February 20, 2014

#LMRanks Best Bets: NCAA Division II Men's All-Americans and Awards

by Lacrosse Magazine Staff | LaxMagazine.com | Twitter

Mercyhurst's Andrew Wagner is LM's Preseason Player of the Year for NCAA Divisiion II men's lacrosse - and our selection for both the Enners and Schmeisser Award. (Kevin P. Tucker)

Lacrosse is a team sport, but individual player excellence is honored every season for the few who stand out - often leaders of successful teams. Lacrosse Magazine has an eye on who the early front-runners for those various awards and honors we consider 'best bets' to have standout seasons in 2014. 

These selections appear in the February 2014 issue of Lacrosse Magazine. Join US Lacrosse today to start your subscription.

Enners Award (Most Outstanding Player)

Andrew Wagner, Mercyhurst

Related: Wagner is LM's Preseason Player of the Year

Regrouping from their NCAA championship game loss won't be easy for the Lakers. But having the two-time Schmeisser Award winner as the most outstanding defenseman in Division II returning to his familiar spot down low will make the healing process a lot quicker.

Turnbull Award (Most Outstanding Attackman)

Matt Delmonico, Seton Hill

Delmonico has shared the Griffin spotlight for most of his career with James Delaney, but now he's the focal point. He has plenty of offensive talent around him to lighten the burden, allowing him to once again be a blend of goals and assists. When the game is on the line, however, all eyes will be on Delmonico. And if the past is any indication, he'll deliver.

MacLaughlin Award (Most Outstanding Midfielder)

Andrew Chadderdon, Le Moyne

The knock on the Dolphins was they could only play at their designated methodical pace, but they shed that label on the way to the 2013 NCAA title, helped in large part by Chadderdon. Whether Le Moyne was grinding out 7-5 regular season wins or running and gunning to a 16-13 tournament victory, Chadderdon set the pace with an extended possession or clutch goal. Nothing will change this year as the Dolphins look to repeat.

Schmeisser Award (Most Outstanding Defenseman)

Andrew Wagner, Mercyhurst

The Lakers instantly know that one of their opponent's top guns is going to get neutralized by Wagner's blend of brute strength and methodical positional defense, which also makes him a leading candidate for overall player of the year in Division II.

Kelly Award (Most Outstanding Goalie)

Aiden Bennardo, Adelphi

Bennardo has played in the shadow of Eric Janssen for most of his career, splitting minutes (7.18 GAA, 58.9 sv%) in last year's platoon situation. Now he'll get his chance to show his stuff for a full 60 minutes, and he'll have the luxury of doing it behind an extremely talented team. Bennardo bided his time in Garden City, and now it's time for the payoff.

Can Mike Perdie and Merrimack make noise and get back to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2009? (Lee Weissman)

First-Team All-Americans

A Luke Miller, NYIT, Jr.
A Matt Delmonico, Seton Hill, Sr.
A Joe Leonard, Molloy, Jr.
M Andrew Chadderdon, Le Moyne, Sr.
M Reid Reinholdt, Limestone, So.
M Reagan Harding, Lake Erie, Jr.
FO Greg Puskuldjian, Adelphi, Sr.
LSM T.J. McAndrew, LIU Post. Sr.
D Andrew Wagner, Mercyhurst, Sr.
D Danny McDermott, NYIT, Sr.
D Gerald O'Brien, Le Moyne, Jr.
G Aiden Bennardo, Adelphi, Gr.

Breakout Player

David Solomon, Colorado Mesa

A former prep standout and Maryland recruit, Solomon transferred to Mesa in the offseason, giving the callow program seven former Division I players. While the Mavericks have a couple of capable scorers, Solomon, a redshirt sophomore attackman is a polished feeder. He also will be key if Mesa wants to regain the WILA conference title, currently held by Dominican (Calif.).

Bracket Buster

Merrimack

The Warriors haven't been to the NCAA tournament since 2009. That Merrimack wasn't able to crack the expanded field last spring with a stacked lineup speaks to the difficulty inherent within the Northeast-10. Unlike the last couple of years, the team enters 2014 under the radar, and that might be just what the Warriors need.

Sleeper

Molloy

The Lions got back on the positive side of the ledger last spring with a 10-4 record. Juniors Joe Leonard (32g, 44a) and Tom Engelhardt (30g, 32a) lead a powerful offense that should hold up under the strain of the ECC schedule. There's a question mark on faceoffs, but if Molloy can figure out that spot, the Lions will be a tough out for the elite teams.

Lacrosse Magazine will continue its 2014 college lacrosse preview throughout January and into February, with team-by-team breakdowns of the top teams in NCAA Division I, II and III men's and women's lacrosse. Follow the countdown at LaxMagazine.com/LMRanks and on twitter at #LMRanks. 


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