January 3, 2013

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#LMranks: Cortland, Trinity (Conn.) Top LM's D-III Rankings

Lynchburg's Lisicky, Cortland's Di Fato named preseason players of year

by Lacrosse Magazine staff | LaxMagazine.com | Twitter

Cortland, runner-up to national champion Salisbury in 2012, returns its entire close defense unit and goalie Mike Kaminski as well as attackman Cody Consul and midfielder Joe Slavik.
© Greg Wall

BALTIMORE — The Cortland men and Trinity (Conn.) women earned the top spots in Lacrosse Magazine's 2013 NCAA Division III preseason rankings, released today. Lacrosse Magazine also named Lynchburg's Joe Lisicky and Cortland's Maria Di Fato as its preseason players of the year for Division III men and women, respectively.

The Red Dragons enter 2013 No. 1 on the men's side after reaching the NCAA championship game, falling to Salisbury to conclude a 21-1 season. Cortland returns its entire close defense unit and goalie Mike Kaminski. Attackman Cody Consul (37 goals, 23 assists) and midfielder Joe Slavik (29g, 15a) are among the leading offensive returnees. The defending champion Sea Gulls are ranked third, behind No. 2 Stevenson.

Lisicky, a senior defenseman, collected numerous honors in 2012 as he helped the Hornets post a 17-2 record and advance to the second round of the NCAA tournament. He was named first-team All-American and All-Old Dominion Athletic Conference, in addition to winning the ODAC Player of the Year award. Lisicky also won state of Virginia's collegiate player of the year award and enters 2013 as a two-time All-American, two-time all-conference, and two-time all-state honoree.

Lacrosse Magazine's NCAA Division III men's preseason rankings as follows:

NCAA Division III Men's Top 20

1. Cortland
2. Stevenson
3. Salisbury
4. Tufts
5. RIT
6. Cabrini
7. Lynchburg
8. Stevens
9. Denison
10. Dickinson
11. Western New England
12. Gettysburg
13. Roanoke
14. Connecticut College
15. Washington College
16. Trinity
17. Union
18. Springfield
19. Bowdoin
20. St. Lawrence

Preseason Player of the Year: Joe Lisicky, Lynchburg, Sr. D

Cortland's Maria Di Fato, LM's NCAA Division III women's preseason player of the year, has helped the Red Dragons to the final four in each of the past two seasons. Trinity (Conn.) took the title last year.
© Jim O'Connor

On the women's side, the No. 1 Bantams edged Salisbury, 8-7, to win the program's first NCAA championship and punctuate a 21-1 season. Trinity, which lost just four seniors from that team, held NCAA semifinalist Cortland and the Sea Gulls to five and seven goals, respectively, in their final-four matchups last May — each entered averaging 15 goals per game. The Bantams won a second straight NESCAC title and made the NCAA tournament for the third time in a row and fifth time in six seasons. Runner-up Salisbury enters 2013 ranked second.

Thanks in part to Di Fato, the Red Dragons have reached the NCAA final four in each of the past two seasons, losing by two goals to the eventual champion both times. Last season, Di Fato was an All-American and ranked 15th in the nation with 76 goals. The senior midfielder enters 2013 seventh on Cortland's career scoring list (183 goals), sixth in assists (68) and fifth in points (251).

Lacrosse Magazine's NCAA Division III women's preseason rankings as follows:

NCAA Division III Women's Top 20

1. Trinity (Conn.)
2. Salisbury
4. Cortland
5. Colby
6. Gettysburg
7. Middlebury
8. Amherst
9. Hamilton
10. York
11. Bowdoin
12. Franklin & Marshall
13. Catholic
14. Messiah
15. Mary Washington
16. Tufts
17. Washington & Lee
18. St. John Fisher
19. Redlands
20. Occidental

Preseason Player of Year: Maria Di Fato, Cortland, Sr. M

Lacrosse Magazine is counting down its preseason rankings throughout the month of January exclusively on LaxMagazine.com. For more, visit LaxMagazine.com/LMranks. Follow @LacrosseMag on Twitter and Tweet using the hashtag #LMranks. The countdown will resume Friday with NCAA Division II men and women.

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