February 13, 2014

Liberty League Tabs RIT As Standard Bearer

from press release

ROCHESTER, N.Y. - Defending champion RIT has been selected as the unanimous Liberty League preseason men's lacrosse favorite in a vote of the league's head coaches. The Tigers, who are ranked second in the USILA Division III preseason national poll, captured the 2013 league title en route to advancing to the 2013 NCAA men's lacrosse National Championship game. RIT was picked first with 43 points and seven first-place votes. Clarkson and Union were voted into a tie for second with 32 points, with the Clarkson picking up the final first-place vote. St. Lawrence completes the top four with 27 points. The Golden Knights, Dutchmen, and Saints are all also receiving votes in the USILA preseason poll.

RIT went 19-3 a season ago, a perfect 6-0 in the Liberty League in which it also captured the league tournament championship. The Tigers went on to the NCAA Tournament where they beat three top 10 schools to advance to NCAA National Championship for the first time in program history. The Tigers eventually fell short in the title game to Stevenson 16-14. However, RIT looks to build on last season's success as the Tigers return their top five scorers from a year ago led by first team All-American and Liberty League Player of the Year Jack Krzyston. Last season, Krzyston led the league with 81 points on 52 goals and 29 assists and second team All-American Kyle Aquin was third in the league with 75 points, while leading RIT with 65 goals. Defensively, RIT returns second team All-American and 2013 Liberty League Defensive Player of the Year goalie Pat Johnston between the pipes. Johnston finished 2013 with a 19-3 record, posting a 7.23 goals against average and a .635 save percentage while leading the league in saves with 256.

Clarkson and Union were voted into a tie for second in the preseason poll. The Golden Knights finished last season 10-6 overall, and 4-2 in the league for third place. Clarkson went on to defeat No. 2 seed St. Lawrence in the league tournament before losing to RIT in the championship game. The Golden Knights return three first team all-league selections led by junior attackman Corey Herrington. In 2013, Herrington led Clarkson in points (46) and also in assists (27) to give him an average of 1.69 assists/game, tops in the Liberty League. Clarkson also welcomes back first team all-league faceoff specialist Dylan Broomfield. In 2013, Broomfield led the Golden Knights with 119 ground balls, while compiling a faceoff win percentage of (.587). The Dutchmen were 8-7 in 2013, finishing 3-3 and in fourth place in the Liberty League. Union welcomes back 2013 first team all-league selection defenseman Adam Sands who led his team in caused turnovers (15), while also collecting 47 ground balls a season ago. The Dutchmen also return 2013 second team all-league selection Rob Santangelo. Last season, Santangelo led Union in points (29), on 11 goals and 18 assists.

St. Lawrence was picked fourth in the preseason poll after finishing second in the league a year ago. The Saints, which went 10-5 overall and 5-1 in Liberty League in 2013, return first team all-league midfielder Pierson Fowler. Last season, the senior was third on the team in goals (16), collecting three man-up goals, to rank second on his team. The Saints also welcome back all-league honorable mention attackman Jeremy Vautour. A season ago, Vatour led the Saints with 25 goals, while also finishing third on the team in ground balls (29).

2014 LIBERTY LEAGUE PRESEASON MEN'S LACROSSE POLL:

Rank Team Pts. (FPV)
1. RIT 43 (7)
2t. Clarkson 32 (1)
2t. Union 32
4. St. Lawrence 26
5. RPI 22
6. Skidmore 13
7. Vassar 7


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