December 4, 2009

Poll: Vote for LM's Preseason Players of the Year

With the December issue ready to drop after Thanksgiving, your Lacrosse Magazine staff has already turned its calendar to 2010. Join us, won’t you?

Each year, LM tabs a preseason player of the year. We need your help.

We’ve narrowed it down to four finalists in each division . Vote for your favorite for LM’s 2010 Preseason Player of the Year.

Think we missed someone? Write in candidates in the "Comments" section at the bottom of this page.

Update: These polls will be removed Monday, Dec. 7 at 4 p.m., with the results to be published in January's LM.

MD1 | WD1 | MD2 | WD2 | MD3 | WD3 | MCLA1 | MCLA2 | WDIA


NCAA DIVISION I MEN

Voting has closed. Check out the January issue of Lacrosse Magazine for final poll results as well as tons of other great preseason content. Don't get the mag? Join US Lacrosse and its 300,000-plus members today to start your subscription.

Billy Bitter, North Carolina
Year: Junior
Position: Attack
2009 Stats: 46g, 25a

Where did this guy come from? Well, a lot of places, actually. Originally from Manhasset, N.Y., he has also called Deerfield, Mass., New York City and Stowe, Vt., home. Now a fixture in Chapel Hill, the 6-foot, 175-pound junior attackman put a target on his back with that eight-goal performance against UMBC in the first round of the 2009 NCAA tournament.

Shamel Bratton, Virginia
Year: Junior
Position: Midfield
2009 Stats: 31g, 11a

A first team All-American as a sophomore, the 6-foot-1, 195-pound Bratton is the nation’s top returning midfielder. His ability to bounce off slides and still get 90- to 100-mph heat on his shots gives him game-breaking potential. Most shooters can only get that kind of velocity with time and room. Bratton can do it on the run. He deflates defenses. Unsurprisingly, he led UVA with 136 shots in 2009. If his accuracy improves (he shot 23 percent), look out.

Ned Crotty, Duke
Year: Senior
Position: Attack
2009 Stats: 23g, 55a

Well, the whining about Duke’s 2006 players getting an eligibility waiver for their cancelled season will end after this year –-- as all affected players will have matriculated. But don’t expect Crotty, a 6-foot-2, 190-pound fifth-year senior, to go quietly. After moving from midfield to attack last year, he led the nation in assists (55), and he must be brimming with confidence as the only current collegian named to the 2010 U.S. men’s team earlier this month.

Jack McBride, Princeton
Year: Junior
Position: Attack
2009 Stats: 35g, 11a

When Bill Tierney loosened the offensive shackles, McBride shined. Now that run-and-gun proponent Chris Bates is running the show in Princeton, expect even more production from McBride, a second team All-American in 2009.


NCAA DIVISION I WOMEN

Katrina Dowd, Northwestern

Voting has closed. Check out the January issue of Lacrosse Magazine for final poll results as well as tons of other great preseason content. Don't get the mag? Join US Lacrosse and its 300,000-plus members today to start your subscription.

Year: Senior
Position: Attack
2009 Stats: 75g, 13a

When Hilary Bowen went down with an ACL injury, Northwestern needed a jolt in 2009, and Dowd answered the bell. She’ll be asked to do even more now that both Bowen and Hannah Nielsen are gone. But Dowd has demonstrated that she can handle pressure. Look no further than her game-tying, circus-act goal with 0.2 seconds remaining in the first overtime of the Wildcats’ NCAA semifinal win over Penn. With her flare for dramatics and entertaining style of play, Northwestern’s dynasty rests in Dowd’s hands.

Karri Ellen Johnson, Maryland
Year: Sophomore
Position: Attack
2009 Stats: 74g, 71 DC

No freshman has ever made a bigger impact in College Park than Johnson did in 2009. The former U.S. U-19 team attacker was the Terps’ top scorer and stepped in for departed Dana Dobbie to be almost as dominant on draws. Johnson also shot 61 percent. It’s not like a sophomore makes this list on sheer potential. Johnson could go down as one of the greatest in the school’s lineage of great players.

