Men's Lacrosse 2nd in CC Preseason Poll

Men's Lacrosse 2nd in CC Preseason Poll

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LANCASTER, Pa. – The Ursinus College men's lacrosse team has been picked second in the Centennial Conference preseason poll, it was announced Tuesday morning by the league office.

Two-time defending champion Gettysburg topped the poll with 63 points and seven first-place votes, while the Bears received the other two first-place ballots and 58 points. Franklin & Marshall was third with 48 points, followed in succession by Dickinson (41), Swarthmore (36), Washington College (32), Haverford (20), McDaniel (14), and Muhlenberg (12).

Ursinus has finished runner-up in the conference each of the last two seasons, but a strong core of returnees and a stellar class of newcomers has head coach Jamie Steele and company firmly in the hunt for their first championship.

The Bears graduated four All-CC selections from a squad that finished 14-3 and 7-1 in conference play, a list that includes three-time USILA All-American goalkeeper Brian Neff, faceoff specialist James Fairchild, midfielder Steve Mussoline, and defender Patrick O'Donoghue. The cupboard is hardly bare, though, with All-Americans Zach Jones and Gerard Brown back in the fray. Jones, a senior defenseman, and Brown, a junior midfielder, both earned honorable mention All-America recognition last season. Ursinus also retains the services of senior defensive midfielder Matthew Cioeta (first team All-CC) and sophomore attack Peter DeSimone (second team), the CC Rookie of the Year.

In addition to Brown (15 goals, school-record 37 assists in 2016) and DeSimone (24-19), junior Ian Desenberg is back on the attack after finishing second on the team in goals (28) and fifth in points (36) a year ago. Classmate Lou Harrison steps into an increased role after an eight-goal campaign, and sophomore Sam Isola (10 goals, 6 assists) also figures to be in the mix. A pair of freshmen, Bobby McClure and Reagan Ketchum, will see plenty of time in the Bears' offensive sets. Senior Conor Fitzgerald (8 goals, 2 assists) will play on attack and in the midfield.

Jones and Cioeta, meanwhile, will be counted on to lead a young defense that will feature newcomers Nolan Sachs, John Lyman, Noah Frantz, and Evan Scott. Lyman is a transfer from Division I Hofstra, while Frantz (Strath Haven) and Scott (Upper Dublin) are both local products. Junior defender Brett Wojtkowiak (11 games) and sophomore LSM Tim Miller (13 games) saw significant action last season.

Sophomore Brian Casey takes over for Fairchild in the faceoff circle, and classmate Elliott Shevitz fills the void left by Neff between the pipes.  

The Bears, ranked 17th in the preseason by USILA and 18th by Inside Lacrosse, will be captained by Cioeta, Jones, Fitzgerald, and senior midfielder Corey Kelly. Ursinus opens the season on Saturday against Frostburg State, looking to avenge last year's 7-6 setback in Maryland. 

2017 Centennial Conference Men's Lacrosse Preseason Poll

Team

2016 Record

Points

1-Gettysburg

 17-3 (8-0 CC)

63 (7 first place)

2-Ursinus

 14-3 (7-1)

58 (2)

3-Franklin & Marshall

 12-5 (6-2)

48

4-Dickinson

 8-7 (3-5)

41

5-Swarthmore

 12-6 (5-3)

36

6-Washington College

 7-8 (3-5)

32

7-Haverford

 7-8 (3-5)

20

8-McDaniel

 3-12 (1-7)

14

9-Muhlenberg

 3-13 (0-8)

12