Blue Hens Picked No. 2 in CAA Pre-Season Coaches Poll; Cooney, Dowling, Kaminski All-Conference
February 3, 2011
File Photo Courtesy of Mark Campbell
RICHMOND, Va. -- The defending Colonial Athletic Association champion University of Delaware men’s lacrosse team, which opens its 2011 season this Saturday at home vs. Detroit Mercy, is the No. 2 pick in the CAA pre-season coaches poll announced Thursday.
The seven-league coaches made Hofstra the unanimous favorite to win the league title as the Pride earned all six possible first place votes (coaches could not vote for their own team) and 36 total points. Delaware was second with 26 points followed by Drexel (25), Massachusetts (23 with one first place vote), Towson (19), Penn State (12), and league newcomer Saint Joseph’s (6).
In addition to the pre-season rankings, the Hens placed three players on the 13-member pre-season all-conference team led by senior midfielder Kevin Kaminski, senior defender Pat Dowling, and junior faceoff specialist Dan Cooney (at right).
Delaware, ranked No. 17 in the pre-season USILA Top 20 poll, will open the 2011 collegiate lacrosse season this Saturday, Feb. 5, when the Hens host Detroit Mercy at 1 p.m. at Delaware Stadium. Great season ticket packages are available and single game tickets can be purchased at the gate the day of the game.
Also named to the pre-season all-conference team were attackmen Jay Card (Hofstra), Jamie Lincoln (Hofstra), Matt Mackrides (Penn State), midfielders Nick Dolik (Penn State), Brad Loizeaux (Hofstra), and Peter Mezzanotte (Towson), defenders Marc Ingerman (Towson) and Dan Wilber (Drexel), longstick midfielder Frank Tufano (Drexel), and goalkeeper Mark Manos (Drexel). Card was named the Player of the Year.
Delaware, under 36th-year head coach Bob Shillinglaw, hopes to make another impact on the national scene this spring after posting a 10-7 record a year ago, sweeping through Drexel and Towson to win the CAA Tournament title, and advancing to the NCAA Tournament for the third time in the last six seasons. Delaware was edged by No. 4 North Carolina by a 14-13 score in the opening round.
Despite the loss of a pair of All-Americans in attackman Curtis Dickson - a Tewaaraton National Player of the Year top five finalist who was the Colonial Athletic Association Player of the Year and scored 62 goals - and midfielder Martin Cahill - a 34-goal scorer, the Blue Hens return plenty of firepower. Grant Kaleikau (16 goals-25 assists), Kaminski (10-4), John Austin (15-3), and Anthony Ruiz (11-2) will be looked upon to furnish the offense while Delaware boasts one of the nation’s top defensive units with the return of starters Noah Fossner (10.0 gaa-.522 save pct.) in goal and Dowling and Matt Stefurak in front. Cooney returns to handle faceoffs after winning 54.7 percent of his attempts a year ago.
2011 Colonial Athletic Association Pre-Season Men’s Lacrosse Coaches Poll: 1. Hofstra (6 first place votes) - 36 points; 2. Delaware - 26; 3. Drexel - 25; 4. Massachusetts (1) - 23; 5. Towson - 19; 6. Penn State - 12; 7. Saint Joseph’s - 6.
Pre-Season All-CAA Team: Attack - Jay Card (Hofstra), Jamie Lincoln (Hofstra), Matt Mackrides (Penn State); Midfield - Nick Dolik (Penn State); Kevin Kaminski (Delaware), Brad Loizeaux (Hofstra); Peter Mezzanotte (Towson); Longstick Midfield: Frank Tufano (Drexel); Faceoff: Dan Cooney (Delaware); Defense: Pat Dowling (Delaware), Marc Ingerman (Towson); Dana Wilber (Drexel); Goalkeeper: Mark Manos (Drexel); Player of the Year: Jay Card (Hofstra)