Caitlyn McFadden, Maryland
Year: Senior
Position: Midfield
2009 Stats: 54g, 32a

The reigning ACC Player of the Year and IWLCA Midfielder of the Year scored at least one goal in every game during Maryland’s 21-game winning streak in 2009. McF adden was also a member of the gold medal-winning U.S. World Cup team over the summer, giving her some international experience to boot. With Karri Ellen Johnson drawing attention (and possessions) and Laura Merrifield pushing transition, McFadden gets more opportunities. More often than not, she cashes in.

Jenn Russell, North Carolina
Year: Senior
Position: Midfield
2009 Stats: 38g, 10a

Russell might be the most complete player in Division I women’s lacrosse. As a younger player, she had to work her way into UNC’s lineup with hustle, and as such became one of the team’s top options off the draw and on defensive assignments. Last year, she broke out offensively, too, and was rewarded as a first team All-American. She didn’t forget her roots, though, adding 35 draw controls and causing 29 turnovers to her 48 points.


NCAA DIVISION II MEN

Drew Bezek, Le Moyne

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Year: Senior
Position: Defense
2009 Stats: 24 GB, 21 CT

Bezek, a 6-foot-2, 188-pounder, is a two-time first team All-American and was the USILA’s National Defenseman of the Year in 2009. You might not find a better shutdown defender in all of lacrosse, regardless of division. While C.W. Post’s Greg Cerar got the best of him in their epic NCAA Division II title game match-up, we expect Bezek to quiet murmurs with a monster senior season.

Mike Cama, C.W. Post
Year: Senior
Position: Midfield
2009 Stats: .685 FO pct., 171 GB

Last year’s USILA Specialist of the Year led the nation in faceoffs, winning at a near 70-percent clip. We haven’t seen these kinds of numbers since Alex Smith’s record-breaking days at Delaware. He brings his own flavor to the game too, with creative face paint that puts the standard eye black to shame.

Jack Harmatuk, Le Moyne
Year: Junior
Position: Attack
2009 Stats: 35g, 17a

After transferring from Syracuse, where some thought he could earn significant playing time as a sophomore, Harmatuk lit up the Division II ranks and breathed fire into Le Moyne’s offense. Looks like he likes the small-school atmosphere. The Orange’s loss is the Dolphins’ gain.

Albert Maione, Molloy
Year: Senior
Position: Midfield
2009 Stats: 25g, 11a

With Keith Galante gone, there’ll be a ton more touches for this returning second team All-American. Maione, a 6-foot-1, 210-pound midfielder, has proven up to snuff in the uber-competitive East Coast Conference.


NCAA DIVISION II WOMEN

Kaitlyn Carter, Adelphi

Voting has closed. Check out the January issue of Lacrosse Magazine for final poll results as well as tons of other great preseason content. Don't get the mag? Join US Lacrosse and its 300,000-plus members today to start your subscription.

Year: Junior
Position: Midfield
2009 Stats: 52g, 19a

You could make a case for a number of Panthers, which is why three of them are on this list. And none is a senior. Safe to say, Adelphi’s NCAA title defense is in good hands. Carter does damage on both sides of the ball. In addition to her 76 points, she had 27 ground balls and 31 draw controls and caused 16 turnovers.

Michelle Ceraso, Adelphi
Year: Junior
Position: Attack
2009 Stats: 58g, 18a

This attack no longer runs through Rachel Ray, which means welcome to the Ceraso show. A returning first-team All-American, Ceraso creates all sorts of match-up problems for opponents.

Erica Devito, Adelphi
Year: Sophomore
Position: Attack
2009 Stats: 70g, 18a

A first-team All-American as a freshman? Yeah, we’ll bite. The sky’s the limit for Devito, who added 25 draw controls in an impressive rookie campaign, to say the least. She also shot an absurd 82 percent from the field.

