb, 17ct) earned Second Team All-CAA honors in his first season as a starter for the Stags.
Monmouth comes to the CAA from the MAAC, where the Hawks are two years removed from an NCAA Tournament appearance, winning the league in 2021. Defender Michael Quigg (17gb, 9 ct) has been a staple for Monmouth, starting 22-of-23 career games for the Hawks. Quigg was a Second Team All-MAAC selection last season.
Hampton, still in its first decade of existence as a program, joins the CAA from the SoCon where it spent the past season. The Pirates will look to a grad transfer Dy-Jae Pearson (18gb, 9ct), a long-stick midfielder from Bryant, to add experience to the Hampton lineup.
Hofstra gets the 2023 season underway on Saturday, February 4, while five teams – Delaware, Fairfield, Hampton, Stony Brook and Towson – begin their year on Saturday, February 11. Finally, Drexel and Monmouth will open their campaigns on Saturday, February 18.
The 2023 CAA Men’s Lacrosse Championship will be hosted by the No. 1 seed. Semifinal action begins on Thursday, May 4, followed by the title contest slated for Saturday, May 6.
2023 CAA Men’s Lacrosse Preseason Poll
Team (1st) Points
- Delaware (7) 49
- Towson (1) 42
- Drexel 35
- Stony Brook 32
- Hofstra 23
- Fairfield 22
- Monmouth 14
- Hampton 7
Preseason Offensive Player of the Year: Jack Mulcahy (Downingtown East), Drexel
Preseason Defensive Player of the Year: Owen Grant, Delaware
2023 Men’s Lacrosse Preseason All-CAA
Name School Class Position Hometown
Dylan Pallonetti Stony Brook Sr. Attack Stony Brook, N.Y.
Mike Robinson Delaware Sr. Attack Peterborough, Ont.
JP Ward Delaware Jr. Attack Ownings Mills, Md.
Matt Anderson Stony Brook Gr. Midfield Burlington, Ont.
Kyle Berkeley Towson Gr. Midfield Dunkirk, Md.
Clay Miller Delaware Sr. Midfield Cumberland Valley, Pa.
Jack Mulcahy Drexel Sr. Midfield Chester Springs, Pa.
Matt Constantinides Towson So. FOGO New Fairfield, Conn.
Colby Barsz Towson Jr. Defense Matthews, N.C.
Owen Grant Delaware R-Sr. Defense Newmarket, Ont.
Braden Lynch Fairfield Jr. Defense Baldwinsville, N.Y.
Garrett Zungailia Towson Gr. Defense Timonium, Md.
Matt Kilkeary Delaware Gr. Goalkeeper Lake Sherwood, Calif
Honorable Mention: Tye Kurtz (A), Delaware; Jack McKenna (A), Fairfield; Corey Kale (SSDM), Hofstra; Rory Jones (M), Hofstra; Dy-Jae Pearson (LSM), Hampton; Michael Quigg (D), Monmouth; Michael Sabella (D), Stony Brook; Pat Udovich (D), Drexel; Mac Gates (GK), Hofstra