Leigh Titus, Lock Haven
Year: Senior
Position: Midfield
2009 Stats: 68g, 30a

Titus, a do-it-all midfielder, is closing in on the 200-goal mark for her career. She has 196 goals through three seasons, and is poised to do great things her senior year. She’s a two-time All-American and the reigning Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Player of the Year after leading the Eagles to the 2009 NCAA championship game.


NCAA DIVISION III MEN

Casey Grugan, Cabrini

Voting has closed. Check out the January issue of Lacrosse Magazine for final poll results as well as tons of other great preseason content. Don't get the mag? Join US Lacrosse and its 300,000-plus members today to start your subscription.

Year: Senior
Position: Attack
2009 Stats: 52g, 44a

The diminutive (5-foot-8) Grugan netted 52 goals and dished out 44 assists for the 15-4 Cavaliers en route to a second team All-American campaign. He has scored a goal in 54 straight games, matching a 32-year-old record set by Washington College’s John Cheek in 1977.

D.J. Hessler, Tufts
Year: Junior
Position: Attack
2009 Stats: 42g, 47a

Hessler had a monster sophomore season for the 13-5 Jumbos, setting program marks for points and assists – good enough to make second team All-America.

Steve Kazimer, Stevenson
Year: Senior
Position: Attack
2009 Stats: 33g, 36a

Attack cohort and fellow first-team All-American Jimmy Dailey had offseason shoulder surgery, the recovery from which could equate to more touches early for Kazimer, a balanced playmaker for the national semifinalists.

Will Keigler, Washington and Lee
Year: Senior
Position: Attack
2009 Stats: 42g, 36a

Keigler’s steady progression, including an honorable mention All-American campaign in 2009, when he led the 16-4 Generals, projects for an impressive 2010.


NCAA DIVISION III WOMEN

Voting has closed. Check out the January issue of Lacrosse Magazine for final poll results as well as tons of other great preseason content. Don't get the mag? Join US Lacrosse and its 300,000-plus members today to start your subscription.

Hollis Stahl, Gettysburg
Year: Senior
Position: Attack
2009 Stats: 64g, 6a

Stahl is the Bullets' top scorer. She also ranked among team leaders in draws (1st), ground balls (4th) and caused turnovers (2nd). Stahl had 11 goals in three NCAA tournament games last year, including six against Roanoke. She scored a goal in every game last year and has tallied a point in 36 straight.    

Alison Jaeger, TCNJ
Year: Junior
Position: Attack
2009 Stats: 65g, 15a

Jaeger scored nearly a goal (65) for every two shots she took for the 16-3 Lions in 2009 and was one of just two sophomores named a first team All-American. In just two seasons, she has racked up 111 goals and 142 points in 38 games. Oh, she also led TCNJ with 64 draw controls and 32 ground balls.

Kate Robinson, Catholic
Year: Senior
Position: Midfield
2009 Stats: 77g, 44a

Robinson delivered 77 goals and 44 assists out of the midfield for the national quarterfinalist despite opponents attempting to mark her out of the game after her 91-goal sophomore season. Robinson has single-handedly brought recognition to the Cardinals and the Landmark Conference with her eye-popping statistics. She’s also a power forward on the CUA women’s basketball team.

Rachel Romanowsky, Trinity
Year: Junior
Position: Midfield
2009 Stats: 46g, 20a

Romanowsky joins Jaeger as the only sophomores who made first team All-American last year. She posted the highest scoring average in the NESCAC (5.08 points per game) for the 10-4 Bantams.


MCLA DIVISION I

Voting has closed. Check out the January issue of Lacrosse Magazine for final poll results as well as tons of other great preseason content. Don't get the mag? Join US Lacrosse and its 300,000-plus members today to start your subscription.

Elliot Grow, BYU
Year: Senior
Position: Midfield
2009 Stats: 41g, 29a
Grow is a multi-faceted middie who's not afraid to play defense for the MCLA Division I semifinalist Cougars. He’s a two-time first team All-American.

Connor Martin, Chapman
Year: Junior
Position: Attack
2009 Stats: 49g, 29a
This quirky attackman -- what else would you expect for a native Oregonian who wears No. 99 -- was the top gun (49g, 29a) for the MCLA finalist Panthers in 2009, when he was MCLA The Lax Mag’s Player of the Year. Martin stands to resume that status in 2010.

Ben Towner, Simon Fraser
Year: Senior
Position: Attack
2009 Stats: 70g, 20a

This jitterbug scorer was critical in leading the MCLA’s only program north of the Canadian border to a 14-1 record in 2009.

Trevor Yealy, Michigan
Year: Junior
Position: Attack
2009 Stats: 85g, 3a

Yealy, a 6-foot-4 crease attackman, has been downright dominant for the two-time defending MCLA Division I champion Wolverines. He hangs just 175 pounds on that lanky frame, but has proven he can take his lumps and handle himself inside.


MCLA DIVISION II

Shawn Beer, Davenport

Voting has closed. Check out the January issue of Lacrosse Magazine for final poll results as well as tons of other great preseason content. Don't get the mag? Join US Lacrosse and its 300,000-plus members today to start your subscription.

Year: Junior
Position: Attack
2009 Stats: 74g, 32a

All eyes are on Beer after a nearly unstoppable freshman campaign for the MCLA Division II semifinalist Panthers -- his second straight year as their leading scorer.

Joe Costello, St. Thomas
Year: Junior
Position: Midfield
2009 Stats: 25g, 25a

A UMBC transfer, Costello’s second season at St. Thomas saw him emerge as its top points man, but he did more than just score and dish. He also took faceoffs for the Tommies, the defending MCLA Division II champs.

Derek Michalski, St. Thomas
Year: Senior
Position: Defense
2009 Stats: N/A

Michalski has been through the NCAA gauntlet and, following stints at Butler and Providence, now enjoy his status as MCLA Division II’s top lock-down defender for the Tommies.

Chris Perkins, Northern Colorado
Year: Junior
Position: Attack
2009 Stats: 29g, 53a

The Bears (14-1) were the surprise team of the MCLA in 2009, taking an undefeated record and No. 5 ranking to nationals, with much credit to Perkins’ feeding ability for facilitating the offense.


WDIA

Voting has closed. Check out the January issue of Lacrosse Magazine for final poll results as well as tons of other great preseason content. Don't get the mag? Join US Lacrosse and its 300,000-plus members today to start your subscription.

Maggie Aker, UCSB
Year: Senior
Position: Midfield
2009 Stats: 48g, 15a

Aker’s versatility was a big reason why the Gauchos won the 2009 Western Women’s Lacrosse League (WWLL) championship and advanced to the WDIA semifinals. In addition to putting up the points (48g, 15a), she corralled 42 draw controls and 54 ground balls, to go along with 34 caused turnovers as a first-team All-American.

Laura Boland, Lindenwood
Year: Senior
Position: Attack
2009 Stats: 64g, 32a

The 2009 US Lacrosse WDIA Attacker of the Year and first-team All-American led the Lions to the Women’s Collegiate Lacrosse League (WCLL) championship and the No. 7 seed at the WDIA tournament. She is the school’s all-time leader in goals (159), assists (100) and points (259).

Lindsay Hudek, Colorado State
Year: Senior
Position: Defense
2009 Stats: N/A

This two-time first team All-American defender was also the WDIA Defensive Player of the Year in 2009.

Krista Shaw, Santa Clara
Year: Senior
Position: Midfield
2009 Stats: 65g, 11a

A two-time first team All-American midfielder, Shaw has been named the WDIA’s Midfielder of the Year the last two seasons. She had a team-high 65 goals in 2009 and following her 77-goal campaign in 2008.


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